English is the language of instruction at the University of Waterloo. Success in our programs requires a high level of English language proficiency.

Do you need to take a language test?

You need to provide an English language test score if

  • your four most recent years of full-time education have NOT been in an English-language school system AND
  • your first language is NOT English. 

Test results must be received by Waterloo's document deadline. Exemptions will not be granted if you’re not able to take a test by our deadline. Required academic English courses cannot be used in place of taking an English language test.

If you suspect that you do not meet the English proficiency requirements, please arrange to take a test as soon as possible to meet our deadlines.


You may be exempt from submitting English language test scores if you meet one or more of the following exceptions.

Required English language scores

Tests that do not appear on this chart are not accepted for admission consideration.

Official test scores must sent by the testing agency directly to Waterloo's Office of the Registrar. Emails, faxes, and student copies of test scores are not accepted for admission.

Test Minimum score How to send test results
Internet-based TOEFL (iBT), including Home Edition and Paper Edition – Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEFL MyBest Scores and TOEFL Essentials will not be used to meet our English language requirements.

If you have taken multiple tests you'll need to submit results for each test.
90 overall
25 writing, 25 speaking
Waterloo's institution code is 0996 and our department code is 00.

We do not accept electronic TOEFL scores for undergraduate admissions.

IELTS Academic – International English Language Testing System

IELTS One Skill Retake results are accepted by Waterloo.

6.5 overall
6.5 writing, 6.5 speaking, 6.0 reading,
6.0 listening
We accept the electronic Test Report Form (TRF). Waterloo's e-transfer institution name is University of Waterloo – Admissions OR Office of the Registrar.
CAEL or CAEL online – Canadian Academic English Language Assessment 70 overall
60 per band
70 writing, 70 speaking
You must log in to your affiliated account and select University of Waterloo as a recipient institution.
PTE Academic (including PTE Academic Online) – Pearson Test of English 63 overall
65 writing, 65 speaking
Send your Score Report Code or Registration ID to myapplication@uwaterloo.ca.
Cambridge English test (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency) 180 overall
176 writing, 176 reading
176 speaking, 176 listening
Go to the Candidate Results Online portal, input your ID and secret number then click on Send my result.
Duolingo English test 120 overall, 110 literacy, 110 production. Results will not be accepted without subscores. You must log in to your affiliated account and select University of Waterloo – Undergraduate as a recipient institution.
EFAS – English for Academic Success (offered by Waterloo's English Language Institute) 75% overall in 400 levels
75% in each of academic, oral, and writing
Your scores will be sent to us automatically by Renison University College.


  • If you completed your four most recent years of full-time education in an English-language school system and you also provide a failing English language test score, we reserve the right to withdraw your Offer of Admission or to place you in the BASE program.
  • We reserve the right to withdraw an offer of admission if you fail to meet the minimum English language requirements for the program to which you have applied.
  • We will consider paper-based TOEFL scores on an individual basis.
  • All English language tests will be verified for authenticity. If evidence of fraudulent documentation is found, we reserve the right to cancel your application or revoke any offer of admission.
  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum band score of 6.0 or better in all components, is also acceptable for admission.

How do you know if we've received your test scores?

Request that the test centre forward your test scores directly to the University of Waterloo. When we receive your official language test score from the testing centre, you'll see this reflected in the Test Summary section of your Quest account.

How recent do your test scores need to be?

Your English language scores are valid if completed on or after May 1, 2022. Any test taken prior to May 1, 2022, will not be used when reviewing your application.



Questions about English language requirements or other admission requirements can be sent to myapplication@uwaterloo.ca.

Start earning a Waterloo degree while improving your English

Students taking a selfie with a glass walled building behindNot sure you’ll meet Waterloo's English language test scores? Or you already know that you don't? You could still study at Waterloo.

Our Bridge to Academic Success in English (BASE) program lets you start working towards a Waterloo degree, improve your English skills, and develop valuable academic skills to set you up for success at university – and at a fraction of the normal tuition for international students.

How do you join BASE? Apply to your preferred Waterloo program and if you qualify, you'll receive an offer of admission to BASE.

How to start a Waterloo degree while improving your English skills →