Canada is one of the world’s leading destinations for international students intending to get higher education as either undergraduate or postgraduate students. Every year, the number of international students who apply to study in Canada keeps increasing.
To be considered eligible by the universities they apply to, international students must meet the minimum TOEFL test scores required by Canadian universities to prove their English language proficiency.
The minimum TOEFL test scores required of international students differ from one university to another. This article identifies the top universities in Canada and their TOEFL entry requirements for International students.
What Should You Know About Studying in Canada?
Several international students who apply to study in Canada do so because of the benefits of studying in the country. Some of these benefits are:
- High standard of living: Canada offers a higher standard of living than most other countries. This high standard of living makes it appealing to international students from many countries. Canada placed 1st in the list of countries with the best quality of life. The 2021 Global Peace Index ranks Canada as the 10th most peaceful nation globally in terms of security.
- Permanent Residence Option: Another advantage that Canada provides to its international student community is the opportunity to continue living and working in Canada with a Permanent Residency visa after graduation, as long as they meet the requirements of the Canadian immigration program under which they apply. Interested students may explore the possibility of obtaining PR in Canada after graduation and after earning requisite work experience.
- Work while studying: International students in Canada can work during their studies when they have the necessary permit. International students can work up to 20 hours weekly during the academic year and full-time during scheduled year breaks.
In addition, Canada is recognized for having some of the most affordable university tuition fees among English-speaking countries. There are a variety of universities for international students to choose from, depending on their tuition budget.
What are the Requirements for Studying in Canada?
The requirements for international students intending to study in Canada vary based on the university you are applying to. Each university has a different selection process which depends on the student’s course of study, academic records, and ability to meet stipulated requirements.
The general requirements for studying in Canada include:
- A copy of the candidate’s academic records/transcripts
- Candidates’ letter of motivation.
- Proof of candidates’ English Language proficiency.
- Candidates’ letters of recommendation.
- Candidates curriculum vitae or portfolio (where applicable)
- A valid passport/ means of identification.
What is the Minimum TOEFL Score for Canadian Universities?
International students intending to study in Canada at the undergraduate level must be a minimum of 18 years old. The candidate must also have a TOEFL score of 80.
For intending postgraduate students, they must have a bachelor’s degree. The candidate must also have an overall TOEFL score of 90.
TOEFL Score Requirements for Major Canadian Universities
The two most prestigious ranking metrics for universities globally: Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Quacquarelli Symonds University rankings, rate Canadian universities highly.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks Canadian universities between 18th and 1200th out of thousands of evaluated institutions.
1. The University of Toronto
The University of Toronto, one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, is located in Ontario, Canada. The university is currently 18th in the world on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The University of Toronto is a student favorite because of its wide range of courses as it has over 700 undergraduate and 200 postgraduate programs. This university tops as one of the most prominent and prestigious universities in Canada.
The University of Toronto requires a TOEFL score of 100 with a minimum of 22 in Writing for undergraduate programs and 93 with 22 in Speaking and Writing for graduate studies.
2. McGill University
Currently, the 44th highest-ranking University globally based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, McGill University is a public and research-intensive university located in Montreal, Canada. McGill is renowned around the world for the excellence of its teaching and research programs. The university is home to international students from 150 countries, making it the most internationally diverse research-intensive University in Canada.
McGill University requires a minimum TOEFL score of between 79 to 100 for undergraduate studies and 86 overall, with no less than 20 in each section for graduate studies.
3. University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia, popularly called UBC, is a public and research-intensive university with campuses in Vancouver and Okanagan, Canada. The university is constantly ranked among the first 3 in Canada. It is also currently the 37th best university globally based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The institution is highly regarded as a global center for its teaching, learning, and research excellence.
The University of British Columbia requires a TOEFL score of 90 with minimum component scores of 22 in Reading and Listening and 21 in Writing and Speaking for undergraduate and graduate studies, with some exceptions.
4. University of Alberta
The 125th best university globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Alberta is a leading public research-based University located in Alberta, Canada. The university also constantly ranks among the top 5 universities in the country. The university is home to Canada’s second-largest research library, boasting more than 4.7 million titles. Furthermore, the university also offers over 200 undergraduate and 500 graduate programs.
The University of Alberta requires a TOEFL score of at least 90, with a minimum of 21 points in each section for undergraduate and graduate studies.
5. McMaster University
McMaster University is a public research-based University located in Ontario, Canada. The university ranks as the 80th best university globally based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The university offers Arts and Science Programs, has six faculties, and houses over 70 research institutes. McMaster is home to international students from 120 countries across the world. The institution is credited as the pioneer of problem-based learning.
McMaster University requires a TOEFL score of 86 overall with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four components for undergraduate studies and an 88 to 100 overall score for graduate studies depending on the course.
6. The University of Waterloo
The University of Waterloo is a public research-intensive university located in Ontario, Canada. The university ranks among the 201st – 250th best universities globally based on the Times Higher Education University Rankings and attracts students from over 120 countries worldwide. It runs the largest post-secondary cooperative education program globally, with over 20,000 undergraduate students enrolled in its experiential learning program. The University Waterloo offers more than 100 undergraduate degrees and 190 graduate programs. It is divided into six faculties, consisting of thirteen schools and over fifty departments.
The University of Waterloo requires a TOEFL score of 90 overall with a minimum of 25 in undergraduate studies’ Writing and Speaking components. The same scores apply for graduate studies, with some exceptions.
7. University of Western Ontario
The University of Western Ontario, also called Western University, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. It is a highly regarded research-intensive university with a high rate of academic excellence. It is ranked between the 201st and 250th best universities globally based on the Times Higher Education University Rankings. The university offers over 400 courses at the undergraduate level and 160 different postgraduate degrees.
The University of Western Ontario requires an overall TOEFL score of 83 with a minimum of 20 in each section for undergraduate studies except for nursing degrees and an overall score of 86 with no section less than 20 for graduate studies.
8. University of Ottawa
According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the university is currently the 162nd best university in the world. The University of Ottawa is public and research-intensive university in Ontario, Canada. The university offers over 450 graduate and undergraduate programs and is the largest English -French bilingual university globally. The University of Ottawa is home to about 7,000 international students from 150 countries, constituting 17% of the entire student population.
The University of Ottawa requires a TOEFL score of 86 overall, with 22 in Writing for undergraduate studies and 100 for graduate studies.
9. The University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a publicly funded university that is research-based and located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The university is among the U15 research-intensive universities in the country. It ranks among the 201st – 250th best universities worldwide according to the Times Higher Education University Rankings. The University of Calgary is one of the country’s leading research universities. The university has 14 faculties that offer over 250 courses at undergraduate and graduate levels. It also intends to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities by 2022.
The University of Calgary requires a TOEFL score of 86 overall, except for nursing and education courses at the undergraduate level. It accepts an overall score of 86 with no section less than 20 for graduate studies.
10. Queens University at Kingston
Queens University at Kingston is a research-based university located in Ontario, Canada. The institution ranks among the 251st – 300th best universities globally based on the Times Higher Education University Rankings. The university takes pride in its research-intensive environment and variety of program offerings which empower students with the extensive and flexible skills required in today’s evolving workforce.
Queens University requires a TOEFL overall score of 88 with 24 in writing, 22 in Speaking, 22 in Reading, and 20 in Listening for undergraduate and graduate studies.
11. Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University is a public research-intensive university located in Nova Scotia, Canada. The institution ranks among the 251st – 300th best universities globally based on the Times Higher Education University Rankings. It is one of Canada’s oldest universities and is highly ranked for its academic and research excellence.
Dalhousie University requires a TOEFL overall score of 90 with no lower than 20 in each section for undergraduate studies and an overall test score of 90 for graduate studies.
12. Simon Fraser University
The university is currently ranked among the 201st – 250th best universities globally according to the Times Higher Education University Rankings. Simon Fraser University is a public research-based university in British Columbia, Canada. The institution prides itself on being Canada’s Engaged University and has been ranked among the Times Higher Education list of 100 universities under 50 globally. Simon Fraser University has nine faculties, and students can choose from various courses available under each faculty.
Simon Fraser University requires an overall TOEFL score of 88 with no section less than 20 for undergraduate studies and an overall score of 93 in the test with not less than 20 in each section for graduate studies.
13. University of Victoria
The University of Victoria is a leading public, research-intensive university located in British Columbia, Canada. The university ranks among the 301st – 350th best universities globally. This university is known for its dynamic learning system and is boasts of Canada’s first and so far the only Indigenous Law degree program and dedicated research centers for Indigenous and Environmental law.
The University of Victoria requires an overall TOEFL score of 90 with no section less than 20 for undergraduate and graduate studies.
14. University of Saskatchewan
According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the university is currently ranked among the 501st – 600th best universities globally. The University of Saskatchewan is a public research-based university and one of Canada’s leading research universities. The university offers more than 130 programs. The university comprises 23 colleges, six affiliated colleges, and three graduate schools. The university is renowned for significant world-leading research on water and food security.
The University of Saskatchewan requires an overall TOEFL score of 86 with minimum component scores of 19 for undergraduate and graduate programs.
15. York University
York University is located in Toronto, Canada. The institution is a public research-based university and is Canada’s 4th largest university. It is currently ranked between the 401st – 500th best universities globally based on the Times Higher Education University Rankings. The institution has over 200-degree programs available to undergraduate and postgraduate students, 28 research centers, and 11 faculties.
York University requires an overall TOEFL test score of 83 for undergraduate studies and an overall test score of 87 with a minimum of 23 in writing and 21 in all other sections for graduate programs.
Where Do Canadian Universities Stand According to QS World University Rankings in 2022?
|World Ranking||Name of University||TOEFL Requirements|
|26||University of Toronto||100||93|
|27||McGill University||79 to 100||86|
|46||University of British Columbia||90||90|
|126||University of Alberta||90||90|
|140||McMaster University||86||88 to 100|
|149||University of Waterloo||90||90|
|230||University of Ottawa||86||100|
|235||University of Calgary||86||86|
|240||Queens University at Kingston||88||88|
|298||Simon Fraser University||88||93|
|334||University of Victoria||90||90|
|458||University of Saskatchewan||86||86|
Which University Does Not Require TOEFL in Canada?
Universities that do not require TOEFL in Canada have these options for international students:
- The student should have a certificate of other English language proficiency tests like IELTS, Duolingo English Test, or PTE.
- The student can prove that they studied in an English medium school for at least four years as an alternative for English test scores.
- The candidate is a citizen of a country considered to be English-speaking, like the UK, Australia, or the United States of America.
- Students who cannot provide English proficiency scores can choose to take the English language course offered by the University.
The list of Canadian Universities where the TOEFL test is optional include:
- The University of Saskatchewan.
- Brock University
- Concordia University
- Memorial University of Newfoundland
Additional FAQs for TOEFL for Canada
Does Canada Require IELTS or TOEFL?
Yes, Canada requires an examination to gauge an aspiring student’s English proficiency level, and both IELTS and TOEFL are among the popular English language tests accepted by Canadian universities.
Schools require these tests to ensure that the student can receive instruction and communicate effectively in the English language. Several schools have minimum requirements for these exams, and these requirements vary in some exceptional cases; however, the universities may choose to waive these requirements.
What Is the Minimum TOEFL Score Required for A Canadian Student Visa?
The minimum TOEFL score requirement for a student visa depends on the university that the candidate wishes to apply to. This is because international students who intend to study in Canada are required to have a student visa. And to apply for one, they need to have taken an English-proficiency test and been accepted by a Canadian college or university.
TOEFL test scores are accepted for a Canadian student visa. But, the minimum score required for each student visa is determined by the minimum TOEFL score required by the university they are applying to.
What Is the TOEFL Score Required for Universities?
Generally, for undergraduate programs, the minimum TOEFL overall score required is 80. While for postgraduate programs, international students must have a minimum of 90 in all four test sections. The minimum TOEFL score requirements for each university vary, however. To find the score for a specific university, you will need to enquire about that university of your choice.
Can I Study in Canada with TOEFL?
Yes, for international students to study in Canada, they are often required to take a test to verify their level of English proficiency. If they can satisfy their university’s minimum requirements, they may get admitted depending on the fulfillment of other requirements by the university. TOEFL is one of the most widely recognized English language tests taken by international students., Canadian institutions accept the TOEFL IBT and TOEFL Paper-based test as a Test of English proficiency.