English 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.

PLEASE NOTE: The EPLS department requires higher language proficiency scores than those required by Graduate Admissions and Records.

Minimum test scores

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

For the internet-based TOEFL (IBT), we require a minimum of 95 with the following minimum section requirements: Listening 21; Speaking 21; Reading 21; Writing 21. The minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 575 on the paper-based test.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

A minimum Overall Band Score of 7.0, with no score of less than 6.5 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 92 on the MELAB will be accepted as proof of English proficiency.

Designated English-speaking countires

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. Applicants holding a recognized degree from one of the countries or territories listed below are exempt from the English Competency Requirement.

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guyana
  • Ireland (Republic of)
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • Namibia
  • 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
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales)
  • United States of America
  • Virgin Islands
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe