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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


Laurier’s language of instruction is English. If your first language is not English, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency to our Recruitment and Admissions office.

You can:

If you have studied in an English-language school system on a full-time basis for a minimum of three years, you may request an exemption.

If you do not meet Laurier’s English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

COVID-19 Update For English Proficiency

Laurier is committed to assisting applicants whose ability to take an English proficiency test has been impacted due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The following initiatives have been created to help:

  • We have extended the deadline for students to provide evidence of their English proficiency to Aug. 15, 2020
  • If you are academically eligible for your program, you will receive an offer of admission with a condition to meet Laurier’s English proficiency requirement by Aug. 15, 2020. This means you could receive an offer before you submit evidence of your English proficiency. 
  • You can register to take the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test at Laurier’s campus in August 2020. Learn more and register.
  • Laurier will accept the Duolingo English Test for fall 2020 admissions only. Visit their website to learn about the test and how to prepare. You must arrange to have your results sent directly by Duolingo to the Recruitment and Admissions office.

If you are concerned about meeting deadlines pertaining to your application, contact chooselaurier@wlu.ca or international@wlu.ca.

English Proficiency Minimums

You must make your own arrangements to write a test of English proficiency and have the results forwarded directly to our office. Some testing centres may require our institution code, which is 0893.

Accepted Tests of English Proficiency

Language Test

Minimum Score Requirement

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Internet-based testing (TOEFL iBT): an overall score of 83 or higher with a minimum score of 20 in each component.

Paper-based testing: 560 overall.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

An academic score of 6.5 or higher with a minimum of 6.0 in each band.

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

70 overall; 60 in each band.

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE)

59 overall or higher.

Cambridge Assessment English (CAE)

Overall score of 176.

Duolingo English Test

Minimum score of 115.

Conditional Offers of Admission

If you meet the academic requirements for your program but do not meet Laurier’s English proficiency requirement, you may receive an offer of admission that is conditional upon completing the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program. The LEAF program is an academic English program for future Laurier students, designed to prepare them for success in university. The LEAF program is offered at our Brantford campus.

LEAF Levels

You must be eligible for LEAF program levels 3, 4 or 5 to receive an offer of admission. After completing level 5, you can begin studying in your program full time.

Which level of LEAF you are eligible for is determined according to your most recent score on a test of English proficiency.

LEAF Program Level Eligibility
Your IELTS Score Your TOEFL Score Your CAEL Score LEAF Level
6.0 65 60 5
5.5 50 50 4
5.0 35 40 3

Note: All accepted tests of English proficiency may be used to determine LEAF program eligibility. Email the LEAF program office at leaf@wlu.ca to see which level you may qualify for based on another test of English proficiency.

Exemptions from English Proficiency Testing

You may request to be exempted from submitting an English proficiency test score if you have successfully studied in an English-language school system on a full-time basis for a minimum of three years.

Submit one of the following to satisfy your English proficiency condition. Exemptions are not guaranteed.

  • Submit a copy of your transcript indicating that you have been studying in an English-language school system for at least three years. This may also be a Credit Counselling Summary report from your high school. Arrange to have your document sent to us in a sealed and stamped envelope, directly from the issuing institution, or you can submit a scanned copy using your LORIS account. These documents must be fully translated into English.
  • Ask your guidance counsellor or a member of your school’s staff to send an email to chooselaurier@wlu.ca from their work email address. In this email, they should confirm the number of years you have studied in an English-language curriculum and should include your name and Laurier ID number.

Mailing Address

Recruitment and Admissions Office
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON
N2L 3C5

Contact Us:

Recruitment and Admissions

E: chooselaurier@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3385
F: 519.884.0618

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