English Language Requirements For Undergraduate Admissions

Interested in graduate programs? Visit www.dal.ca/grad to view the requirements. 

Students in Vietnam

Click here for information regarding IELTS and TOEFL test cancellations

We understand that the Vietnamese Ministry of Education suspended all IELTS, TOEFL, and other in-person international language assessments nationwide "pending further investigation" and that this may cause some inconvenience.

The following tests are recognized by our undergraduate admissions team as an online alternative:

TOEFL (At Home)

Minimum score - 90 (iBT) and no lower than 20 in each band

Duolingo English Test

Minimum score of 115, with no sub-score below 95

Additional Considerations

Applicants may apply for conditional admission without English proficiency test results. If academically admissible, you would receive an offer of admission that is conditional upon providing proof of English language proficiency by May 15, 2023.

If you intend on applying using the Study Direct Stream (SDS) for your study permit, an IELTS result WILL be required by IRCC. If you are yet to sit a test, we would recommend applying for conditional admission without one first, as we hope this issue will be resolved soon. If it persists, we will provide updates as they become available.

Meeting the requirement

English is the language of study at Dalhousie; therefore, all applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency.  

Students who have attended a recognized English-based institution for three years at the secondary (high school) level or one year at the post-secondary level are generally considered to have met the requirement.

When proof is required, it can be satisfied through one of the following options:

Option 1: English language testing


Minimum Scores***

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)*

Overall: 6.5

Bands: 6.0

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)**

TOEFL at Home (online)

Overall: 90 

Bands: 20

Duolingo English Test**

Overall: 115

Subscores: 95

Michigan English Test (formerly MELAB)


Canadian Academic English Assessment (CAEL) / CAEL Online**


Pearson Test of English – Academic**

Overall: 61 

Communicative skills scores: 50

C1: Advanced / C2: Proficiency** Overall: 180

* Submit a copy of the IELTS Test Form Report via email after you have submitted your application to international.admissions@dal.ca for verification.

** Request the results be sent to Dalhousie University from the test taker directly.

*** If your test scores are lower than our minimums or you do not have proof of English, you may be offered conditional admission provided you complete another test, or complete an approved English language pathway program (refer to options 2 and 3 below) 

Option 2: Dalhousie English Language Pathway

Learn more about Dalhousie’s English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program at www.dal.ca/els.

English for Academic Purposes

Option 3: Partner English Language Institutions

Students can complete their English language pathway at a partner institution. Click on the logos below to learn more and contact the partner institution directly for more information.

Option 4: International high school programs




International Baccalaureate (IB)


Higher Level English Language A: literature


Language A: language and literature


Higher Level English B: minimum grade of 6


Advanced Placement (AP)

English Examination (Language Composition; Literature and Composition)


General Certificate of Education (GCE) – British Pattern 

GCSE/IGCSE English Language or English Literature



Submitting proof of English proficiency & deadlines

If you plan on sitting an English language test or enrolling through an approved English language pathway program, we anticipate that you will have completed it by a specific date.

Fall (September) entry programs: May 15th for any application received by the application deadline.

Winter (January) entry programs: November 15th for any application received by the application deadline.

If you need to delay your degree program start date, either to sit your language tests or because of your enrollment in an English pathway program, you must request a deferral.

Please contact international.admissions@dal.ca if you have additional questions about meeting the English language requirement for undergraduate admissions