Roshan Sunthar

Updated on 23-05-2023


Study In Canada Without IELTS 2023

Study In Canada Without IELTS 2023

Is it possible to study in Canada without IELTS? The answer is "Yes". Even though many universities (DLIs) mandate IELTS scores, some universities & colleges offer admission without IELTS. They admit non-native English students to pursue academic programs in the medium of English. So, to study UG/PG courses, international students can show their English language proficiency using alternative test scores like TOEFL, PTE, CAEL, CanTEST etc., instead of IELTS. This post offers top universities to study in Canada without IELTS in 2023 and the alternatives.

Table of Contents

Top 15 Universities To Study In Canada Without IELTS


Here is the list of top universities and colleges to study in Canada without IELTS.

  • University of Winnipeg, MB
  • University of Saskatchewan, SK
  • Cambrian College, ON
  • Seneca College, ON
  • Brock University, ON
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, NL
  • Okanagan College, BC
  • University of Guelph, ON
  • McGill University, QC
  • Algoma University, ON
  • Brandon University, MB
  • Carleton University, MB
  • University of Regina, SK
  • Concordia University, SK
  • University of Prince Edward Island, PE

1. University of Winnipeg

Even though the language of instruction at The University of Winnipeg is English, it’s amongst the top public universities in Canada that offer courses without IELTS. If a student’s primary language is not English and they’re not from an English-speaking country, they must prove their language skills. For undergraduate programs, the English language requirement options are:

  • Duolingo English Test - Minimum score 120
  • TOEFL iBT Test - A minimum score of 86 with no less than 20 in each section.
  • Cambridge Assessment English (CAE): C1 Advanced - Minimum score 180
  • Cambridge Assessment English (CAE): C2 Proficiency - Minimum score 180
  • Cambridge Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) - Minimum score 60
  • CAEL CE - Minimum score 60
  • CAEL Online - Minimum score 70
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) - Minimum score 58
  • English Language Program (ELP) - Completion of Academic Level 5
  • ELP Part-time Evening Program - Minimum C+ in Academic Writing 1 and 2
  • Academic English Program from University and College Entrance (AEPUCE) - Successful Completion

Please remember that students can get a waiver of the English Language Requirement to the admissions office.

2. University of Saskatchewan

Whether a master’s or doctoral degree, the University of Saskatchewan (USask) allows international students without IELTS. However, proof of English proficiency is required for applicants whose first language is not English. If a student is unable to prove their English proficiency, they can choose the U-PREP program at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC) before the course begins. Listed below are the minimum score requirements for English language tests:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based) - Overall score is 86 with minimum scores of 19 in each section
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced - Overall score is 176
  • Duolingo English Test (DET) - Overall score is 115 with minimum scores of 95 in each area
  • PTE Academic - Overall score of 63 with minimum scores of 59 in each area
  • CAEL - Minimum score is 70% with minimum individual scores of 60 or MELAB
  • University of Saskatchewan Language Centre Level 4 (graduate bridging) - Successful completion
  • University of Regina Intensive ESL Advanced Level (ESL 50) - Successful completion
  • General Certificate of Education of A/AS/AICE Level English
  • Completion of any one of the following:
  • GCSE/IGCSE/GCE O-Level English
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) English A1 or A2 Higher Level
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) English B Higher Level
  • Advanced Placement (AP) English

Please note that candidates taking the Intensive ESL Advanced Level must also complete the Academic Writing Elective A.

3. Cambrian College

Being one of the leading post-secondary institutions in Northern Ontario, Cambrian College provides the best courses for students of foreign countries without IELTS. But TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo (temporary inclusion) English test scores are necessary to prove their language abilities. Students can also take the English for Academic Purposes Program (EAPP). The minimum English requirements in Cambrian College are:

  • TOEFL (Internet-based test) - 80 score for Diploma/Certificate; 84 score for Grad Certificate; 88 for Degrees.
  • TOEFL (Paper-based test) - 550 score for Diploma/Certificate; 570 score for Grad Certificate
  • PTE - 58 score for Diploma Certificate; 61 score for Grad Certificate; 58 for Degrees
  • Duolingo - Between 105 and 115 for Diploma/Certificate; above 120 score for Grad Certificate.

4. Seneca College

International students applying to Seneca College must be well prepared to study in English. An English proficiency test score from one of the English language testing bodies (given below) is considered alternatives to IELTS. Tests must be taken in the last two years.

  • CAEL CE and CAEL Online - Minimum 60
  • Cambridge English Exams (B2 First/FCE, C1 Advanced/CAE or C2 Proficiency/CPE) - Minimum 169 with no skill below 162
  • PTE Academic - Minimum score is 58
  • TOEFL iBT (including MyBest TOEFL and Home Edition) - Minimum 80 with no section below 20
  • TOEFL Revised Paper Delivered - No skill below 20

Note: Applicants from specific English-speaking countries are exempt from submitting English Language Proficiency test scores.

5. Brock University

English is the primary language of instruction at Brock University. If English is not your first language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency through the English proficiency tests (EPT). Other than IELTS, the university accepts CAEL Assessment, MELAB, YELT, Duolingo and TOEFL scores. The university offers English as a Second Language (ESL) programs like Intensive English Language Program (IELP).

6. Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

To study in Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, you must demonstrate your English proficiency through one of the following standardised tests. Apart from IELTS, you can choose Cambridge Assessment English (176 min score), CAEL (50 - 60 min score), Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees  or CanTEST (4.5 min), Duolingo (115 min) MET (59 min), PTE (58 min score) or TOEFL (79 min score). Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores can take up the Memorial University’s English as a Second Language Program.

Note: There is a separate English proficiency test score requirement for Bachelor of Engineering programs.

7. Okanagan College

Okanagan College accepts Duolingo English Test (DET) results, TOEFL and OCELA scores. International students from British Columbia high schools can use their BC grades to showcase their English proficiency. These are the alternative standardised tests for IELTS.

8. University of Guelph

The University of Guelph accepts the Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate Program or ELCP (levels 9 and 10), Cambridge English: C1 and C2 (Minimum 176 with no band less than 169), CAEL (minimum 70), Duolingo (minimum 110), PTE (minimum 60) and TOEFL (Internet-based - 89 min, Computer-based - 250 min, and Paper-based - 600 min). Please note that test scores are considered valid within the past two years from the date of submission.

9. McGill University

For higher education in McGill University, international candidates who do not possess a degree from a recognised English-medium university, must have proof of English proficiency. TOEFL iBT (internet-based) 100 with a minimum score of 20 in each section is required. The McGill ETS Institution code is 0935. Test takers are advised to take tests only at Test Centres for admission purposes.

10. Algoma University

To attend Diploma/Certificate/Undergraduate/Postgraduate courses in Algoma University, the minimum English language score requirements are:

  • CAEL - 60
  • Cambridge English Qualifications - Overall 176 with no band less than 169
  • Duolingo - Overall 110 (no individual band below 90)
  • TOEFL - 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Computer or Home Edition)
  • PTE - 60
  • ENG4U (OSSD) or ENGL12 (BC Curriculum): 3 years of full-time course with a minimum grade of 70%
  • Students successfully completing the International Baccalaureate may take a waiver.

Instead of IELTS, students can take any one of the above-listed standardised tests.

11. Brandon University

All applicants regardless of citizenship status or country of origin are asked to prove English language proficiency for the university admission purpose. The following internationally recognised tests are accepted at Brandon University: C1 & C2 (176 min), CAEL/CAEL CE (60 min), CanTEST (4.5 for reading and listening; 4.0 for speaking and writing), English for Academic Purposes or EAP (Completion of Tier 4), PTE (58 min) and TOEFL (80 minimum). The University admission committee (AdCom) accepts documents from the issuing authority only. No emailed, photocopied, notarised or attested documents are accepted.

12. Carleton University

Carleton University has set the minimum English language requirement to pursue graduate studies. They are CAEL (overall band score of 70 or higher), and TOEFL iBT (total score of 100 or above with a minimum of 24 band score in each area). If you’ve completed a UG or master’s degree in Canada, the US, the UK or any country where English is the primary language, you just need to complete the Confirmation of Language Proficiency Form. 

13. University of Regina

To study in the University of Regina without IELTS, you must take any one of the alternative standardised tests, including CAEL (70), TOEFL (20), PTE (59), CanTEST (4.5 overall, 4.0 each), MELAB (80), and UofR ESL (Advanced EAP 050). Please note that aspiring candidates must furnish the official transcripts of the last three years of high school, diploma, college or university.

14. Concordia University

Being the best university in North America as per The Young University Rankings, 2021, Concordia University accepts international students without IELTS. However, students must meet the English language proficiency test requirements. Students can take TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, CAEL or CAE (A1 Advanced) & CPE (C2 Proficiency).

15. University of Prince Edward Island

English is the main language at the University of Prince Edward Island. Other than IELTS scores, students can submit TOEFL, CAEL, PTE Cambridge B2 First, C1 or C2, GTEC CBT or English 621. The minimum scores vary for Arts, Science, and Business Engineering courses.

How to Study in Canada without IELTS?

As per the new rules, follow these simple instructions (below) to study in Canada without IELTS.

  • You can provide scores of other English Proficiency tests such as TOEFL (iBT), Duolingo English Test, CAEL, PTE, CELPIP, and CanTest.
  • Or you can submit proof that you have studied in an English medium school for at least 4 years.
  • If you’re from one of the English-speaking countries exempted from IELTS, you can submit proof of national identity.
  • You can enrol in an English language course offered by the university and college. It is exclusively for students who are unable to submit English proficiency scores.


Now you know the top universities to study in Canada without IELTS. All you need to do is take TOEFL, PTE, CAEL, or any internationally recognised standardised tests and attain the minimum band score. After successfully meeting the English language requirements, you can study in your dream university.


1. Is it possible to get a Canada visa without IELTS?

Yes. You can study in Canada without IELTS and get a study visa. You must have completed your high school or undergraduate in the English medium of instruction. You can submit scores of alternative English language skill exams rather than IELTS. To prove your English language skills, take either TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, CAEL, etc.

2. Which university does not require IELTS?

To study in Canada, the following universities and colleges do not require IELTS scores:

  • University of Saskatchewan, SK
  • University of Winnipeg, MB
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, NL
  • Concordia University, SK
  • Cambrian College, ON
  • Seneca College, ON
  • Brock University, ON
  • Okanagan College, BC
  • University of Guelph, ON
  • McGill University, QC
  • Algoma University, ON
  • Brandon University, MB
  • Carleton University, MB
  • University of Regina, SK
  • University of Prince Edward Island, PE

3. What are the documents required to study in Canada without IELTS?

  • English language proof (TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo)
  • Proof of identification
  • Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS)
  • Proof of financial support
  • Any other document (relevant)

4. Which exam instead of IELTS for Canada?

To study in Canada, there are two options: the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Since the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) accepts both the test scores, you don’t need to worry about CELPIP vs IELTS. The minimum score varies based on the undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral degree, and 1 or 2-year diploma course.

5. Does Canada accept only IELTS?

The answer is No. Other than IELTS, the universities and colleges across Canada accept TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, CAEL, CanTEST, and more. 

6. Can Indian students go to Canada without IELTS?

Yes. Indian students can go to Canada without IELTS. They must take alternative tests like CAEL, CPE, Cambridge English Exams, TOEFL, PTE, etc., to showcase their English language skills. 

7. Why do students not prefer to take the IELTS exam?

The main reason why students do not prefer to take the IELTS exam is the application fee. To take IELTS, the fee ranges between $309 and $335 CAD.

8. What are the alternatives for IELTS to study in Canada?

The main IELTS alternatives for Canada are:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE)
  • Duolingo English Test (DET)
  • A certificate as proof as you have studied in an English medium school for at least 3 years.
  • English language courses offered in various colleges and universities.

9. What are the countries that do not require IELTS to study in Canada?

Nationalities from specific English-speaking countries are exempt from IELTS. They are:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, British West Indies, Canada, Denmark, Dominica, England, Eire, Germany, Guyana, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Kenya, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, United Kingdom (UK), United States of America (USA), Wales, Zimbabwe, Zambia and more. These countries do not require IELTS to study in Canada.

10. How to get a study visa in Canada without IELTS?

One of the Canada study visa requirements is demonstrating English language proficiency. To get a study visa in Canada without IELTS, you can take the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) that serves as an alternative to IELTS.


About Author Roshan Sunthar

Roshan Sunthar is a study abroad expert as well as a renowned writer and author in international education. His academic excellence and 5+ years of work experience give him in-depth knowledge of international standardised exams and test preparation in IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, PTE, SAT, etc. The study materials he prepares incorporate exam-like questions. He’s also an expert in writing Statement of Purposes (SOPs) and Letter of Recommendations (LORs) for college admissions. He usually spends his leisure time watching English classics and documentaries, travelling, etc.

More Articles Post by Roshan Sunthar

Kanan International is an IRCC-certified study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.

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