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 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 English Language Proficiency 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. English Language Proficiency Requirement
    English Language Proficiency may be demonstrated by any of the following:
    • 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.
    • 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/admission-information/elp_exempt. 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
      • 93 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 5.5 in each band.
      Website: www.ielts.org
    • Academic Pearson Test of English (PTE), taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 63.
      Website: www.pearsonpte.com
    • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment, taken within the last two years, with a minimum overall score of 70.
      Website: www.cael.ca
  2. Recognized Countries
    Changes to the list of recognized countries will be in effect for Summer 2017 admission.
    For the purposes of administering the English Language Proficiency requirement, the University of Lethbridge recognizes the following as countries where the primary language is English:
Anguilla Jamaica
Antigua Kenya
Australia Lesotho
Bahamas Malta
Barbados Mauritius
Belize Montserrat
Bermuda New Zealand
British Virgin Islands Singapore
Canada St. Kitts and Nevis
Cayman Islands St. Lucia
Dominica St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Falkland Islands Trinidad and Tobago
Fiji Turks and Caicos Islands
Ghana Uganda
Gibraltar United Kingdom
Grenada United States of America
Guam Zambia
Guyana Zimbabwe
Ireland (Republic of)  
  1. The following will be recognized as countries where the primary language is English when the applicant provides documentation indicating that their language of instruction was English:
Bangladesh Nigeria
Barbuda Papua New Guinea
Botswana Samoa
Gambia Sierra Leone
India St. Helena
Liberia South Africa
Namibia Tanzania
  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. Graduate Conditional English Proficiency Admission

    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 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 English Language Proficiency 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 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 semester of admission.

    To be considered for Conditional English Proficiency Admission, the applicant must meet the following criteria:

    1. Have academic qualifications that satisfy the requirements of the graduate program they seek;
    2. Have a minimum score of 5.5 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 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 English Language Proficiency requirement is met by one of the other approved means no later than: August 1 for the fall semester, November 15 for the spring semester, or April 15 for the summer semester.

    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 semester indicated in the offer of admission and begin their graduate program the following semester. Applicants who do not fulfill the language proficiency 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 semester 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.