IELTS Score Requirements for Canada’s Top Universities

IELTS Requirements in Canada - magoosh

Canada has over 500,000 international students, ranking as one of the most popular country in the world for overseas students who want to pursue their university education abroad.This is not surprising, considering Canada’s top two universities (University of British Columbia and University of Toronto) are ranked within the global top 100 of the 2021 US News & World Report Rankings, with a further eight in the top 300.

Therefore, if you are looking to study at an elite university, in one of the world’s most developed nations, applying to study in Canada can be an attractive option. Would you like to be one of these international students?

Well, now is the time to apply, as schools are actively recruiting the best and the brightest to study there over the next few years in a bid to double their international student numbers by 2022. However, to be considered you will need to have the right English proficiency requirements for each. Let’s take a look at the top 4 universities in Canada and find out the IELTS scores required for each.

1. University of Toronto

Ranked 17th in the world, the University of Toronto is Canada’s top-ranked university, located in Canada’s largest city. Its specialist degree programs include literary criticism, communication and theory. They are also known for their range of research innovations, including being the birthplace of insulin and stem cell research.

  • Proficiency in the English language must be demonstrated by all applicants educated outside Canada whose primary language is not English. This is a requirement of admission and should be met before application, but must be met before the deadline to register.
  • Test results that are older than two years at the time of application cannot be accepted. In these circumstances, the applicant must retake the English-language proficiency test.

2. University of British Columbia

Over on the west coast, the University of British Columbia ranks 31st in the world and is home to about 55,000 students (about 18,000 of whom are international students) at its campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna.

  • Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application.
  • Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
  • A minimum overall band score of 6.5 is required with a minimum score of 6.0 in each component of the academic (NOT general) IELTS test.
  • Individual graduate programs may require higher English language proficiency scores, and may require minimum scores on individual components of the test. Please check individual program websites to verify English language score requirements.

3. McGill University

Ranked 51st in the world, McGill University is the third highest ranking university in Canada. Based in Montreal, the university has nearly 10,000 international students from over 150 countries. If you are looking for a medical-doctoral university then this is the school for you, as Macleans has named McGill first in Canada in this area.

  • International students wanting to study here as undergraduates will need an overall IELTS band score of 6.5 or better and individual component scores of 6.0 or better on the Academic version. Graduate studies also require a 6.5 IELTS score, with the additional requirement of 6.0 per individual section. Note that some graduate programs may have higher requirements; electrical and computer engineering, for example, requires an overall score of 7.0 or higher. Check with the program you’re applying to to be sure.
  • For graduate admissions, the regular Academic test and the test for UKVI are both accepted.
  • McGill no longer accepts paper IELTS score reports, so you’ll want to make sure that your IELTS results can be sent to McGill electronically.

4. McMaster University

Ranked 133rd in the world in the US News and World Report this year, McMaster University is particularly well-respected for its health and science courses; it actually has one-fifth of Albert Einstein’s brain in its collections!

  • Some graduate programs at McMaster University may have higher-than-standard IELTS requirements. So be sure to check with your program of interest before applying for graduate studies at this university.
  • Fulfillment of the listed requirements does not guarantee admission, and McMaster may ask for more proof of English proficiency. Even if the English standards are met, McMaster University reserves the right to use discretion in determining language proficiency. This is particularly true if your test scores are much higher than your grades in English prerequisite courses.

By the way, improve your IELTS score with Magoosh!

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  • Gwendolyn

    Gwendolyn is our expert blogger on IELTS. She has experience in preparing students for the IELTS exam and is currently in South Korea teaching English as a Second Language. When not blogging, you are most likely to find her on an airplane, striving to obtain membership in the Traveler’s Century Club, something she’s just about as passionate about as helping students achieve their life dreams.