Universities in Canada without IELTS

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With each year, more and more international students from Nigeria are attracted to Canada as their preferred study abroad destination. Apart from the superior quality of education and a high standard of living, one of the reasons why there is a growing community of Nigerian students in the country is the flexibility of studying in Canada without IELTS. Are you aspiring to pursue your higher studies in any of the top study destinations like the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia? Then, you will be required to provide English proficiency test scores of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo, etc. for admission and visa procedures. Amongst these language proficiency exams, IELTS is globally recognized and widely accepted by major English-speaking countries especially, the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia, among others. Especially for those planning to study in Canada, a wide range of academic institutions require IELTS scores for admission to their prospective programs. But there are several universities and colleges in Canada which offer admission with alternatives for IELTS and other English proficiency tests. This blog brings you a detailed guide on how to study in Canada without IELTS from the major universities!

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What is IELTS?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a globally standardized language assessment exam used by universities to assess the language skills of potential international students. This test is divided into four sections: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. After finishing the three-hour test, students will obtain an overall score for all of their fundamental English language abilities. Exams like this are used to assess your language abilities in English-speaking nations like Canada. However, this isn’t always the case. It is also possible to study in Canada without taking the IELTS exam. To understand more about it, keep reading.

Popular Intakes in Canada 

Universities in Canada provide three major entrance dates or intakes for applicants to study – Fall, Winter, and Summer. The most popular intake in the country is the Fall intake, followed by Winter and Summer. Because of the restricted courses and students applying to colleges, the Summer intake is the least popular.

Intake Applications Begin Course Starts
Fall June September
Winter November January
Summer February April- May

Is it Possible to Study in Canada Without IELTS?

Universities in Canada adopt varied factors to assess the English language proficiency of the candidates seeking admission. It is possible to study in Canada without IELTS given that you qualify for the alternative language proficiency requirements specified by your chosen university. Many universities in Canada also ask candidates to provide a Letter of Recommendation (LOR) from any of their previous academic institutions. Further, several Canadian universities exempt foreign students from select nationalities, including Nigeria, from providing English language proficiency scores. Further, Canadian academic institutions also readily accept English language proficiency tests other than IELTS which can you can submit during the admission process.

Study in Canada without IELTS – Best Alternatives 

There are different options available for those who can’t provide IELTS scores while applying for admission into Canadian universities. Here are the best alternatives prescribed by universities for students planning to study in Canada without IELTS: 

  • You can provide scores of other English Proficiency tests like TOEFL, Duolingo English Test and PTE
  • You can submit proof that you have studied in an English medium school for at least 4 years as the replacement for English proficiency scores
  • The candidates from an English-speaking country are also exempted from providing IELTS scores in Canada
  • You can also opt for the English language course offered by the university for those who are unable to provide English proficiency scores 

Alternative English Proficiency Tests Except for IELTS

As mentioned above, aspirants can provide English proficiency scores other than IELTS to apply for a study program in Canada. These alternative English proficiency tests to study in Canada without IELTS are as follows:

  • CAEL Assessment (Canadian assessment of English Language)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language)
  • Duolingo English Test
  • CanTest (Canadian Test of English for scholars and Trainees)
  • PTE (Pearson English Language Test)
  • WAEC/NECO English Language Tests

Universities to Study in Canada Without IELTS

Now that you are familiarized with the key requirements and alternatives for IELTS and English proficiency scores, you must explore the popular Canadian universities that accept applications without IELTS scores. Here is a list of major universities and colleges you can choose from to study in Canada without IELTS – 

University of Winnipeg

Amongst the popular universities in Canada, the University of Winnipeg offers admissions to those candidates who are unable to provide IELTS scores. The university has its own English Language Program (ELP) which you need to complete with the prescribed score. This program is available in both full-time and part-time options for students to apply before their admission or commencement of the course. 

Brock University

Another prominent institution to consider to study in Canada without IELTS, Brock University offers many alternatives for IELTS. The university offers the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) for those who can’t provide English language proficiency scores. Further, if you have completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma or Degree course with English as the language of instruction then you are also exempted from English proficiency score requirements (though this differs as per the program). Other than IELTS, the university accepts TOEFL, PTE, CAEL Assessment (Canadian assessment of English language), MELAB, and YELT scores.

University of Saskatchewan

For international students in Nigeria, the University of Saskatchewan has provided varied alternatives for IELTS including, but not limited to TOEFL, CanTest, Duolingo English Test (DET), and CAEL Assessment, amongst others. Also, those who can’t prove their English proficiency can take up the U-PREP program at the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre (USLC) before beginning their chosen course.

University of Regina

To pursue higher studies in Canada without IELTS, the University of Regina accepts several alternatives like TOEFL, TOEFL iBT, Duolingo, and CAEL scores for admissions to UG and PG programs. For TOEFL Paper score of 525 or a TOEFL iBT score of 70, Duolingo score of 95 – 105, and CAEL score of 50.

Apart from these, here are the alternatives for some other universities you can consider studying in Canada without IELTS.

University Alternatives for IELTS Scores
Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador Duolingo English Test (DET); TOEFL; Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Assessment; Cambridge English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); PTE Academic; Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST);
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
Intensive English Programme (IEP) offered by the university.
Cambrian University TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo English Test (DET), etc.
The language proficiency of students is evaluated upon arrival, and those who do not meet the prerequisites will have to take up English language courses before beginning their chosen program.
Okanagan College  Language requirements are program-specific and the alternative for IELTS is Duolingo scores.
Concordia University TOEFL, DET, CAEL, CAE, CPE, PTE
The candidate must provide proof that they have completed at least four years of study with English as the medium of instruction at a secondary or post-secondary institution.
International Baccalaureate in English Literature with specified levels.
Intensive English Language Program (IELP) offered by the university on conditional admission.
Seneca College CAEL CE, Cambridge English Exams, Duolingo, PTE Academic, TOEFL
The candidate must complete an intensive English language program from an institute like English Language Institute.
The candidate must have completed two years of study at an English-language academic institution
Carleton University CAEL, TOEFL, PTE
The candidate must provide proof that they have completed three years (full-time) of study at a high school or university in Canada, the US, the UK, or any other country with English as the primary language as that of the institution.
Note: There are many courses for which the admission process includes ESL requirements along with English proficiency scores.

Important: The aforementioned list indicates universities in Canada and their prospective alternatives for IELTS scores but the actual course requirements might differ as per the course and university. Students are advised to go through the university’s official website to know about Nigeria-specific language proficiency requirements in detail.

Check Out: University of Toronto Acceptance Rate

Best Courses to Study in Canada

Requirements to Study in Canada

If you are going to study in Canada from Nigeria, keep the following things in mind:

  • Transcripts or Marksheet of your previous degree or diploma
  • GMAT or GRE Scores for MBA and Masters programs in Canada
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) & Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Acceptable English Proficiency Tests:
    • IELTS
    • C1 Advanced
    • TOEFL
    • WAEC/NECO English Language
      If you are applying for a French-taught program, you need to submit French Proficiency Tests Like TCF, TEF, DELF, and DALF.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to study in Canada
  • An updated CV (if required)
  • You may be required to provide two letters of academic reference along with past letters of employment if you are applying for a Masters or PhD programme in Canada. You’ll also need an ECA if you’ve never studied in Canada before (Educational Credential Assessment).

Student Visa in Canada Without IELTS 

Students from Nigeria who wish to study in Canada without IELTS need to apply and get accepted to Canadian universities. Those applying to Canadian universities without IELTS can get a student visa by submitting scores of tests like the Duolingo English Test or other alternative English tests like TOEFL iBT and CAEL. For the Canadian immigration process, candidates are required to submit scores of IELTS General or CELPIP. Students from Nigeria can also use their WAEC or NECO English Language results to display their language proficiency.

Work in Canada Without IELTS

For Nigerian students who wish to work in Canada without appearing for their IELTS, the only way is to study at a university that waives the requirement for the IELTS exam. After completing your education, you have 180 days to apply for a Work Permit Visa in Canada after course completion. Further, the experience you gain while working can help you qualify for permanent residence.

Cost of Studying in Canada

The entire cost of studying in Canada is mostly determined by several aspects such as the course chosen, the place of study, and lodging, among others.

  • Vocational or Diploma Courses: CAD 2,000 – CAD 19,000 per year [NGN 6,46,000 – NGN 61,39,000]
  • Bachelors Courses: CAD 1,800 – CAD 20,000 per year [NGN 5,82,000 – NGN 64,60,000]
  • Masters Courses: CAD 2,000 – CAD 18,000 per year [NGN 6,46,000 – NGN 58,20,000]
  • MBA: 30,000 CAD to 40,000 CAD per year [NGN 96,93,000 – NGN 1,29,24,000]
  • PhD: CAD 2,000 – CAD 17,000 [NGN 6,46,000 – NGN 55,00,000]

Cost of Living in Canada

  • On-Campus: Varies from one university to another
  • Off-Campus: CAD 400 – CAD 3,000 per month [NGN 1,30,000 – NGN 9,69,300]
  • Travel Costs: CAD 80 – CAD 110 per month [NGN 26,000 – NGN 35,500]

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List of Scholarships

  • Study in Canada Scholarships 
  • The University of Winnipeg President’s Scholarship for World Leaders (for all International Students)
  • University of Regina International Entrance Scholarship
  • University of Saskatchewan Guaranteed Entrance Scholarship 
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland International Entrance Scholarships
  • Concordia University Entrance Scholarships
  • Ontario Trillium Scholarship

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Get an opportunity to speak with renowned university officials one-on-one and learn more about the campus, their courses, the application process, and prospective job options following the course. Apply in the UniConnect fair with a single click and receive on-the-spot offers from major colleges. In exclusive webinars and lectures, learn how to apply for significant scholarships and school loans. In just a few simple steps, you may attend the UniConnect fair.

Step 1: Register for UniConnect by creating an account.

Step 2: Complete your profile to view the recommended universities.

Step 3: Visit university booths and interact with university experts.

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Still have questions about studying in Canada without IELTS? We’ve got you covered. Download our free Leverage Edu App, which serves as a one-stop shop for all of your study abroad needs. Begin your adventure, keep track of your progress, interact with other members of the community, and much more. 


Can a Nigerian study in Canada without IELTS?

Yes, students from Nigeria can study in Canada without IELTS as there are many available alternatives offered by Canadian universities for those who don’t have IELTS scores. These alternatives are other language proficiency tests, university-specific English language courses like the Intensive English Language Program (IELP), proof of study in an English medium school for at least 4 years, or proof of domicile in an English-speaking country.

Which country is best for studying without IELTS?

There are numerous countries which you can choose from to study abroad without IELTS and some of the prominent ones are – UK, Singapore, Germany, USA, Europe

Which university does not require IELTS in Canada?

To study in Canada without IELTS, the major universities that accept other alternatives include University of Winnipeg, Brock University, University of Saskatchewan, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador etc.

How can I immigrate to Canada without IELTS?

It mainly depends on the reason for migration to Canada and whether you can be exempted from IELTS or not. If you are going on a work permit, then it would depend on the company rules if you are allowed to immigrate to Canada without IELTS. Moreover, you can apply for a visitor visa for Canada which doesn’t necessarily need IELTS and with this visa, you can look for work in the country as well. If you plan to study in Canada without IELTS, then you can appear for alternative language tests like TOEFL, PTE, CanTest, etc., or take up your chosen university’s English language program for international students.

Is IELTS compulsory for Canada?

No, you don’t necessarily need IELTS to study in Canada or visit the country as a tourist on a visitor or tourist visa. But if you aim to apply for a Permanent Residency, IELTS will be necessarily required.

This was all about Study in Canada without IELTS. We trust that this blog covered every one of the significant details about the university and the course. Still, confused and need to clear your own questions with respect to the top objections to concentrating abroad? Call Leverage Edu uni-mates at 1800-572-000 and book your most memorable directing meeting!

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