Is it possible to study in Canada without IELTS?

Sean Campbell
Sean Campbell
Last updated: Dec 12, 20224 min read
Is it possible to study in Canada without IELTS?

If you believe everything you read, you might think it’s impossible to study in Canada without IELTS. But trust us, it’s not impossible. Far from it.

We’ve written at length about English Language Tests for studying abroad (here’s our ultimate guide to acing your English language assessment tests), and we’ve learned a thing or three about the different requirements and entrance tests needed.

But one test that keeps on coming up is IELTS. It’s pretty much the most well known English assessment, and while it has plenty of merits, you don’t always need IELTS to study in Canada. In fact, some of Canada’s top universities are glad to accept students without IELTS.

What is IELTS?

Just in case you’re not totally sure… IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. And it’s exactly what it says it is -- a test of your English level! It’s used by lots of universities and employers around the world to ensure that students (or employees) have sufficient English language ability. It’s not the only English Language Assessment out there, but as we mentioned, it’s one of the most well-known.

While it’s accepted by Canadian universities and immigration authorities, it is still possible to study in Canada without IELTS in 2023.

How to study in Canada without IELTS?

The first simple step is to check the international student entry requirements of the university you want to go to! While some top universities prefer IELTS, many will also accept other forms of English language assessment, from TOEFL through to the new Duolingo English Test.

And if you’ve already studied for four or more years in an English-medium school, you can study in Canada without IELTS, even at those universities which require it.

Can I get a Canada study visa without IELTS?

Yes, you can get a Canada study visa without IELTS. You see, Canada actually doesn’t give out study visas as such, but they do provide study permits which automatically come with a temporary resident’s visa.

The English language assessment you need is dictated by your university of choice.

You might also check other countries to study abroad without IELTS

English Language Assessments to study in Canada

So IELTS is accepted by pretty much every university in Canada, but the following are a list of alternatives which may be accepted to allow you to study in Canada in 2023 without it. We’ve covered many of these in our Ultimate list of entrance exams to study abroad

But remember to ALWAYS check with your university first, as the entry requirements for international students change from one university to the next:

  1. TOEFL
  2. CAEL
  3. Cambridge Test (CAE / CPE)
  5. Duolingo English Test
  6. CanTEST
  7. Pearson Test of English

10 Universities to Study in Canada Without IELTS

Given that there are 96 universities across the country, each with entry requirements subject to change, we can’t name all the places you can study in Canada without IELTS. But, here are 10 we know and love:

  1. University of Toronto
  2. University of Canada West
  3. University of Prince Edward Island
  4. Thompson Rivers University
  5. University of Regina
  6. University of Saskatchewan
  7. Brock University
  8. University of Winnipeg
  9. Memorial University of Newfoundland
  10. Concordia University

Now that you know you can study in Canada without IELTS, maybe it’s time to start preparing for student life there! Here are some useful articles on studying in Toronto, Vancouver, and a handy list of things a student wishes she knew before studying there

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Written By
Sean Campbell

Sean is a writer, copywriter & editor from Ireland.

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