English Language Proficiency (ELP) for Graduate Students

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Lethbridge. Prior to registration, all applicants to the School of Graduate Studies must demonstrate English Language Proficiency (ELP) sufficient to meet the demands of classroom instruction, written assignments, research, and participation in tutorials and discussions, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin.

The ELP requirement must be met prior to registration in a graduate program (see Graduate Conditional English Proficiency Admission, below). The University reserves the right to use discretion in determining adequate levels of language proficiency to ensure success in academic programs. In all cases, the decision of the School of Graduate Studies shall be final.

  1. Required Documentation

    All proof of English proficiency must be provided on official academic transcripts or standardized test score reports. Standardized test scores must be valid and verifiable.

  2. English Language Proficiency Requirement

    ELP may be demonstrated through successful completion of a baccalaureate or master's degree at a recognized institution in Canada or another country where English is recognized as the primary language (see Recognized Countries, below). The student's work must have been in English.
    OR
    ELP may be demonstrated by any of the following within two years of applying to the University:

    1. Successful completion of a baccalaureate or master's degree at a recognized institution where the language of instruction is English. See www.uleth.ca/ross/admissions/elp_exempt_sgs for a list of recognized institutions. Other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student's work must be in English.

    2. Successful completion of the Advanced Level of the University of Lethbridge English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program.

    3. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL (iBT)), taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 86.

      Website: www.toefl.org (University of Lethbridge Destination Institution (DI) code: 0855)

    4. Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 6.5, and a minimum score of 6.0 in each band.

      Website: www.ielts.org

    5. Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE), taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 63.

      Website: www.pearsonpte.com

    6. Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) assessment, taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 70.

      Website: www.cael.ca

  3. Recognized Countries

    For the purposes of administering the ELP requirement for graduate students, the University of Lethbridge recognizes the following as countries where the primary language is English:

    Anguilla
    Antigua and Barbuda
    Australia
    Bahamas
    Barbados
    Belize
    Bermuda
    Canada
    Cayman Islands
    Dominica
    England
    Falkland Islands
    Fiji
    Ghana
    Gibraltar
    Grenada
    Guam
    Guyana
    Ireland (Northern)
    Ireland (Republic of)

    Jamaica
    Kenya
    Malta
    Mauritius
    Montserrat
    New Zealand
    Nigeria
    St. Helena
    St. Kitts and Nevis
    St. Lucia
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines
    Scotland
    Tanzania
    Trinidad and Tobago
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    United States of America
    Virgin Islands
    Wales
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe

  4. Conditional English Language Proficiency

    Highly-qualified applicants who do not meet the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement may be issued a conditional Offer of Admission.

    Conditional admission allows applicants to apply for a study permit (if necessary) and begin their studies in the University's English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program. Concurrent registration in the EAP program and a graduate program is not permissible. EAP courses are not counted toward graduate program requirements. Upon successful completion of the EAP program, the student will proceed directly into the graduate degree program in the next available term.

    To be considered for Conditional English Proficiency Admission (ELP), the applicant must:

    1. meet the academic requirements of the desired program;
    2. have a minimum score of 6.0 in each band of the IELTS test or a minimum overall score of 80 on the iBT TOEFL, with minimum scores of 16 in each of Listening, Reading, and Speaking, and a minimum score of 18 in Writing; and
    3. be recommended for Conditional English Proficiency Admission by the appropriate graduate Program Committee.

    The applicant must submit results for an IELTS or TOEFL (iBT) exam taken within two years of application to the University. The applicant must also indicate in their Letter of Intent that they are seeking Conditional English Proficiency Admission.
    Applicants admitted via the Conditional English Proficiency Admission route will normally be placed in the Advanced Level of the EAP program, and the University reserves the right to move the applicant to a lower level if deemed necessary.

    Applicants admitted via the Conditional English Proficiency Admission route may be permitted to begin their studies, provided that the ELP requirement is met by another approved means by: August 1 for the fall term, November 15 for the spring term, or April 15 for the summer term.

    Applicants are expected to successfully complete the Advanced Level of the EAP program in the term indicated in their Offer of Admission and begin their graduate program the next available term. Applicants who do not fulfill the ELP requirement during the specified period will have their Offer of Admission rescinded. These applicants may continue in the EAP program and reapply to a graduate program for a future term.

    Students admitted via the Conditional English Proficiency Admission route may not make academic progress or engage in academic research toward their desired University of Lethbridge program before the ELP condition from the Offer of Admission is met. The School of Graduate Studies does not provide any financial support for students while they are enrolled in the EAP program.

    Students admitted via the Conditional English Proficiency Admission route are considered to be full-time students while enrolled in the EAP program.