English Language Proficiency (ELP)

The English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement applies to all applicants to undergraduate programs whose first language is not English, regardless of citizenship or country of origin.

Note: The following policies do not apply to Audit, Visiting or Exchange Students. Applicants to Nursing must also meet a Spoken English Proficiency requirement (see Part 10 - Faculty of Health Sciences in the University of Lethbridge Calendar).

Proof of English Language Proficiency must be provided prior to admission. Acceptable evidence of ELP may be any one of:

  • Successful completion of the Advanced Level, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at the University of Lethbridge (see Part 6 - International Students, Section 3.b., UofL Calendar).
  • Most recent official TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score (UofL institutional code is 0855), taken within the last two years. Any one of:
    • a score of at least 550 on the paper-based test and a TWE (Test of Written English) score of at least 4 .0 ,
    • a score of at least 80 on the iBT TOEFL, with scores of at least 16 on each of Listening, Reading and Speaking and a score of at least 18 on Writing.

    Website: http://www.toefl.org

  • Most recent official Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score, taken within the last two years, with
    • an overall score of at least 6.0, and
    • at least 6.0 in each band.

    Website: http://www.ielts.org

  • Most recent official Academic PTE (Pearson Test of English) score, taken within the last two years, with an overall score of at least 54.
  • Most recent official CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) Assessment score of 60 or higher, taken within the last two years, with scores of at least 50 on each of Listening, Reading, and Speaking and with a score of at least 60 on the Writing band.
    Website: http://www.cael.ca
  • Most recent CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) score of at least ‘C’.
    Website: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/cae/index.html
  • Most recent CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) score of at least ‘C’.
    Website: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/cpe/index.html
  • Most recent MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) score of at least 80 with no component less than 76, and including the Speaking test.
    Website: http://www.cambridgemichigan.org/melab
  • A grade of 75 percent or higher in the Alberta English Language Arts 30-1 diploma examination.
  • A final grade of 80 percent or higher in English Language Arts 30-1 or its equivalent from any province in Canada.
  • A passing grade in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program which is accepted as a means of satisfying ELP by another recognized Canadian university, and whose ELP requirement is at least as demanding as is that of the University of Lethbridge.
  • A passing grade in an EAP program approved by the Assistant Registrar (Admissions).

In the absence of contradictory evidence, the English Language Proficiency requirement may be waived for applicants who have completed at least three consecutive years of full-time study in a recognized institution where the language of instruction is English. These studies must include satisfactory completion of English Language Arts 30-1, or its equivalent, or at least two transferable semester courses in English. These studies must precede admission by not more than two years.

Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to provide satisfactory evidence that the language of instruction was in English; examples of acceptable evidence include an official letter from the teaching institution or statements from the institution’s official Calendar/Catalogue, as well as standardized test results such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc. Applicants who are uncertain regarding the status of their qualifications with respect to this policy should contact the Admissions Office for further information.

The English Language Proficiency Requirement will be waived for applicants educated in the following countries:

Anguilla Jamaica
Antigua Kenya
Australia Lesotho
Bahamas Malta
Barbados Mauritius
Belize Montserrat
Bermuda New Zealand
British Virgin Islands Singapore
Cayman Islands St. Kitts and Nevis
Dominica St. Lucia
Falkland Islands St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Fiji Trinidad and Tobago
Ghana Turks and Caicos Islands
Gibraltar Uganda
Grenada United Kingdom
Guam United States of America
Guyana Zambia
Ireland Zimbabwe


Applicants educated in the following countries are required to supply documentation indicating that the language of instruction was English:

Bangladesh Nigeria
Barbuda Papua New Guinea
Botswana Samoa
Gambia Sierra Leone
India St. Helena
Liberia South Africa
Namibia Tanzania


A list of ELP exempt universities from the countries listed above is provided at www.uleth.ca/ross/admission-information/elp_exempt.

Waivers are not automatically granted: Waivers may not be granted, or may be revoked, if contradictory evidence exists. Examples of contradictory evidence are low TOEFL scores, low grades on an English-based course, or significant communication difficulties.

Individual circumstances will be reviewed by the Assistant Registrar (Admissions) whose decision shall be final.

Special arrangements will be made for students attending the University under an approved exchange program.