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English Proficiency Requirements | Undergraduate Programs

When Proof of English Proficiency is Required

You will be required to present evidence of English Proficiency if:

  • your primary or first language is not English, and
  • you have had less than four years of full-time secondary school or post-secondary study, demonstrating satisfactory academic progress, in an English-language school system.

The University reserves the right to deny admission to you if you 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.
  • You will also be considered as having met the English Proficiency requirement if you completed the International Baccalaureate diploma where English was the language of instruction.

Acceptable English Proficiency Tests

TestCompetence Level
Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP)Successful completion of the University of Guelph’s Open Learning Advanced Level of the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP) (levels 9 and 10) is also considered an acceptable form of testing for English proficiency.
Cambridge English: C1 Advanced and C2 ProficiencyMinimum overall score of 176 with no band less than 169.
Canadian Academic English (CAEL)Paper and Computer-based: Language Assessment Minimum overall band score of 70. 
Duolingo English TestMinimum overall score of 110. Individual subscores may be considered.
International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS - Academic)Paper and Computer-based: Minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6. 
Pearson Test of English (PTE)Minimum overall score of 60 with no score less than 60 in the individual components.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)For both internet-based and home-edition tests: Minimum total score of 89 with no individual scaled score less than 21 

Note: Test scores must be from a test completed within the past two years from the date of submission.

If you contact the Educational Testing Services (ETS), ask to have your TOEFL result sent to Admission Services. The Institution Code for the University of Guelph is 0892. 

Admission Pathways

U of G students sitting on steps

Integrated Admission Pathway (IAP)

IAP is for you if:

  • you are an academically qualified international student,
  • you meet the University’s undergraduate admission requirements,
  • but have not yet achieved English language proficiency.

Through IAP you can complete degree-credit courses through the University’s Open Learning program, and at the same time study English language courses to achieve the Certificate of English proficiency granted by Open Learning and Educational Support (OpenEd). 

The Integrated Admission Pathway includes a combination of classroom-based and fully online degree course offerings and provides a flexible option for admission to the following degree programs at the University of Guelph:

Co-op options included.

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Guaranteed Admission Pathway (GAP)

If your English proficiency and/or grades do not meet admission requirements, you may wish to be considered for the Guaranteed Admission Pathway (GAP). The combination of the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP) and the Open Learning program provides a flexible option for guaranteed admission to our Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts degrees. Save time by completing online courses toward your degree while you are completing your Advanced Certificate. 

To be eligible to begin Open Learning degree-credit courses while completing the advanced level of ELCP, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • Have no previous post-secondary studies.
  • Achieve an overall average of 80% or higher in levels 7 and 8, or levels 8 and 9. 

Note that the GAP may also be done as a stand-alone upgrading program, if you do not meet the minimum admission requirements to your degree/major. 

English Language Certificate Programs

For students who do not meet the English proficiency requirements and want to focus on their English language skills, U of G offers the English Language Certificate Program (ELCP) and the ELCP Advanced Short Program.

Visit U of G's OpenEd website for more information.  

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