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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.


Minimum Requirement for English Proficiency

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

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.

How to Provide Evidence of Your English Proficiency:

  1. Submit a minimum score from an English-language test or English academic program. View a full list of accepted tests and programs and the minimum scores we require. If you are experiencing difficulty writing a test in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic or other circumstances, see our resources available to you.
  2. Complete the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program. This is an English academic program that we offer at our Brantford campus. (You can enrol in the LEAF program whether your academic program is located at the Waterloo or Brantford campus).
  3. Show us that you studied in an English-language school system full time for at least three  years without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. See instructions for how to submit this information.

Accepted English-Language Tests and Academic English Programs

You must make arrangements to write an English-language test and have the results forwarded directly to our office. Some testing centres may require our institution code, which is 0893.

Accepted English Proficiency Tests and Preparation Programs1

Language Test or Preparation Program

Minimum Score Requirement

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Internet-based testing (TOEFL iBT or TOEFL iBT Home Edition): 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)

IELTS or IELTS Online score of 6.5 or higher, with a minimum of 6.0 in each band.

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

CAEL or CAEL Online: 70 overall; 60 in each band.

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)

PTE Academic or PTE Academic Online score of 59 overall or higher.

Cambridge Assessment English

Cambridge Assessment English, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency: 176 overall.

Duolingo English Test

Minimum score of 115.

Atlantic Canada Language Academy (ACLA)

(Formerly Eurocentres Atlantic Canada University Pathway Program)

Completion of Level 7/B2+.

International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC) University Pathway Program

University Pathway III Certificate: PW 3.3.

International Language Schools of Canada (ILSC) University Pathway Program

Completion of Level A2.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

Completion of Level 5.

Renison University College’s English for Academic Success (EFAS)

Level (400) with a satisfactory final score of 75%.

Conestoga College’s English for Academic Studies

Level 4 with a satisfactory final score of 70%. 

University of Guelph’s English Language Certificate Program

Advanced level 9 and 10 with a satisfactory final score of 75%.

Kaplan International English School

Completion of Advanced Level (C1).

1 The information listed above is used for admission purposes only. For questions about accepted tests for immigration to Canada, please get in touch with Laurier International at laurierinternational@wlu.ca.

Resources During COVID-19

The following options may provide you with a helpful alternative if you are unable to write an English-language test in person.

Conditional Offers of Admission

If you meet the academic requirements for your program but do not meet our English-proficiency requirement, you may receive an offer of admission with a condition to provide evidence of your English proficiency. This means you still have to complete our English-proficiency requirement, but you will have a conditional offer of admission to your academic program.

One of the options for completing our English-proficiency requirement is to complete the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program. By enrolling in LEAF, you will get to study at Laurier and participate in all parts of student life while improving your academic English. You’ll be ready and prepared to begin studying in your academic program.

The LEAF program is offered at our Brantford campus, and you can enrol in LEAF whether your academic program is offered at the Waterloo campus or the Brantford campus.

Eligibility for Conditional Offers

To receive a conditional offer of admission, you must be eligible for level 2, 3, 4, or 5 of the LEAF program. After completing level 5, you can begin studying in your academic program full time.

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

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
4.5 32 30 2

Note: All accepted English-language tests can 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 English-language test.

Exemptions from English-Proficiency Testing

If we have requested proof of English proficiency from you, you can ask to be exempt from submitting an English-language test. To be eligible for exemption, you must have successfully studied in an English-language school system on a full-time basis for a minimum of three years, without completing any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If it has been more than two years since the completion of this education, you must submit an English-language test. We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

Submit one of the following to request an exemption. If your document is not in English, you must submit a fully translated document in English. Exemptions are not guaranteed.

  • Submit a copy of your transcript showing that you have studied in an English-language school system for at least three years. You must email chooselaurier@wlu.ca (include your Laurier ID number in the email) and request to submit this document in your portal. We will update your list of required documents so that you can submit this document.
  • Submit a scanned copy of a Credit Counselling Summary from your high school showing that you have studied in an English-language school system for at least three years. You must email chooselaurier@wlu.ca (include your Laurier ID number in the email) and request to submit this document in your portal. We will update your list of required documents so that you can submit this document.
  • Ask your guidance counsellor or a member of your school’s staff to confirm that you have studied in an English-language school system for at least three years. They must 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 school system and they must 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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