Are you planning to study in Canada and pursue your dreams? Fortunately, several top Canadian universities offer low to free admissions without IELTS. And this post will help you how to apply for one.
Canada is one of the dream countries for several foreigners to live in, especially international students. Canada is also one of the reputed countries with the best education in the world. The Canadian government and several universities offer many scholarships to qualified international students. Yet, English language proficiency certification is mandatory for all international students to get admitted to most universities. One of the common problems for international students is IELTS certification due to its high price and cost of test prep.

How to Study in Canada without IELTS?

Here are the alternatives to studying in Canada without an IELTS certificate. These include the following:

1.A certification that the student’s previous degree was taught in English. The student must acquire an English Proficiency Certificate from the last school and a letter confirming that the applicant’s degree was taught entirely in English.
2. Search for schools or universities that do not require IELTS. Look for schools that accept alternative English Language Proficiency Tests, such as CAEL, TOEFL, CanTest, DET, and or PTE.
3.Attend and complete an English language course. Some schools may not require IELTS or alternative English Language Proficiency tests but encourage their applicants to attend and complete an English language course or ESL program, which usually lasts 6 months.

List of Canadian Universities That Do Not Require an IELTS Score

Some universities in Canada do not need an IELTS score to let you in. Here is a list of some of these universities:

#1.The Brock University

Eligibility requirements to be accepted into the university: 

  • No IELTS score is required for enrollment
  • Alternative to IELTS: 

               Intensive English Language Program (IELP)

  • Accepts scores from alternative tests of English proficiency:

CAEL Assessment, CAE (A1 Advanced), CPE (C2-Proficiency Test), Duolingo, TOEFL, PTE

Brock Universityy offers a variety of services and supports specifically for international students, including orientation programs, counseling and advising, and support for visa and immigration processes.

In order to be accepted into the university, applicants must provide official transcripts, secondary school documents, and any other necessary certificates and qualifications. Depending on the program, applicants may also be required to take a standardized test such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). 

#2.The Carleton University

Carleton University welcomes international students & provides English language programs for skill improvement. It does not need IELTS but accepts other language proficiency tests such as TOEFL, CanTEST, CELPIP, & PTE Academic. Otherwise, students need to provide proof that their previous education was in English.

Carleton University supports international students with multiple international student services such as an International Student Centre, Global Engagement Office, and International Student Services Office. The university also provides scholarship opportunities.

#3.The Winnipeg University

Winnipeg University is open to international students & welcomes applications from around the world. To be eligible to study at the university, international students must meet the minimum academic requirements and submit evidence of English language proficiency. 

Important points to consider about the university:

  • Does not need an IELTS score
  • Accepts alternative tests of English proficiency
  • Proof of English proficiency is mandatory

Alternative tests of English proficiency:

  • Duolingo Proficiency Test
  • Cambridge Assessment Test for English: C1-Advanced test
  • Cambridge Assessment Test for English: C2-Proficiency test
  • CanTest
  • A Canadian English Language Academic Assessment Test
  • PET (Academic)
  • University and College Entrance Programs in Academic English
  • English Language Program at The Winnipeg University
  • English Language Program – Evening Course at The Winnipeg University [Part-time]

 For admission to most programs, applicants must also submit evidence of their secondary school qualifications, such as a copy of their high school transcript.

#4.The University of Regina

The university does not need international students to take the IELTS but does require a minimum score of 6.5 on the TOEFL or equivalent. The university accepts alternative tests such as the CAEL, PTE Academic, and CELPIP. Students can also choose to take ESL test at the university.

#5.The University of Saskatchewan

International students are welcome at the University of Saskatchewan and the University is committed to creating an open & diverse learning environment. As proof of English language proficiency, the University does not need prospective international students to have a valid IELTS score. However, the University also accepts alternative tests such as,

Proof of English Language Skills:

  • Standardized tests such as TOEFL iBT, CanTEST, CAEL, MELAB, PTE Academic, CAE, and Duolingo Proficiency Test
  • Completion of an approved English Language Proficiency (ELP) program by the University of Saskatchewan Language Centre or the University of Regina
  • General Certificate of Education of A/AS/AICE Level English


  • Advanced Placement (AP) English
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) English A1 or A2 Higher Level
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) English B Higher Level
  • GCSE/IGCSE/GCE O-Level English, English Language, or English as a Second Language

In addition to language proficiency tests, the University of Saskatchewan also requires international students to provide evidence of their academic qualifications and educational background. This includes transcripts, certificates, & other documentation that proves an applicant’s academic qualifications & experience.

#6.The Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

The university welcomes international students from around the world & offers a range of support services to help them succeed in their studies. To apply to MUN, international students need to submit their high school diplomas, transcripts, & other documents as required.

IELTS is not required for admission to MUN. However, international students may be required to take an alternative test such as TOEFL, MELAB, or PTE Academic as part of their admissions application.

MUN offers several certificates & qualifications for international students, such as the English Language Certificate & the English for Academic Purposes Certificate. These certificates help international students develop the English language skills necessary for academic success at MUN.

The university also offers a range of tests & assessments for international students, including the MUN Test of Academic English, which helps evaluate students’ English language proficiency.

#7.The Cambrian College

IELTS is not required for admission to Cambrian College. Instead, the college accepts alternative tests such as the PTE, Duolingo, TOEFL, CAEL, & MELAB. International students must also submit a transcript detailing their academic qualifications & the results of any tests taken. A program called English for Academic Purposes (EAPP) is also available for students. This program can take between 4 to 10 months, depending on the student’s proficiency. A diploma or certificate program will be offered to students who complete the EAPP.

#8.The Concordia University

IELTS test is not mandatory test for this university and the most commonly accepted test is either the IELTS or the TOEFL. 

The university also accepts other valid tests such as the Cambridge English Language Assessment (CELA) & the Pearson Test of English (PTE). Applicants must submit their original transcripts or certificates in order to be considered for admission. 

#9.Algoma University

The applicant must submit official transcripts from the previous school attended (3 years of high school, college, or university) and proof that the medium of instruction was English.

#10.Guelph University

It requires applicants to get an official transcript of the record from their previous schools and proof that the medium of instruction for 3 years was English.

Alternatives to IELTS for study in Canada include:

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is a widely accepted English proficiency test for higher education and global migration purposes. It measures a person’s ability to use and understand the English language in an academic setting.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) – Another widely recognized English proficiency test.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English) – A computer-based test that assesses English proficiency in an academic setting.
  • CELPIP (Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) – A test designed specifically for Canadian immigration and citizenship purposes.
  • CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) – Another test designed for individuals looking to study in Canada.
  • MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
  • TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test)

Popular Scholarships in Canada without IELTS

Another option to study in Canada without IELTS is through scholarship programs. There are several schools and government-funded scholarship programs you can take advantage of.
School-funded scholarship programs:
1. The University of Toronto Scholarship
One of the most popular scholarships for international students is the University of Toronto scholarship, with 4,400 students granted this scholarship. Check the university’s website for available fields of study (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs).
2. The University of Alberta Scholarships
Having the largest international students, 7,000 from 148 countries, you may find the field of study you wish to pursue. The university offers Masters and Ph.D. Degree Programs.
3.The Montreal University Scholarship
Montreal University offers a scholarship program for Undergraduate, Master’s, Doctorate, and Postdoctoral fellowship students. Currently, the university provides around 600 scholarships. It is considered as 3rd most prominent school for international students, with 10,000 international students.
4.The Saskatchewan University Scholarships
The school offer scholarship for undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Currently, they have over 3,000 international students.
5. The University of Ottawa Scholarships
The university offers scholarships for undergraduate, Master’s, Ph.D., microprograms, short programs, and for graduate diplomas.
6. The Concordia University Presidential Scholarship
Concordia University offers undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. scholarships, with over 600 study programs available for international students.
To learn more about each scholarship program, visit the official school website.

Government-funded scholarship programs:

 One of the popular government-funded scholarships is the Vanier Canada, in which the Canadian government sets funds for students for Postgraduate degree programs, Master and Ph.D. Both local and international students can apply for the scholarship. Almost 160 students from around the world get scholarships every year.
2. Presidential Scholarship in Canada
The 100 Presidential Scholarships program is offered to students who wish to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in Canada.
3. Prime Minister of Canada Scholarships
The Prime Minister of Canada Scholarship program is offered to students who wish to pursue a Master’s and a Ph.D. degree in their affiliated Canadian universities. The scholarship program supports over 3,000 local and international students per year.

What do these scholarship grants cover?

 The scholarship grant coverage depends on the scholarship program applied. But most of these include tuition fee coverage, food and shelter support, monthly stipends, travel expenses, health coverage, books and research project coverage, accident coverage, and more.

Scholarship Eligibility Standards

 Aside from IELTS, academic performance is one of the qualifications for scholarship grants. Another requirement for a scholarship grant is providing research for research-based scholarships. Since some schools do not require IELTS, students must still acquire alternative English Language Proficiency certification.

For documents, here is a list:
  • Transcript of records
  • English Language Proficiency Certification
  • Proof of Income
  • Bank Statements of the applicant’s guardian
  • Degree Certificates
  • CV
  • Grade sheets
  • Letter of Recommendations
  • Record of Citizenship Status
The admission is still ongoing for the school year 2023-2024. You must visit the official university websites for extra information about the scholarship programs.