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Language requirements

All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency to attend UVic.

You've already met this requirement if you studied full-time for at least four years within Canada in an academic program at the high school or post-secondary level for at least four years, and all of your instruction was in English.

If you need to demonstrate proof of language proficiency, you can do so through academic studies, English language proficiency tests, or programs offered by UVic's English Language Centre.

After you apply to UVic, your language-proficiency deadline will be indicated in your online application checklist.

Academic studies

English language proficiency can be demonstrated through academic studies as follows:

  • completion of four years of full-time academic studies in which all language of instruction is English, at a high school or post-secondary institution in a recognized English-speaking country
  • completion of a recognized degree program from an accredited university in which all language of instruction is English, in a recognized English-speaking country
  • completion of Grade 12 English or its equivalent in Canada with a final grade of 86% or higher within the last three years prior to admission
  • a score of 86% or higher on the BC Provincial Grade 12 English Examination within the last three years prior to admission
  • completion of 1.5 or more units of transfer credit for university-level English courses (excluding ENGL 181 and 182)
  • a score of 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement Exam in English Language and Composition
  • a score of 4 or higher on IB Higher Level English A

English language proficiency tests

English language proficiency can be demonstrated by submitting acceptable scores from CAEL, IELTS, LPI, MELAB or TOEFL tests.

  • All test scores must be sent directly to UVic from the testing organization.
  • We will not accept unofficial test scores.
  • We will not accept tests taken more than two years before your application to UVic.
  • Other tests may be considered on an individual basis following a review by Undergraduate Admissions to determine if test scores are similar to the level required for the TOEFL.
  • If you are applying for entry in January 2021, Summer 2021 or September 2021, we will accept scores from the online tests offered by CAEL, IELTS and TOEFL.
Test Minimum score
CAEL 70, with no section less than 60
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with no component less than 6.0
LPI Level 6
MELAB 90
TOEFL iBT (Internet-based test)* 90, with no section less than 20
TOEFL PBT (paper-based test)* 575

*UVic's TOEFL institution code is 0989

English Language Centre programs

English language proficiency can be demonstrated through successful completion of one of the following programs offered by UVic's English Language Centre:

Conditional admission

If you're applying to a program offered by Engineering, Fine Arts (Art History and Visual Studies only), Humanities, Science or Social Sciences, you may be offered conditional admission. You'll be permitted to register for degree courses during the usual registration time period, but you 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: We will not consider tests taken more than two years before your application.

English Language Centre preliminary admission

If you're applying to Humanities, Science or 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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