Study in Canada without IELTS: Everything you Need to Know

Is it possible to study in Canada without IELTS? The country is one of the top destinations when it comes to studying abroad and is one of the best countries to live in after finishing one’s education.

Here’s what we’ll look at this in the article

With relaxed regulations regarding becoming a citizen of the country and/or attending educational institutions there, Canada is a very welcoming country and is the ideal place to go for many students looking to study abroad. What’s more, many Canadian universities have a relaxed approach to admissions as well.

Coming to the IELTS, it’s an important test to have taken while applying to colleges. However, if you haven’t, for any reason, been able to take it and still need to apply to universities, this article will help you.

Is it possible to study in Canada without IELTS?

There are many Canadian universities for which obtaining the IELTS test is not an absolute requirement for gaining admission to the universities. In some of these instances, the Universities offer alternate tests. Some of the others require you to enroll in English courses.

Some do away with the need for one if you have spent at least three years studying in an institution with English as the medium of communication. Let us look at fifteen Canadian universities that don’t require IELTS to apply.

What are the alternative proficiency tests to IELTS?

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a widely used standardized English language test. Students applying to study abroad will know about these tests.

Other similar tests include TOEFL, the new Duolingo English Test, CAE, CAEL, MELAB and some other tests that are aimed at business professionals, diplomats and other working professionals.

IELTS is by far the most popular test with TOEFL hot at its heels. The Duolingo English Test is slowly gaining popularity as well. These tests are designed to certify that the candidate is capable of using the English language proficiently.

15 best universities to study in at in Canada without IELTS

University of Saskatchewan (USask)

The University of Saskatchewan is a public university located in Saskatoon. It’s a top university in the field of medical and doctoral fields with a special emphasis on research-intensive learning.

The University of Saskatchewan is also one of the leading universities in fields of study such as water, food security, and infectious diseases. The university is ranked at the first place in water resources research, making them a global authority in the same.

Instead of applying for IELTS, applicants to The University of Saskatchewan can submit a higher or secondary education certificate that states that English was the medium of instruction in that institution. Students can submit scores from any of the following tests: TOEFL, iBT, CAEL, Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), CAE or the Duolingo English Test.

You can even submit your AP English certificates or if you studied in an IB (International Baccalaureate) school. Finally, you can submit on the completion of the English Language Proficiency program (ELP) available in The University of Saskatchewan Language centre and the University of Regina.

University of Regina

The University of Regina houses sixteen thousand six hundred and sixty-four students. A university that values diversity, the University of Regina is an incredibly welcoming place to study in. A critically acclaimed institution, the University of Regina is amongst the top 50 schools that were established less than 50 years ago.

The University of Regina provides incredible learning opportunities with an emphasis on quality. The experiential learning-based program of the University of Regina is very well structured for the holistic development of students pursuing various careers.

In fact, at the University of Regina, if you are not employed by an industry related to your field of study within six months of graduating, you can return to the university and avail of free undergraduate classes for a duration of one year.

Other than IELTS, you can submit the following test scores at the University of Regina: TOEFL or TOEFL iBT, Duolingo English Test and CAEL. Like the University of Saskatchewan, you can complete the ELP program as well. The program is available at the University of Regina.

University of Winnipeg

The University of Winnipeg boasts a beautiful and dynamic campus in one of the most beautiful Canadian cities. The strong points of the university include small class sizes, great sustainability goals due to their commitment to the environment.

The University is well known for its masters program which covers a wide array of different fields of study which includes many niche and noteworthy subjects of study.

While the University requires the student to prove their English proficiency in some way or another, in some cases it allows students to sign a waiver of the English language requirement. Though this may seem convenient, it happens only under special conditions.

The good thing about applying to The University of Winnipeg is that many different English language requirement test scores are accepted here including the Duolingo English Test as well as TOEFL.

Finally, the added advantage of joining the University of Winnipeg is that it is included in TC Global’s list of best free colleges in Canada. This means that the college has gratuitous scholarships or bursaries, grants, and stipends. Which in turn means that the student in question may well be able to study for free at the University of Winnipeg.

Brandon University

Brandon University, based in Brandon has a range of programs for a student to choose from. Students can opt to study science, arts, health studies, education, or music. The university also offers certificate courses to local professionals who may want to enhance their practical experience.

Brandon also offers great research opportunities. Professors provide international students with academic support in the form of individual attention, helping them to do well in their academics.

Brandon University allows for a number of different English proficiency tests which include TOEFL, The Cambridge Advanced English exam, CAEL etc. Brandon university also has its own test titled English for Academic Purposes (EAP). This test is administered in tiers and of you complete the fourth tier then you will be eligible to study at Brandon.

Though Brandon University is not on TC Global’s list of best free colleges, it has a number of scholarships available to the students who go there. This may be in the form of scholarships, part-time jobs, bursaries, and stipends. Do go through the scholarships awards database on their website in order to pick the right scholarship for yourself.

Brock University

Brock University boasts over nineteen thousand students spread out over seven diverse faculties. Brock is a premiere institution located in the Niagara region of Ontario. Given its location, Brock presents many opportunities for its students to explore the outdoors and expand their horizons.

Furthermore, Brock University focuses on cooperative and service learning methodologies which allow its students to excel at the careers they choose.

Students applying to Brock can submit their TOEFL, Duolingo, Cambridge Advanced English CAEL etc. test scores directly through a portal on their website. Since Brock’s medium of instruction is English this is essential for getting in.

In case you do not clear the requirements set forth by the institution, it will automatically offer that you enroll in programs like the Intensive English Language Program or (IELP) which help you overcome language barriers. After having completed such a program successfully you can enroll in the university.

Cambrian College

Cambrian college boasts three campuses and over nine hundred part-time as well as eighty full-time programs. The focus of Cambrian College is on post-secondary education. This includes postgraduate along with other part-time programs. Cambrian college likes to keep its class sizes small to promote hands-on learning experiences.

Along with the common English proficiency tests like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, etc., Applicants to programs at Cambrian can opt for the English for Academic Purposes Program (EAPP). This program lasts between four and ten months with options to expedite the process as well.

University of Guelph

The University of Guelph, often stylishly referred to as the U of G, is a university that stresses the need for experiential learning. It has more than eighty undergraduate programs and more than a hundred postgraduate programs. The structure of the university includes many flexible and innovative programs that can be tailored to the needs of the student.

Results from standardized tests are required and they accept CAE, TOEFL, TOEFL iBT, and so on. Furthermore, they offer various English Language Programs. An English language certificate from the U of G is sufficient for admission or application purposes.

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa, located in Ontario is a highly acclaimed university that is geared toward research. This Public university offers courses in both French and English. The programs within the university curriculum include a wide variety of subjects.

Everything from law and education to management and engineering is offered at the University of Ottawa. The University of Ottawa has a flexible curriculum and students can often fine-tune their programs on the basis of their interests.

The University of Ottawa accepts various English aptitude test scores including TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE, The Duolingo English Test, CAE, CAEL etc. Again, much like many other universities, The University of Ottawa also has an English Intensive Program (EIP). This can be useful for many international students.

Finally, The University of Ottawa is listed in TC Global’s list of best free colleges in 2022. The University awards several scholarships for various techniques. The President’s Scholarship for International Students is a highly prestigious scholarship idea. It is awarded to one full-time undergraduate student.

Algoma University

Established in 1965, Algoma University was created on the site of the Shingwauk Indian Residential School. As such even its inception began with a cross-cultural encounter.

At Algoma, there is an emphasis on both in-class and outside-class experiences that uphold the value of cross-cultural learning. Algoma has smaller class sizes and is geared toward building a tightly-knit student community. Furthermore, Algoma only offers undergraduate programs.

Algoma University accepts test scores such as TOEFL, CAEL, Cambridge Advanced English, Duolingo English Test etc. Furthermore, they have programs like the English for Academic Purposes Program (EAPP) and Short-Term ESL (English Secondary Language) Program (STEP). Applicants can complete these programs successfully to join Algoma.

Carleton University

Carleton University is one that offers a wide range of programs. It is a university committed to the mission of innovation in research, teaching and learning. Carleton University offers higher learning opportunities in arts, languages, history, philosophy, engineering, law, design, journalism, science, business and more spread out over more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s programs.

Again, Carleton is on TC Global’s list of best free universities to study in Canada. This means that, at Carleton, one can potentially pursue a bachelor’s degree at no cost. This can be achieved by applying to Carleton University entrance awards for international students. This merit-based scholarship program is open to all students and the scholarship award is dependent on the student’s academic record.

Applicants who do not possess an IELTS can submit results from proficiency tests like CAEL, CAEL-CE, TOEFL, TOEFL iBT, PTE-A etc. Having said that, applicants can choose and complete the ESLA 1900 or ESLA 1905 courses. If they obtain a final grade of B- or higher in those courses then they will be able to join the university.

Seneca College

Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology was established in 1967 and have many campuses spread across the Greater Toronto Area and Peterborough. The university has a variety of programmes to choose from for students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Students can also choose to do a part-time or full-time diploma or other short certificate programs to build their skills. Programs of study offered include engineering, liberal arts, fashion, opticianry, animal health, international business, humanities, and even aviation.

International students who wish to study at Seneca College need not write the IELTS exam. Interested students can submit test scores obtained on exams like TOEFL iBT, PTE-A, Cambridge English Exams, CAEL, or Duolingo.

Students who have studied full-time in an institution where English was the primary language of instruction may also show proof of their study there when applying to Seneca College to prove their English proficiency. The University offers programs to help build English skills as well. Students can opt for their intensive English program, offered by the English Language Institute located on the campus.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

The Memorial University of Newfoundland began in 1925 in memory of the Newfoundlanders who had martyred their lives in World War 1. It ranks among the top comprehensive universities in Canada and is the only university in Newfoundland and Labrador.

They have five campuses and offer programs ranging from environmental studies, fine arts, medicine, and engineering, to social work and marine studies. The University is renowned for its Marine Institute and is among the largest marine educational facilities in the world.

At least 40% of the research topics students pursue at the university are related to the ocean and students interested in this field should definitely consider applying to Memorial University.

Interested applicants may demonstrate their English proficiency skills through standardized tests other than IELTS. These include the Cambridge Assessment of English, Canadian Academic English Language Assessment, Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees, Duolingo English Test, Michigan English Test, Pearson Test of Academic English, and TOEFL.

Students who have completed three years of full-time study at a secondary institution with the English language as the medium of instruction or those who have completed 30 credit hours of courses with English instruction at a recognized post-secondary institution need not write a standardized test. Those who wish the study at Memorial University can also opt to take the university’s Intensive English program offers at their Grenfell Campus.

McGill University

McGill University was established in 1821 and is located in Montreal, Quebec. It is one of the top-ranking institutions in the world and is Canada’s best-ranked medical doctoral university. It is also a part of the Association of American Universities, an organization of the top research universities across America, and is a founding member of Universitas 21, an international network of research-intensive institutions.

The University has 50 research centres and has the highest percentage of Ph.D. students among research universities in Canada. It also offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in a variety of fields like business analytics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, anthropology, music, and architecture. McGill University also provides internships so that students gain a better understanding and exposure to their chosen field.

McGill University accepts test scores on standardized tests such as SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement examinations, TOEFL, CPE, CAE, CAEL, DET, and PTE-A. Interested applicants can demonstrate proficiency by obtaining a Certificate of Proficiency in English by completing an English Langauge Program at the University.

Concordia University

Concordia University was established in 1974 and is located in Montreal. It is one of the top universities in Quebec and Canada for domestic and international students. The College is renowned for its commitment to preparing students to tackle societal issues and create a positive impact in the world.

It offers a multidisciplinary approach to research, where scholars from different departments work together. It also offers programs of study in business, arts and science, engineering, computer science, and fine arts.

Concordia University is also another great choice for free universities to study in Canada. International students with good academic records can study at Concordia free of cost by applying for the Presidential Scholarship or the Concordia International Scholars scholarship.

Students who have not written the IELTS can submit test scores on other standardized tests such as TOEFL, CAEL, DET, CPE, and CAE. Students who have completed a minimum of three years of study in a secondary or post-secondary institution where the language of instruction is English will also meet the language requirement.

Students can also demonstrate language proficiency by successfully completing Concordia University’s Advanced 2 level of the Intensive English Education Program (IELP) with a final grade of at least 70%.

Okanagan College

Okanagan College was the first college to be established in British Columbia, in 1906. It has four main campuses and offers a variety of programs in health, tourism, social development, arts, and aviation, among many others.

Okanagan College is known for its program in Sustainable Construction Management Technology, which teaches students building techniques that are sustainable and based on green technologies.

Overall, the University is committed to sustainability and even received the Greenest Post-Secondary Building in Canada in 2016. It also offers programs in apprenticeship and vocational training.

Each program at Okanagan College has its own language requirements but none of them are limited only to IELTS. They accept test scores on the Duolingo test as well. The ESL department at Okanagan College also conducts the Okanagan College English Language Assessment and interested applicants can demonstrate their language proficiency through this test.

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