As English is the primary language of instruction at University of Victoria, all applicants, regardless of country of origin or citizenship status, will be required to demonstrate competence in the English language prior to admission in one of the following ways:
- completion of four years of secondary and/or post-secondary education in which the primary language of instruction is English, in one of the following countries: Anguilla, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Kenya, Jamaica, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Swaziland, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- completion of a recognized degree program from an accredited university in which the primary language of instruction is English, in one of the countries listed in the paragraph above
- completion of grade 12 English or its equivalent in Canada with a grade of 86% or higher within the last three years prior to admission
- a score of 86% or higher on the BC grade 12 English Provincial Examination within the last three years prior to admission
- completion of 1.5 or more units of transfer credit for university-level English (ENGL) courses
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)* with a score of 575 or higher on the paper-based test, or 90 or higher on the internet-based test with no less than 20 out of 30 in any of the Reading, Listening, Writing, or Speaking sections
- Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)* with a score of 90 or higher
- International English Language Testing System (Academic IELTS)* with an overall band score of 6.5 or higher (with no individual component less than 6.0)
- Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)* with a score of 70 or higher and no subtest result below 60
- University of Victoria University Admission Preparation (UAP) course with a score of 80% or higher
- a score of Level 6 on the Language Proficiency Index (LPI)
- a score of 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement Exam in English Language and Composition
- a score of 4 or higher on IB Higher Level English
* Tests taken more than two years prior to application will not be considered.
Other tests may be considered on an individual basis following a review of the test by Undergraduate Admissions and a valid test score similar to the level required for the TOEFL as determined by Undergraduate Admissions. Documentation must be received no later than May 31st to be considered for September entry.
English Proficiency: Exchange Students
Applicants participating in a formal exchange program must demonstrate English language proficiency adequate for successful participation in the program. The level of proficiency and the manner in which it will be demonstrated will be stated in the exchange agreement approved by the University.
Students in exchange programs who later apply for regular admission to the University must at that time meet all admission requirements and demonstrate English language proficiency as defined above.
English Proficiency: Visiting Students
Visiting students whose first language is not English and who have not studied in Canada or another English-speaking country for four recent academic years in an acceptable program from an approved secondary or post-secondary institution must demonstrate English language proficiency as outlined above.
Conditional and Preliminary Offers of Admission
NOTE: This option is only available to students who are applying to undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Fine Arts (the History in Art Program only), or the Faculty of Engineering.
International students who are evaluated as being academically admissible to their program but are not yet able to successfully demonstrate English language proficiency (i.e. low TOEFL or IELTS score) may still be considered.
Depending on the score submitted, there are two options availalble:
Conditional Admission -- Minimum TOEFL 79/IELTS 6.0
If you have a TOEFL score of at least 79 with at least 17 on each subsection (550 on the paper-based test) or an IELTS overall band score of 6.0 with no individual component less than 5.5, you may be offered conditional admission.
If given conditional admission, you will be permitted to register for your degree courses during the usual registration time period, but are expected to provide sufficient proof of language proficiency prior to the first day of classes for the entry point to which you have been admitted. Proof of language proficiency must be demonstrated by submitting the required score on any one of the tests listed above OR you may also choose to attend our English Language Centre to complete the UAP course with a score of 80% or higher.
Preliminary Admission -- Minimum TOEFL 71/IELTS 5.5
If you have a TOEFL score of at least 71 (530 on the paper-based test) or an IELTS score of 5.5, you may be offered preliminary admission.
If given preliminary admission, you will have up to 12 months to provide sufficient proof of language proficiency at which time you will then be permitted to register in degree courses. Proof of language proficiency must be demonstrated by submitting the required score on any one of the tests listed above. You may also choose to attend an ESL program at our English Language Centre and work toward completing the UAP course with a score of 80% or higher. You will be tested on your first day of the program and placed in the correct level according to your proficiency.
NOTE: It is not possible to consider you for this option if academic coursework is still in progress. Final official transcripts must be submitted first.
What is the University Admission Preparation (UAP) program?
The UAP program is an English language program offered through the English Language Centre at the University of Victoria. The University Admission Preparation course (UAP) is the highest level in the 12-week ELPI program. Successful completion of the course at 80% of higher satisfies the English Language Proficiency requirement for entry into UVic undergraduate and graduate programs.
The UAP is designed to prepare you for study in an English-speaking university. The course improves your research, writing, and seminar skills and introduces you to the level of English required to succeed in regular credit courses. The UAP provides the skills you need as a non-native speaker to participate with confidence in an academic setting.
Further information about the application process, program dates and cost can be obtained by contacting the English Language Centre.
Tel: (250) 721-8469