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Study In Canada Without IELTS

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Study in Canada Without IELTS: If you are aspiring to pursue your higher studies in top study abroad destinations like the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia? Then, you will be required to provide English proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc. for admission and visa procedures. However, Among all these language proficiency exams, IELTS is globally recognized and widely accepted in major English-speaking countries especially, the USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia. amongst others. Especially for those planning to study in Canada, a wide range of academic institutions require IELTS scores for admission into their prospective programs. But, there are several universities and colleges in Canada which offer admission with alternatives for IELTS and other English proficiency tests. This blog brings you a detailed guide on how to study in Canada without IELTS from major universities!

What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally recognizsed language assessment exam used by universities to assess the language skills of potential international students. This test is divided into four sections: reading, writing, listening and speaking. After finishing the three-hour test, students will obtain an overall score for all of their fundamental English language abilities. Exams like this are used to assess your language abilities in English-speaking nations like Canada. However, this isn’t always required. It is also possible to study in Canada without taking the IELTS exam. To understand more about it, keep reading.

Popular Intakes in Canada 

Universities in Canada provide three major entrance points or intakes for applicants to study. Fall, Winter, and Summer are the three seasons. The most popular intake in the country is fall, followed by winter and summer. However, because of the restricted courses and people applying to colleges, the summer intake is the least popular.

Intakes Applications Begin Starting Month
Fall June September
Winter November January
Summer February April- May

Is it Possible to Study in Canada Without IELTS?

Canadian universities use varied factors to assess the English language proficiency of the candidates seeking admission. However, many universities do not require IELTS scores given that you qualify for their alternative language proficiency requirements specified by the specific university. Many universities in Canada also ask candidates to provide a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from any of their previous academic institutions. Furthermore, several foreign students from selected nationalities are also exempted from providing English language proficiency scores. In addition, Canadian academic institutions also accept English language proficiency tests other than IELTS which you can submit during the admission process.

How to Study in Canada without IELTS?

There are other options available for those who cannot provide IELTS scores when applying for admission into Canadian universities. Here are the best alternatives prescribed by universities for those planning to study in Canada without IELTS:

  • You can provide scores of other English Proficiency tests like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, and PTE.
  • You must submit proof that you have studied in an English medium school for at least 4 years as the replacement for English proficiency scores.
  • Candidates belonging to English-speaking countries are also exempted from providing IELTS scores in Canada.
  • You can also opt for the English language courses offered by the university designed for students who are unable to provide English proficiency scores.

Alternative English Proficiency Tests for IELTS

As mentioned, aspirants can provide English proficiency scores other than IELTS to apply for a study program in Canada. The following are alternative English proficiency tests to study in Canada:

CAEL Assessment (Canadian assessment English language) TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language)
Duolingo English Test
PTE (Pearson English Language Test) CanTest (Canadian Test of English for scholars and Trainees)

Universities to Study in Canada Without IELTS

Now, you are familiarized with the key requirements and alternatives for IELTS and English proficiency scores, you must explore the popular Canadian universities that accept applications without IELTS scores. Here is a list of major universities and colleges you can choose from to study in Canada  without IELTS:

  • University of Winnipeg
  • Brock University
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Cambrian University
  • Okanagan College
  • Concordia University
  • Seneca College
  • Carleton University
  • Algoma University
  • Brandon University
  • University of Guelph
  • McGill University

The following sections elaborate on these Canadian universities and their English proficiency requirements in further detail.

University of Winnipeg

Amongst the popular universities in Canada, the University of Winnipeg offers admissions to those candidates who are unable to provide IELTS scores. The university has its own English Language Program (ELP) which you need to qualify with the prescribed score. This program is available in both full-time and part-time courses for students to apply for before their admission or commencement of the term.

Brock University

Brock University offers many alternatives for IELTS. The university offers the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) for those who can’t provide English language proficiency scores. Furthermore, if you have completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Degree course with English as the language of instruction then you are also exempted from English proficiency score requirements (though this differs as per the program). Other than IELTS, the university accepts TOEFL, PTE, CAEL Assessment (Canadian assessment of English language), MELAB, and YELT scores.

University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan has provided varied alternatives for IELTS including, but not limited to TOEFL, CanTest, Duolingo English Test (DET), and CAEL Assessment, amongst others. Moreover, those who can’t prove their English proficiency can take up the U-PREP program at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC) before beginning their chosen course.

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University of Regina

To pursue higher studies in Canada without IELTS, the University of Regina accepts several alternatives like TOEFL, TOEFL iBT, Duolingo, and CAEL scores for admissions to UG and PG programs. For a TOEFL Paper score of 525 or a TOEFL iBT score of 70, a Duolingo score of 95 – 105, and a CAEL score of 50.

Apart from these, here are the alternatives for some other universities you can consider studying in Canada without IELTS.

University Alternatives for IELTS Scores
Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador Duolingo English Test (DET); TOEFL; Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment; Cambridge English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); PTE Academic; Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST); Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)


Intensive English Programme (IEP) offered by the university.

Cambrian University TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo English Test (DET), etc.


The language proficiency of students is evaluated upon arrival, and those who do not meet the prerequisites will have to take up English language courses before beginning their chosen program.

Okanagan College  Language requirements are program-specific and the alternative for IELTS is Duolingo scores.
Concordia University TOEFL, DET, CAEL, CAE, CPE, PTE


The candidate must provide proof that they have completed at least four years of study with English as the medium of instruction at a secondary or post-secondary institution.


International Baccalaureate in English Literature with specified levels.


Intensive English Language Program (IELP) offered by the university on conditional admission.

Seneca College CAEL CE, Cambridge English Exams, Duolingo, PTE Academic, TOEFL

The candidate must complete an intensive English language program from an institute like English Language Institute.


The candidate must have completed two years of study at an English-language academic institution

Carleton University CAEL, TOEFL, PTE


The candidate must provide proof that they have completed three years (full-time) of study at a high school or university in Canada, the US, the UK, or any other country with English as the primary language as that of the institution.

Note: There are many courses for which the admission process includes ESL requirements along with English proficiency scores.


Universities in Canada Without Application Fees

Important: The aforementioned list includes universities in Canada and their prospective alternatives for IELTS scores. However, the actual course requirements might differ depending on the course and university. Students are advised to go through the university’s official website to know about language proficiency requirements in detail.

Requirements to Study in Canada

Given below are the requirements you must meet to study in Canada:

  • Transcripts or Marksheet of your previous degree or diploma
  • GMAT or GRE Scores for MBA and Masters programs in Canada
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) & Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Acceptable English Proficiency Tests:
    • IELTS
    • C1 Advanced
    • TOEFL
      If you are applying for a French-taught program, you need to submit French Proficiency Tests Like TCF, TEF, DELF, and DALF.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to study in Canada.
  • An updated CV (if required)
  • You may be required to provide two letters of academic reference along with past letters of employment if you are applying for a Masters’s or Ph.D. program in Canada. You may also need an ECA if you’ve never studied in Canada before (Educational Credential Assessment).

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