Academics

Language Requirements for International Applicants

Applicant’s whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting one of the following documents:

  1. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of 3* years of full time instruction in English from an exempted country (listed below).
    * 2 years if the degree was part of a 2+2 exchange program, completed in Canada.
  2. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized graduate degree from an accredited institution from an exempted country (listed below).
  3. An official transcript showing successful completion of a recognized degree from an accredited institution, from a country not on the exemption list below, with a minimum of 3 years of full time instruction in which the language of instruction for the program is solely English.  In this case a certified letter, from the Registrar or equivalent university official, verifying English is the sole language of instruction for the program is also required.
  4. An official score report for one of the following English Language Proficiency Tests.  The minimum standards for admission to the University are listed below.  The following programs have requirements greater than those listed below (see the individual graduate program descriptions for details): Master of Applied Economics, Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation, MBA, PhD Business Administration (Management), MA and PhD IDS, and PhD Applied Science.
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    - minimum 550 on paper-based
    - minimum iBT 80, with no band below 20
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – minimum 6.5 with no individual score below 6.0
  • CanTEST – minimum 4.5 with no individual score below 4.0
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) – minimum 60 with no individual band below 50
  • University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) with grade of A, B or C
  • Pearson PTE score of 58
  • English for Academic Purposes Level 6 administered by the Language Centre at Saint Mary’s University

Click here for a list of the Minimum acceptable IELTS and TOEFL scores listed by program.

In exceptional circumstances, the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research reserves the right to request an official English Language Proficiency Test.

Official test score reports must be sent directly to the University by the testing agency.  Scores older than two years are not acceptable.  All scores must be from one exam date, not to be combined with other exam dates.

PLEASE NOTE:  University English Preparation courses from another institution are not acceptable proof of language ability and will not satisfy the University’s English language proficiency requirement for admission.

Exempted Countries Include:  Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, England, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland,  Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Baker Island, Chatham Islands, Cook Islands, Line Islands, Marianas Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Pitcairn Islands, Solomon Islands), Panama Canal Zone, Republic of Ireland, Ryukyu Islands, Scotland, Seychelles, Singapore, St. Helena, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uganda, United States of America, US Virgin Islands, Wales, Zambia, Zimbabwe.