universities in canada without ielts

Universities in Canada Without IELTS: University doesn't Require IELTS in Canada

Updated on 23 September, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Most English-speaking institutions need IELTSTOEFL, or PTE scores for admission into their academic programs. However, there are several universities in Canada for international students without IELTS scores and have their parameters to assess English proficiency. Do you want to study at the best universities in Canada without  IELTS?

Yes, it is possible to get admitted to universities in Canada without IELTS scores. We will guide you through the whole process of studying in Canada without IELTS. But before that, let us understand the causes for being unable to clear IELTS.

One of the main reasons for not taking or failing the IELTS test is that students have a limited understanding of the requirements of the test. Or they didn’t prepare well. Hence, they did not get the desired score and decided not to appear again. Many students find the IELTS test to be tough or too challenging. However, the most common reason for not taking the test is the high fees for the IELTS test.

What is the IELTS Test?

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. People willing to study or work in English-speaking countries need to take the IELTS test to prove their proficiency in the language. The test is accepted by more than 10,000 organizations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations, and governments in over 140 countries. 

Getting into Canadian Universities Without IELTS 

Many Canadian institutions accept international students into their courses without requiring IELTS scores. Besides IELTS, universities accept many other tests, such as TOEFL or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), apart from their English learning programs.

Following are the ways by which students can be admitted into Canadian universities without IELTS:

  • By submitting an English proficiency certificate issued by the students’ colleges that would state their previous education was in English.
  • By submitting the proof that the student belongs to an English speaking country
  • By registering in the English language course offered by a Canadian university
  • By submitting the scores of alternative English proficiency tests

Alternative English proficiency test:

In case you do not want to take IELTS tests, Canadian universities accept other English proficiency tests. They are:

  • Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Pearson Tests of English (PTE)
  • Duolingo
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment – CAEL, CAEL-CE, CAEL online
  • Cambridge Assessment English (C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency)
  • CanTest by University of Ottawa
  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)
  • Academic English Program for University and College Entry (AEPUCE)

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Which Universities do not require IELTS in Canada?

Though an IELTS score is one of the prerequisites for admission to Canadian universities, not all universities require an IELTS score.

 Listed below are some of the universities in Canada without IELTS

The University of Saskatchewan:

This public university welcomes students from all across the globe every year. The IELTS test is not mandatory for admission into its programs. But students need to prove their English language skills by submitting the following documents:

  • Certificates of Higher Secondary education and higher education studies
  • Completion of standardized tests like TOEFL iBT, CanTEST, CAEL, MELAB, PTE Academic, CAE, and Duolingo English Test
  • Completion of an approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) program by the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre and University of Regina
  • General Certificate of Education of A/AS/AICE Level English
  • Completion of one of the following qualifications:

     - Advanced Placement (AP) English

     - International Baccalaureate (IB) English A1 or A2 Higher Level

     - International Baccalaureate (IB) English B Higher Level

     - GCSE/IGCSE/GCE O-Level English, English Language, or English as a Second

University of Winnipeg:

The University of Winnipeg does not specifically require the IELTS score. This university accepts a host of other English proficiency tests apart from IELTS. However, it is compulsory to produce proof of your proficiency in the English language.

Here are some of the alternatives:

  • Duolingo English Test
  • Cambridge Assessment English: C1 Advanced
  • Cambridge Assessment English: C2 Proficiency
  • CanTest
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
  • Academic English Program for University and College Entrance
  • English Language Program at The University of Winnipeg
  • English Language Program - Part-time Evening Program at The University of Winnipeg

Brock University

This prominent public university in Canada allows students to study without an IELTS score. Students who do not want to take the IELTS test can enroll in their Intensive English Language Program (IELP). This university also accepts the scores of CAEL Assessment, CAE (A1 Advanced), CPE (C2 Proficiency), Duolingo, TOEFL, and PTE. 

University of Regina

The university is located in the capital city of Saskatchewan, Canada. Apart from IELTS, it accepts the scores of many different tests like CAEL, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CanTEST, MELAB, TOEFL, UofR ESL, and Duolingo. Students can also take the ESL Test at the university, but they must complete ESL 050 to qualify.

Carleton University

To study at Carleton University, students need to prove that their previous education was in English and furnish the official transcripts of the last three years of high school, college, or university.

Concordia University

It is not mandatory for students to furnish their IELTS scores. However, there are some criteria that students need to meet to prove their English language proficiency. 

Cambrian College

Cambrian College accepts many other English proficiency tests apart from IELTS like TOEFL, PTE, and Duolingo. Students can also enroll in English for Academic Purposes Program (EAPP) which takes between 4-10 months depending on the level of their expertise. They will be accepted into the Diploma or certificate programs on completion of the EAPP.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

This is one of the largest universities in Canada that offers more than 300 courses. This university offers a vast range of courses in fields like economics, computer science, international business, engineering, etc. The university has more than 18,000 scholars from other parts of the world. Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador has four main and two satellite campuses. It also accepts a host of other tests apart from IELTS like; TOEFL and CAEL. Applicants who do not meet the minimum scores in the proficiency tests can enroll in an Intensive English Program at the university's St. John's or Grenfell campuses. Candidates who have completed an e-proctored English test or an interview will also be accepted.

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How to get a Canadian Student Visa Without IELTS?

International students aspiring to pursue a Bachelor/Diploma/Certificate course in Canada usually require a minimum IELTS score of 6 to 6.5 for immigration. On the other hand, to get admission to Master/Doctoral programs, students require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.  However, if a student wants to get a Canadian student visa without IELTS, they should consider applying to colleges in Canada offering admission without IELTS

As per new rules, confirmation of admission from a Canadian university makes a student qualified for a study visa. Students applying for Canadian student visas without IELTS can submit alternative scores like TOEFL (iBT), Duolingo English test, CAEL etc. There is also an alternative option to IELTS in the form of the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), which is practically an English program conducted by universities within the country. On completing this program, the scores received can be used as a stand-in for tests such as IELTS.

Documents Required for Canada Study Permit without IELTS

Some of the documents that international students opting to study in Canada without IELTS require to submit for a Canadian Study Permit are as follows:

  • English Language Proof: 

Provide an alternative English language test score of IELTS such as TOEFL, CAEL Assessment or Duolingo test or provide proof of having enrolled in an English course at the university (if it is offered by them).

  • Proof of Individuality: 

Valid passport or travel document, two recent passport size photographs with the student’s name and date of birth written at the back of each photo.

  • Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS): 

Proof of getting admission to a specific university for a program accepting students without IELTS. 

  • Proof of Financial Support: 

Provide relevant documents that support the fact that the student has enough money to fund themselves to study in Canada. It can be a bank statement, educational loan, or scholarship; all these documents prove financially stable to study in Canada.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I study in Canada without IELTS?

Yes, you can study in Canada without IELTS, but it is better to skip taking the IELTS only if you are ready to fulfill other requirements. Be it getting an admission to a university or securing a student visa, you will need to prove your English proficiency in some way or the other.

Q. Is IELTS compulsory for Canada?

No, IELTS is not compulsory to study in Canada. However, it is necessary to check the requirements of your desired university and decide which alternative path you want to take to prove your proficiency in English.

Q. Can one get a scholarship in Canada without IELTS?

It is possible to get a full-funded scholarship to study in Canada without IELTS. Some popular scholarships without IELTS offered by universities are The University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders, Ontario Trillium, Concordia University Entrance Scholarships, and University of Regina International Entrance Scholarship.

Q. Can one do a Ph.D. in Canada without IELTS?

IELTS score is one of the prerequisites for studying at a Canadian university. Some institutions like the University of Saskatchewan, Brock University, Carleton University, University of Winnipeg, University of Regina, Memorial University, and Concordia University offer admission to IELTS for Ph.D. in Canada.

Q. Is IELTS compulsory for Canada?

IELTS is not compulsory to get admission to a university in Canada or apply for a student visa. However, the applicant needs to furnish either some alternative English language proficiency test scores or prove that they completed their previous education in English or by registering in the English language course offered by a Canadian university. 

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