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IELTS Score Requirements for Canada’s Top Universities

IELTS Requirements in Canada - magoosh

Canada has over 265,000 international students, ranking as the seventh most popular country in the world for overseas students who want to pursue their university education abroad.  This is not surprising considering Canada’s top three universities (University of British Columbia, McGill, and University of Toronto) are ranked within the global top 50 of with a further 10 in the top 300.  Therefore, if you are looking to study at an elite university, in one of the world’s most developed nations, applying to study in Canada can be an attractive option. Would you like to be one of them?

Well, now is the time to apply, as schools are actively recruiting the best and the brightest to study there over the next few years in a bid to double their international student numbers by 2022. However, to be considered you will need to have the right English proficiency requirements for each. Let’s take a look at the top 4 universities in Canada and find out the IELTS scores required for each.

1. University of Toronto

Ranked 28th in the world, the University of Toronto is Canada’s top-ranked university, located in Canada’s largest city. Its specialist degree programs include literary criticism, communication and theory.They are also known for their range of research innovations, including being the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research.

  • Proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated by all applicants educated outside Canada whose primary language is not English. This is a requirement of admission and should be met before application, but must be met before the deadline to register.
  • is the minimum required.
  • However, many graduate degree programs at the University of Toronto require a higher score. To check on the IELTS requirements of individual programs, the program or programs that you are interested in. You can find program information in the to determine whether a higher minimum score applies.
  • Test results that are older than two years at the time of application cannot be accepted. In these circumstances, the applicant must retake the English-language proficiency test.

2. McGill University

Ranked 33rd in the world, McGill University is the second highest ranking university in Canada. Based in Montreal, the university has international students from over 150 countries.  If you are looking for a medical-doctoral university then this is the school for you as .

  • International students wanting to study here as undergraduates will need an overall IELTS band score of 6.5 or better and individual component scores of 6.0 or better on the Academic version. Graduate studies also require a 6.5 IELTS score, but don’t have the additional requirement of 6.0 per individual section.
  • For graduate admissions, the regular Academic test and the test for UKVI are both accepted. 
  • McGill no longer accepts paper IELTS score reports, so you’ll want to make sure that your IELTS results can be sent to McGill electronically.
  • There are some instances where an applicant can be exempt from proving English proficiency, so have a look at the first.

3. University of British Columbia

Over on the west coast, the University of British Columbia ranks 47th in the world and is home to about 61,000 students (about 16,000 of whom are international students) at its campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna.

  • Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application.
  • Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
  • A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.
  • Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores, and may require minimum scores on individual components of the test. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.
  • UBC requires an official score to be sent to them electronically from the test centre.

4. University of Alberta

Ranked 109th in the world in the QS World University Rankings this year, the University of Alberta is particularly well-respected for its arts and humanities courses.

  • For total IELTS Academic score of at least 6.5 is required, with no section less than 5.5. also require a 6.5 whole-test score with a 5.5 or higher in each section.
  • Applicants to the teaching and health sciences disciplines need a further level of Spoken English Proficiency in addition to demonstrating overall English language proficiency. Here a minimum score of 7.5 in the Academic Speaking section is required.
  • Some graduate programs at the University of Alberta may have higher-than-standard IELTS requirements, either in terms of Spoken English Proficiency, or other areas. So be sure to check with your program of interest before applying for graduate studies at this university.
  • Fulfillment of the listed requirements does not guarantee admission. Even if the English standards are met, the University of Alberta reserves the right to use discretion in determining language proficiency.

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