Improve your English

If you want to improve your English skills, the University of Waterloo has programs and resources to help you succeed. Here is what we offer:

Bridge to academic success in English (BASE)

If you're admissible to your undergraduate program, but your TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or other English language test score isn’t quite high enough, Waterloo can give you a conditional offer of admission. In BASE, you'll spend either 4 or 8 months living in residence at Waterloo, depending on requirements and English Language test scores. You'll work on your English skills while taking a university course, so you can get started on earning your Waterloo degree right away. Once you've successfully completed BASE, move into full-time studies at Waterloo.

Find out more about BASE


English for Multilingual Speakers (EMLS)

ESL credit courses are offered in the fall, winter and spring/summer terms for undergraduate and graduate University of Waterloo students for whom English is a second language.

Find out more about EMLS


Writing and Communication Centre

At the Writing Centre, professional English tutors are assigned to help you improve your writing skills. Located in South Campus Hall on the second floor within the Student Success Office.

Find out more about the Writing Centre


English for academic success (EFAS)

English for Academic Success (EFAS) is an intensive 14-week English language program offered in four levels ranging from low intermediate to advanced. It offers small class sizes, personalized instruction, and preparation for standardized tests such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of Written English (TWE). Successful completion of the advanced (400) level of the EFAS program satisfies the University of Waterloo's English language requirement for graduate and undergraduate students.

Find out more about EFAS


English for success (EFS) – summer intensive program

English for Success (EFS) is a 4-week program designed to help you improve your English, live and study in a Canadian university, and make new friends. Every June, July and August, students from around the world take part in this intensive one-month English as a second language program.

Find out more about EFS


Math/English language for academic studies (ELAS)

Are you strong in mathematics, but need to improve your English skills? Math/ELAS is an intensive English language skills improvement program designed for students like you. Math/ELAS gives you the opportunity to acquire the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills needed to be successful in the Faculty of Mathematics.

Find out more about ELAS