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.
- 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.
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.
Within two years prior to application, ELP may be demonstrated by any of the following:
Successful completion of a baccalaureate or master's degree at a recognized institution where the language of instruction is English. For a list of recognized institutions, see www.uleth.ca/ross/admissions/elp_exempt_sgs. Other institutions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The student's work must have been in English.
Successful completion of the Advanced Level of the University of Lethbridge English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), taken within the last two years, with minimum scores of:
580 on the paper-based TOEFL* and 5.0 on the Test of Written English (TWE); or
86 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT).
Website: www.toefl.org (University of Lethbridge Destination Institution (DI) code: 0855)
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 of 6.0 in each band.
Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE), taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 63.
Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment, taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 70.
*Effective October 14, 2019, the paper-based TOEFL will no longer be accepted
Spoken English Language Proficiency
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:
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Ireland (Republic of)
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United State of America
Conditional English Language Proficiency
The University of Lethbridge may extend a conditional Offer of Admission to highly-qualified graduate applicants who do not meet the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement for admission to graduate programs. This policy is intended to facilitate admission of academically qualified, degree-seeking students who have not satisfied the minimum ELP Requirement, but are being considered for admission by a graduate program.
Conditional admission allows students to apply for a study permit (if necessary) and begin their studies in the University's English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program (see English for Academic Purposes (EAP), p. 79) only. Concurrent registration in an EAP program and graduate program is not permissible nor is it permissible to complete graduate program requirements. Upon successful completion of the prescribed terms of study in the EAP program, the student will proceed directly into the graduate degree program in the next term of admission.
To be considered for Conditional English Proficiency Admission (ELP), the applicant must meet the following criteria:
- Have academic qualifications that satisfy the requirements of the graduate program they seek.
- 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.
- Be recommended for Conditional English Proficiency Admission by a graduate Program Committee.
The applicant must submit results for an IELTS or iBT TOEFL exam taken within the last two years and 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, though 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 in the graduate program, provided that the ELP requirement is met by one of the other approved means no later than: August 1 for the fall term, November 15 for the spring term, or April 15 for the summer term.
In accepting an offer of Conditional English Proficiency Admission to a graduate program, the applicant is expected to successfully complete the Advanced Level of the EAP program in the term indicated in the Offer of Admission and begin their graduate program the following intake. Applicants who do not fulfill the ELP requirement during the specified period will have their Offer of Admission to a graduate program rescinded. Such students may choose to continue in the EAP program and reapply for admission to a graduate program for the next term of admission.
Students admitted via the Conditional English Proficiency Admission route may not make academic progress toward their graduate degree or engage in academic research before fulfilling the ELP condition of the Offer of Admission. 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 EAP students while continuously enrolled in the EAP program.