English Language Proficiency

The ELP requirement is designed to ensure that you have the best opportunity for success in your university studies. To apply to undergraduate programs you must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency (ELP) prior to admission, regardless of citizenship or country of origin. 

Your primary language is defined as the language in which you are most proficient. It is your language of instruction in the last three years of formal study as well as the language you use at home for daily written and oral communication.

If your primary language is English you meet the English language proficiency (ELP) requirement. All other applicants must demonstrate fulfillment of ELP by presenting the appropriate requirements for their program and admission intake.

MacEwan University reserves the right to use discretion to determine an applicant's language proficiency.


The following programs have unique ELP requirements as well as a spoken English proficiency requirement (SEP). Review ELP and SEP criteria on these program websites:


2021/22 criteria

If you are applying to start an undergraduate program other than those exceptions listed above in Fall 2021 or Winter 2022, you must demonstrate proficiency according to the following criteria. Test scores more than two years old will not be accepted for admission.


English language proficiency tests

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)


Minimum overall band score of 6.5 and a minimum score of 5.5 in each band.


Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Internet-Based Test (iBT)

Minimum total score of 86 and a minimum score of 21 in each section.


Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

Minimum overall band score of 70 and a minimum score of 60 in each band.


Pearson Test of English (PTE)

PTE - Academic

Minimum overall score of 59 and a minimum score of 56 in each band.


Cambridge English Language Assessment

Cambridge English: Advanced/Proficiency

Minimum overall score of 180 and a minimum score of 165 in each skill.


Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

Minimum overall score of 85 and a minimum score of 80 in GCVR, Listening, and Writing and a 3 in Speaking Test.


Test in Practical English Proficiency (EIKEN)

Test in Practical English Proficiency (EIKEN)

Score of Grade 1.



High School courses

Alberta Education Grade 12 English

English Language Arts 30-1 (or equivalent)

Minimum final blended grade of 75% (includes the diploma examination mark).

Applicants seeking to use English 30-1 to satisfy their English language proficiency requirement must take the diploma exam for English 30-1.


International Baccalaureate (IB) English

Minimum grade of 5 in English A1 or A2, or minimum grade of 6 in English B.


Advanced Placement (AP) English

Minimum grade of 4.


British-Patterned Education System English

English Language or Literature

GCE Advanced Level or GCE Advanced Subsidiary Level or GCSE or IGCSE Level

Minimum grade of B.


Post-secondary courses

University-level English

Six (6) credits of transferable, university-level English Language or Literature completed at a recognized English language institution. Minimum grade of B+. If more than one course is presented a grade of B+ is required in each course.

English as an Additional Language (English Language Preparation)

MacEwan University ENGL 086 and ENGL 087


MacEwan University ERDW 085 and ESPL 085 and EOPT 068

Minimum grade of B- in each course.


English Academic Preparation (EAP)

University of Alberta EAL 140 and EAL 145

Successful completion of each course.



Previous education in English

Full-time education in English (excluding English as a Second Language)

Successful completion of three or more years of full-time education in English (excluding English as a Second Language) in Canada or another country. Must include Alberta Grade 12 (or equivalent) where secondary education is the highest level, or if a combination of secondary and post-secondary education is used. English must be recognized as the official/primary language of the instruction.

University degree (baccalaureate or graduate)

Successful completion. The degree must be from a recognized post-secondary institution where English is the official/primary language of instruction. 



An applicant who is completely bilingual and fluent in English is entitled to submit a written petition to the Office of the University Registrar providing evidence that the applicant’s English language proficiency exceeds the specified minimum levels, and requesting exemption from the English language proficiency (ELP) requirement.

If you are fully bilingual and fluent in English, your petition should detail:

  • your background;

  • your educational and personal experience with English;

  • the language of instruction throughout your schooling and the language you use at home and on a daily basis;

  • why you believe that an exception to the requirement is warranted in your situation.

Attestations from former English instructors and reports of any standardized English language proficiency tests may be supportive of your petition.

The Admissions Unit of the Office of the University Registrar will review the petition for possible waiver. A successful petition will not guarantee admission to another institution.