Language proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English, and who have not resided in a designated English-speaking country for three years immediately prior to the entry-point applied for, must provide proof of English language proficiency.

Normally this is done by providing results directly to the university from a TOEFL, IELTS or MELAB test. Official test score reports must be sent directly to the University of Victoria by the testing agency. Scores older than two years are not acceptable.

Applicants holding a recognized degree from a designated English-speaking country are exempted from the language proficiency requirements.

Upon the recommendation of the academic unit offering admission, international applicants who are unable to demonstrate minimum language proficiency, but meet all other current admission requirements for their faculty, may still be considered for entrance to UVic once they complete the University Admission Preparation (UAP) course with a grade of at least 80%.

This 12-Week program is offered in January, April and September each year. The same course is offered in a 4-week intensive format each summer. Specific admission requirements for UAP are outlined on the English Language Centre website. The 12-week program is full-time and applicants enrolled are not eligible to be registered in any other course. This program is designed to prepare students to study at an English-speaking university by developing the necessary skills for a non-native speaker to participate in an academic setting with confidence. Visit the English Language Centre website for more information.

Please Note: University English Preparation courses from another institution are not acceptable proof of language ability and will not satisfy the University of Victoria’s English Language Proficiency Requirement for admission.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
For the internet-based TOEFL (IBT), we require a minimum of 90 with the following minimum section requirements: Listening 20; Speaking 20; Reading 20; Writing 20. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 575 on the paper-based test. Individual departments may set a higher standard. This requirement will not be waived.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)
A minimum Overall Band Score of 6.5, with no score of less than 6.0 on each individual component on the Academic IELTS is required. Note than any IELTS test, other than the Academic test, will not be accepted.

MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
A score of 90 on the MELAB will be accepted as proof of English proficiency.

If your first language is not English and you have not resided in one of the countries listed below for at least three years prior to your application to UVic, you must provide proof of English proficiency. Alternatively, if you hold a degree from a country listed below the English requirement will be waived.

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Belize (British Honduras)
  • Canada
  • Cayman Island
  • England
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Gibraltar
  • Great Britain (England, Scotland, N. Ireland, Wales)
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Ireland (Republic of Eire)
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Baker Island, Chatham Islands, Cook Islands, Line Islands, Marianas Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Solomon Islands)
  • Panama Canal Zone
  • Puerto Rico (case by case)
  • Ryukyu Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Africa (case by case)
  • St. Helena
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent
  • Scotland
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • U.S.A.
  • Virgin Islands
  • Wales

Professional development
Three Minute Thesis (3MT)
Graduate Students' Society

Program information