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English language requirements

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English language proficiency

Dalhousie graduate programs require students to have a high level of English language proficiency to be successful. To ensure you possess the language skills necessary to thrive, we ask all students who speak English as an additional language to demonstrate their abilities through a language competency test.

It is possible to have this requirement waived if you completed your degree at a recognized university where the language of instruction is English and in a country where English is one of the official languages. You will be able to request this waiver during the application process. 

Minimum test scores

The Faculty of Graduate Studies accepts a wide range of ESL tests for admissions up to two years after completion. We also accept the completion of the Dalhousie English Language Studies Department course, English for Academic Purposes - Level 2

Some programs require higher ESL test scores than the minimums required by the Faculty of Graduate Studies that are listed below. Visit our Graduate Programs page to learn your program's specific requirements and contact your program before you apply if you are unsure of what is needed for admission.

Dalhousie English Language Studies Department course: 
English for Academic Purposes - Level 2
Minimum acceptable score: Overall grade of A- for the course.

TOEFL iBT (In-person, online and at-home edition)
Minimum acceptable score: 92

C1-level and 4-skills test required
64 (with no skills area below 53)

IELTS (Academic, in-person and online)
Minimum acceptable score: 7

CAEL (In-person and online)
Minimum acceptable score: 70 with no band score lower than 60

Pearson English Test PTE Academic
Minimum acceptable score: Overall score of 65 and nothing below 54