Canadian universities without IELTS
A number of Canadian universities are accepting international students without IELTS in 2023. Source: Cole Burston/AFP

No IELTS? No problem. There are a number of Canadian universities without IELTS requirements.

Canada is considered to be one of the top study abroad destinations, home to over 223 public and private universities and almost 15,000 study programmes.

In the last few years, the country has seen a significant growth of 69.8% in international students

Apart from great teaching and great quality of life, many are drawn by the prospect of not having to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

This globally recognised language assessment exam is used by universities to assess the language skills of potential international students.

However, many Canadian universities without IELTS offer alternative ways to prove how well you read, speak, write and listen in English.

You can provide scores from tests such as TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, or PTE. Some unis only ask for proof of studying in an English medium school for at least five years. 

Here are five Canadian universities without IELTS requirements: 


At these Canadian universities without IELTS requirements, international students can show proof of English language proficiency in lots of other ways. Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

The University of Saskatchewan 

The University of Saskatchewan is ranked the 17th best university in Canada in the QS World University Rankings 2023.

It offers over 130 programmes through 13 constituent colleges, six affiliated colleges, and three graduate schools.

Here, international students are exempted from providing IELTS scores. 

English language skills can be proven through TOEFL, CanTest, Duolingo English Test (DET), and CAEL Assessment.

However, if none of these requirements is met, students can still get admitted by completing the English for Academic Purposes programme at the University’s Language Centre first.

Concordia University

Situated in Montreal, Quebec, Concordia University is one of the nation’s top universities, having been ranked the #1 university in North America for two consecutive years.

IELTS is not a requirement for international students here. 

However, students must meet the minimum English language proficiency required for admission.

There are many ways that this can be proven, such as TOEFL, DET, CAEL, CAE, CPE, and PTE.

Students may also be exempted from providing an IELTS score if they have completed the Quebec Diploma of Collegial Studies (DEC).

If none of these is applicable to you, the university offers an Intensive English Language Programme (IEP).

Once you have attained a final grade of 70%  or higher for the Advanced Two Level of the IEP, you will meet Concordia University’s English language proficiency requirements.

More details on the IEP programme can be found here.


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Cambrian College 

Similar to Concordia University, Cambrian College is among Canadian universities without IELTS requirements.

The university is renowned as one of the top universities in Northern Ontario and is one of the cheapest for international students.

To replace IELTS, the university accepts a number of other English proficiency tests. This includes TOEFL, PTE and Duolingo. 

International students can also enrol in the English for Academic Purposes Programme (EAPP).

The course can be completed between four to 10 months, and students will be accepted into a programme upon completion.

To find out more about EAPP, click here

Memorial University of Newfoundland 

With over 300 courses to offer, the Memorial University of Newfoundland is one of the largest universities in Canada.

Students can choose from various programmes, including economics, computer science, international business, and engineering.

The best part is that international students are not required to present IELTS scores to enrol here.

This waiver is applicable for undergraduate, master’s and PhD students. 

As an alternative, the school accepts English language proficiency results from TOEFL and CAEL.

However, if the minimum scores for these tests are not met, students can enrol in the Intensive English Programme offered.

Upon completion, students will be accepted into the university.

University of Winnipeg 

While it is compulsory for students to show proof of English language proficiency when applying to the University of Winnipeg, this is not limited to IELTS.

Students who cannot produce IELTS scores are in luck as the university accepts a number of alternatives.

This can come from tests such as the Duolingo English Test, Cambridge Assessment English, CanTest, Canadian Academic English Language Assessment, Pearson Test of English and Academic English Programme for University and College Entrance. 

The University of Winnipeg also offers an English Language Programme to help you get up to speed with mastering your English proficiency to meet your language needs.

Students can choose to finish this on a full-time or part-time basis. This will lead to admission into a course offered by the university.

More information about the programme can be found here