English language proficiency

All applicants to UVic (regardless of country of origin or citizenship status) are required to demonstrate competence in the English language prior to admission.

You are not required to provide proof of language proficiency if you have studied full-time for at least four years within Canada at the high school or post-secondary level, and all of your instruction has been in English.

Providing proof of language proficiency

Language proficiency can be demonstrated in any of the following ways.

High school studies in English

Canadian curriculums

  • Completion of Grade 12 English (or its equivalent) in Canada with a grade of 86% or higher, or a score of 86% or higher on the BC grade 12 English Provincial Examination
  • Must be within the last three years prior to the requested entry point

Advanced Placement exams

  • A score of 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement Exam in English Language and Composition

International Baccalaureate curriculum

  • A score of 4 or higher on IB Higher Level English

International curriculums

Completion of four years of full-time academic studies at a secondary school in which the primary language of instruction is English, in one of the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Jamaica
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Post-secondary studies in English

Canadian institutions

  • Completion of 1.5 or more units of transfer credit for university-level English (ENGL) courses, or completion of a degree program from a recognized university in which all language of instruction is English

International institutions

Completion of four years of full-time academic studies or a degree program at a recognized post-secondary institution in which the primary language of instruction is English, in one of the following countries:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Kenya
  • Jamaica
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

English language proficiency tests

Note: tests taken more than two years prior to application will not be considered.

Test Minimum score
CAEL: Canadian Academic English Language Assessment 70, with no section less than 60
IELTS (Academic): International English Language Testing System 6.5, with no component less than 6.0
LPI: Language Proficiency Index Level 6
MELAB: Michigan English Language Assessment Battery 90
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

90 on the iBT (Internet-based test) with no section less than 20, or 575 on the PBT (paper-based test)

(UVic's TOEFL institution code is 0989)

Other language proficiency tests

Other tests may be considered on an individual basis following a review of the test and a valid test score similar to the level required for the TOEFL, as determined by Undergraduate Admissions.

English Language Centre programs

Successful completion of one of the following programs offered by UVic's English Language Centre:

Conditional and ELC preliminary admission

Applicants to certain programs may be offered conditional or ELC preliminary admission if they meet all academic requirements, but do not have sufficient test scores for regular admission.

Conditional admission

Available for applicants to the faculties of Engineering, Fine Arts (Art History and Visual Studies), Humanities, Science and Social Sciences.

If you're offered conditional admission, you'll be permitted to register for degree courses during the usual registration time period, but must satisfy the English language proficiency requirement by the date specified in your offer email.

You can qualify for conditional admission if you do one of the following:

  • provide a CAEL score of 60 with no section less than 50
  • provide an IELTS score of 6.0 with no component less than 5.5
  • provide a TOEFL score of at least 79 on the iBT (Internet-based test) with at least 17 on each section, or 550 on the PBT (paper-based test)
  • register in the University Admission Preparation course

Note: tests taken more than two years prior to application will not be considered.

ELC preliminary admission

Available for applicants to the faculties of Humanities, Science and Social Sciences.

ELC preliminary admission will give you up to 24 months to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement and then begin degree studies without re-applying. You can qualify by registering in the Intensive English Program (ELPI) at UVic's English Language Centre (ELC). Offers will only be made to applicants who have submitted final official transcripts.

Some applicants who qualify for ELC preliminary admission may also be appropriate candidates for the University Pathways Program for International Students.

Contact the English Language Centre for more information.

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