English Proficiency

Lectures, seminars and examinations in the University are, for the most part, conducted in English and it is essential that all students have an adequate knowledge of written and spoken English in order for them to be successful in their university studies. Applicants for admission will be required to present evidence of English proficiency if:

  1. their primary or first language (meaning the language first learned as a child) is not English; and
  2. they have had fewer than four years of full-time secondary or post-secondary study, demonstrating satisfactory academic progress, in an English-language school system

The University reserves the right to deny admission to applicants who do not demonstrate satisfactory facility in English, regardless of academic qualifications.


  • Francophone Canadian citizens educated in Canada will not be required to meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement.
  • Students who have completed the International Baccalaureate diploma where English was the language of instruction will be considered as having met the English Proficiency Requirement.
  • Students who successfully complete the Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate program at the University of Guelph will be considered as having met the English Proficiency requirement for undergraduate studies; for more information, visit the website at: https://opened.uoguelph.ca/student-resources/guelph-elp/

Applicants required to meet the English Proficiency Requirement must do so by submitting the required scores in one of the following tests or battery of tests as outlined in points 1-7. Test results must be submitted to Admission Services prior to admission by the published document deadline.

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    1. Internet-based: minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score less than 21.
    2. Computer-based: minimum score of 250
    3. Paper-based: minimum score of 600

​These tests are offered on several dates each year by centres throughout the world. For more information please visit: https://www.ets.org/

  1. International English Language Testing System (IELTS-Academic) 
    Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6. Information on test centres and registration can be obtained from IELTS Administrator, https://www.ielts.org/.
  2. Cambridge English: C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
    Minimum overall score of 176 with no band less than 169. Information on test centres and registration can be obtained from Cambridge Assessment English, https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/.
  3. Duolingo English Test
    Minimum overall score of 110. For more information please visit: https://englishtest.duolingo.com/applicants/
  4. Canadian Assessment of English Language (CAEL)
    Minimum overall band score of 70. Information on the CAEL is available at https://www.cael.ca/
  5. Pearson Test of English (PTE)
    Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components. Information on the PTE can be found at: https://pearsonpte.com/Pages/Home.aspx.
  6. Advanced Level, English Language Certificate Program (ELCP)
    The English Language Certificate Program is an intensive academic English program designed to prepare ESL students aged 18 and over for academic study at the undergraduate and graduate level. Classes in grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking help students achieve the advanced level English skill needed to be successful in academic studies. Students who successfully complete the Advanced level earn the University of Guelph Certificate of English Proficiency, which meets the English proficiency requirements for entry into undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber. Applicants are encouraged to have an intermediate English skill level, and an academic goal to study at the University of Guelph.

Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP)

Students may also earn the Certificate of English proficiency by completing the Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP). The Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP) will allow academically qualified international students, who meet the University’s undergraduate admission requirements but have not yet achieved English language proficiency, to complete degree credit courses through the University’s Open Learning program while studying English language courses to achieve the Certificate of English proficiency granted by Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd). The pathway includes a combination of classroom-based and fully online degree course offerings and provides a range of student support. Students with an IELTS 5.5 or TOEFL iBT 56 or equivalent and who satisfy the undergraduate admission requirements may be offered conditional admission to one of the following pathway streams:

  • Bachelor of Arts (all majors) – regular and co-op programs
  • Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management – regular and co-op programs
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Undeclared)
  • Bachelor of Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science (all majors) – regular and co-op programs
  • Bachelor of Science in Agriculture – regular and co-op programs 
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences – regular and co-op programs
  • Successful completion of the degree-credit courses with a 60% cumulative average and successful completion of the English Language courses with a 75% cumulative average will satisfy the conditions of admission to the degree program specified in the original offer letter. Successful students will enter the degree program at the level of second semester after having studied in IAP for three successive semesters. 

    ​To learn more, please visit the website at: https://opened.uoguelph.ca/student-resources/guelph-elp/ or contact Open Learning and Educational Support by email at info@OpenEd.uoguelph.ca  or call 519-767-5000.