5 Canadian Colleges for Non-IELTS Students

5 canadian universities to apply without ielts

Last Updated On : March 16 , 2024

For international students aspiring to pursue higher education in Canada, there are various pathways available to study without the necessity of an IELTS score. While IELTS remains a widely accepted standard for English proficiency, several Canadian colleges and top Canadian universities offer alternatives to accommodate diverse linguistic backgrounds.

One alternative route is to provide evidence of completing at least five years of education in an English-medium school, which may exempt students from the IELTS requirement

Students can opt for other recognized English proficiency tests such as TOEFL or PTE Academic, both widely accepted by Canadian universities.

In certain instances, higher education Canada may waive the English language proficiency requirement for students who have completed a minimum of four years of education in an English-medium school prior to applying for a degree in Canada which offers international students greater accessibility to pursue higher education in Canada without the need for additional language proficiency tests.

For international students seeking to study in Canada without an IELTS score, several esteemed Canadian colleges and universities offer opportunities for admission.

Top 5 Universities for Study Permit without IELTS

These institutions include top Canadian universities renowned for their commitment to providing quality higher education.

  1. McGill University
  2. University of Saskatchewan
  3. University of Winnipeg
  4. Brock University
  5. University of Regina

1) McGill University

Let's explore the intricacies of enrolling at McGill University in Canada sans the necessity of an IELTS test.

Programs Offered:

McGill University presents a wide array of postgraduate programs spanning various fields, making it an ideal university to study for international students. Whether interested in engineering, social sciences, health sciences, or any other discipline, McGill offers a diverse academic landscape, catering to a wide range of interests and aspirations.

Language Requirements:

  • Whilst IELTS serves as a prevalent language proficiency examination, there exist alternative avenues to showcase one's English language proficiency. Here are some options:
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) IBT: A minimum overall score of 86, with no less than 20 in each of the four component scores.

Application Process:

When seeking a study permit at McGill, it is prudent to consider the following:

  • IRCC Secure Account (GCKey): Utilise this avenue if residing within Canada and applying for an extension of the current study permit.
  • Under the IRCC secure account, students can maintain their status even post the expiry of their study permit.

(Additionally, this method is advisable for first-time applicants within Canada who are eligible to do so.)

  • IRCC Portal: Opt for this route when applying for a study permit from outside Canada without any accompanying dependents.

It’s worth noting that as of June 27, 2023, eligible workers have the opportunity to study in Canada sans a study permit. Therefore, prospective students should explore their options and embark on their academic pursuit at McGill University!

2) University of Saskatchewan:

Let's explore the intricacies of enrolling at University of Saskatchewan in Canada sans the necessity of an IELTS test.

Programs Offered:

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) provides a wide array of programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels, attracting international students seeking higher education in Canada. From arts, sciences, engineering, to business and more.

USask is renowned for its research excellence, with distinguished alumni and faculty members boasting Nobel Prizes, Rhodes scholarships, and Olympic medals.

Language Requirements:

While classes at USask are primarily conducted in English, alternative pathways for admission exist for those who do not meet the minimum IELTS requirements:

  • Language Centre Programs: For individuals with inadequate English proficiency, admission can still be obtained through enrolment in Language Centre programs. These initiatives offer opportunities to enhance English skills.
  • Exchange Programs: Students currently pursuing degrees can explore the option of studying at USask as exchange students. Under this scheme, tuition fees are paid at the home institution while experiencing a term or academic year in Canada.

Application Process:

  • In response to the recent announcement by the Government of Canada (dated January 22), prospective students applying for study permits will need to provide an attestation letter from the province of study.
  • USask awaits further guidance from the Government of Saskatchewan on this matter, expected to be implemented by March 31, 2024. Interested applicants should monitor USasks website for updates once the process is formalised.

3) University of Winnipeg:

Let's dissect the details of pursuing studies at the University of Winnipeg in Canada without the necessity of an IELTS test.

Programs Offered:

Explore a diverse range of academic programs at the University of Winnipeg across various disciplines, catering to international students interested in higher education in Canada.

Language Requirements:

Though the University of Winnipeg doesn’t mandate the IELTS score, proof of English proficiency remains essential. Consider the following options:

  • English Medium Education: Completion of at least 5 years of education in an English-speaking institution.
  • From an English-Speaking Country: Proof of nationality or residency from an English-speaking country.
  • English Language Course: Enrol in the University’s English Language Program (ELP) as an alternative to IELTS.
  • Alternative English Proficiency Tests: Explore other accepted tests like Cambridge Assessment English: C1 Advanced and Duolingo English Test.

Application Process:

Follow these steps for application:

1) Choose Your Program.

2) Check Eligibility, including language proficiency requirements.

3) Submit Documents, including the English language proficiency certificate.

4) Apply Online through the University of Winnipeg’s official website.

5) Await Admission Decision.

4) Brock University:

Let’s unravel the information regarding studying at Brock University in Canada without the need for an IELTS test.

Programs Offered:

Brock University offers a diverse array of academic programs across various fields, attracting international students seeking higher education in Canada.

Language Requirements:

Brock University stands out as one of the top 5 universities for study permits without requiring an IELTS test. While IELTS is accepted, it’s not mandatory for all applicants. Various alternative language proficiency options are available, ensuring accessibility for international students.

Application Process:

The application process for Brock University involves.

  • Selecting your desired program
  • Meeting eligibility criteria, including language proficiency requirements
  • Submitting necessary documents
  • Applying online through the university’s official website
  • Await the admission decision post-application.

Table (IELTS Alternative Language/Score required)

Test Name

Minimum Score Requirement


Overall score of 88


Overall score of 70

PTE Academic or Online

Overall score of 60

Can Test for Scholars

Overall score of 4.5

Cambridge Assessment English

A score of 176 or above

5) University of Regina

Let's delve into the process of studying at the University of Regina in Canada without requiring an IELTS test.

Programs Offered:

University of Regina offers a diverse array of undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) programs across arts, sciences, engineering, business, and more, fostering an inclusive environment for international students.

Language Requirements:

While IELTS scores are often required, the University of Regina accepts alternative English proficiency tests. Options include:

  • TOEFL: Achieve a TOEFL Paper score of 525 or a TOEFL iBT score of 70.
  • Duolingo: Score between 95 and 105.
  • CAEL: Attain a CAEL score of 50.

Additionally, completion of ESL(English as a Second Language) 050 enables students to take the ESL Test at the university.

Application Process:

To apply without IELTS, follow these steps:

  1. Proof of English Medium Education: Submit evidence of at least 5 years of education in English.
  2. English-Speaking Country: Provide proof of nationality if from an English-speaking country.
  3. English Language Course: Enrol in an English language course offered by the University of Regina.
  4. Alternative Tests: Submit scores from the mentioned alternative English proficiency tests.

IELTS Alternative Language Scores:

Below is a summary table for the required scores.


Score Required









Keep in mind, if your stay in Canada exceeds 6 months for study purposes, acquiring a Study Permit is necessary, Head to Paul Abraham Immigration Consulting (PAIC) for guidance on determining your study permit requirements.

IELTS Alternatives for Canada Study Visa

For individuals aspiring to study in Canada, there are several alternatives to the IELTS exam that are accepted for Canadian study visa applications, such as TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, CAEL, PTE, and CELPIP. Each of these proficiency tests offers candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their English language skills, making them eligible for admission to universities and colleges across Canada.

Additionally, understanding the PTE vs IELTS comparison and potential exemption for IELTS can further streamline the application process for prospective students.

TOEFL: Accepted by many Canadian institutions, the TOEFL evaluates English proficiency through reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections.

Duolingo English Test: This online test assesses English language skills in real-world contexts, offering a convenient and accessible option for candidates.

CAEL: The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment evaluates proficiency in academic English, covering speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills.

PTE: The Pearson Test of English (PTE) evaluates English language skills through computer-based assessments, providing quick and reliable results.

CELPIP: The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) assesses English proficiency for immigration, citizenship, and academic purposes, including study visa applications for Canada.

Why International Students Prefer Canada To Other Countries

With opportunities to study abroad without IELTS, Canada offers a welcoming environment for international students looking to pursue higher education. Explore the various options available to study without IELTS, opening doors to a fulfilling academic journey in Canada.

  • Quality of Life and Safety: Canada's high standard of living and commitment to human rights make it an appealing choice for international students.
  • Cultural Diversity: With over 250 ethnic origins and 200 languages spoken, Canada offers a welcoming environment both inside and outside the classroom.
  • High-Quality Education: Canadian universities consistently rank among the best globally, providing top-notch education and research opportunities.
  • Flexibility: Enjoy the freedom to transfer between different types and levels of education seamlessly, with 8,000 colleges and 16,000 university programs to choose from.
  • Affordability and Work Opportunities: Benefit from lower tuition fees compared to other popular study destinations and access scholarships and work opportunities to support your education.
  • Long-Term Return on Investment: Internationally recognized Canadian qualifications pave the way for future success, with 60% of international students securing landed immigrant status within 10 years.
  • Memorable Adventures: Experience the richness of Canadian culture, social life, and diverse landscapes throughout all four seasons, whether in urban or rural settings.
  • Language Options: Study in either English or French, from kindergarten through postgraduate studies, for a truly immersive learning experience.


For those considering studying in Canada, numerous pathways exist to obtain a study permit without the need for an IELTS score. With alternatives like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, CAEL, PTE, and CELPIP, international students can showcase their English proficiency effectively. Whether pursuing a master's or PhD degree, Canadian universities offer flexibility and accessibility. Embrace the opportunity to embark on a fulfilling academic journey in Canada, where quality education meets cultural diversity and memorable adventures.


USask offers various alternatives to the traditional IELTS examination for assessing language proficiency, including TOEFL, CanTest, Duolingo English Test (DET), and CAEL Assessment. International students can explore these options to demonstrate English proficiency and secure admission to the University of Saskatchewan, positioning themselves for a fulfilling academic journey in Canada.
You need to achieve a minimum overall band score of 6.5 in IELTS Academic. Alternatively, you can opt for Cambridge Assessment English: C1 Advanced, where you need to maintain a minimum score of 180.