Is TOEFL Accepted in Canada? Universities & Minimum Score: Complete Guide

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Since the second half of the 20th century, Canada has welcomed thousands of international students yearly. The main reasons for this popularity is Canada’s high-quality post-secondary education, affordable tuition, and quality health care system.

International students must take a language proficiency exam to apply for Canadian study. TOEFL is one such English proficiency exam approved for employment and immigration purposes in Canada. It is accepted by more than 11,000 colleges and institutions in 150 countries. However, international students must prove their language proficiency to apply to the Canadian universities. 

Is TOEFL Accepted In Canada? Yes. Since TOEFL is accepted worldwide, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognises it as a significant test for Canadian Student Visas and university admission.

Nearly 400 Canadian institutions and universities accept the TOEFL exam. In this blog, we will explore the best universities in Canada that accept TOEFL scores, and we’ll provide you with all the necessary information you need to know about the exam.

LATEST UPDATE FOR TOEFL 2023

ETS has announced several new updates for the TOEFL exam. TOEFL has now been shortened to 2 hours, and also includes a new format. ETS has also announced new developments including a smoother registration process and announcements of results. These developments are to come into effect starting July 26th, 2023.

  • TOEFL is being accepted for Canada SDS applications from August 10th, 2023.

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Is TOEFL Accepted in Canada? Universities & Minimum Score: Complete Guide
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Is TOEFL Accepted In Canada ?

TOEFL is a three-hour-long English proficiency test designed to examine speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. It is organised by Educational Testing Service (ETS) trademark, widely accepted for work, study, and immigration purposes. TOEFL can be conducted online via the Internet-based test (IBT).

As an international student intending to study in Canada, you need to take TOEFL and qualify the minimum score requirements based on the program and the university.

The below list provides details of the importance of the TOEFL exam for international students to gain eligibility for studying in Canada. They are as follows –

  • Preferred Test: More than eight out of ten graduate programs in Canada prefer TOEFL iBT over other tests. TOEFL iBT is the most popular test for sending scores to Canadian universities.
  • Worldwide acceptance: The TOEFL iBT is an excellent way to prove that you have sufficient English skills for admission to a university or college.
  • Thousands of institutions globally accept it, so you can show off your skills in a way that’s likely to attract the attention of those making admissions decisions.
  • Exam as per convenience: The TOEFL iBT can be taken at test centres worldwide, with streamlined safety and health regulations, or from the comfort of your own home. Further, paper-based versions of the test are also available in some regions.

With the knowledge gained on how these exam scores are essential, one can further learn about the top-ranked colleges and universities that accept TOEFL scores .

What is the Minimum TOEFL Score for Canadian Universities?

The minimum TOEFL score requirement for Canadian universities solely depends on the institution and the program you are applying to.

Generally, Canadian universities require a minimum TOEFL score of 80 to 100 on the internet-based test (iBT) for undergraduate programs and a minimum score of 90 to 100 on iBT for post-graduate programs.

Universities may have higher or lower requirements, and some programs may have specific requirements for certain sections of the test (e.g., writing, reading, speaking, and listening).

Some universities don’t require English proficiency and consider only academic proficiency as a criterion. Universities in Canada also accept other English proficiency tests, such as the IELTS or the Pearson Test of English (PTE), instead of the TOEFL.

Therefore, it’s always safe to check the specific requirements of the university and course you are interested in, as they may have different needs than the general guidelines mentioned above.

Best TOEFL Accepted Universities in Canada

As mentioned above, more than 400 institutions and universities in Canada accept the TOEFL exam as proof of language proficiency. Let’s explore some of Canada’s best TOEFL-accepted universities, known for their academic excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, and student-friendly atmosphere.

The institutions mentioned below are highly reputed and offer a wide range of programs in various fields of study, making them the ideal destinations for ambitious students pursuing their academic and professional goals in Canada.

University NameTOEFL Score for UndergraduatesTOEFL Scores for Graduates
McGill UniversityCutoff score- 79 to 100
Sectional score– Not available
Cutoff score– 86
Sectional score– 20 in each section
McMaster UniversityCutoff score– 86
Sectional score– 20 in every section
Cutoff score– 92
Sectional score– 20 in every section
University of CalgaryCutoff score– 80 to 108
Sectional score– 0 to 27 based on the major
Cutoff score- Depending on major
Sectional Score– Depending on major
Western UniversityCutoff score– 83
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Cutoff score– Minimum 86
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Queen’s UniversityCutoff score– 88
Sectional score– 24 in Writing, 22 each in Reading and Speaking, 20 in Listening
Cutoff score– 88
Sectional Score– 24 in Writing, 22 each in Reading and Speaking, 20 in Listening
University of OttawaCutoff score– 86 to 96 depending on the major
Sectional score– 22 to 24 in Writing and 0 to 27 in other sections depending on the major
Cutoff score– 100 for most programs
Sectional Score– Not available
University of WaterlooCutoff score– 90
Sectional score– 25 in Writing and speaking
Cutoff score– 80 minimum and 90 in alternative
Sectional Score– 25 in Writing and Speaking
Ryerson UniversityCutoff score– 83 to 92
Sectional score– Depending on major
Cutoff score– 93 to 105
Sectional Score– Not available
Dalhousie UniversityCutoff score– 90
Sectional score– 34 in Writing
Cutoff score– 90 and above
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Victoria UniversityCutoff score– 90
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Cutoff score– 90
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Simon Fraser UniversityCutoff score– 86
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Cutoff score– 90
Sectional score– 20 in each section
Carleton UniversityCutoff score– 86
Sectional score– 22 in Writing and Speaking, 20 in Reading and Listening
Cutoff score– 86
Sectional Score– 22 in Writing and Speaking, 20 in Reading and Listening
is toefl accepted in Canada

 More than 80% of graduate programs in Canada prefer the TOEFL iBT test over other tests. 

TOEFL Scores Accepted By Canadian Universities for Various Course Programs

Is TOEFL accepted in Canada for all courses? Most of the graduate programs in Canada prefer the TOEFL iBT test, making it the most popular language assessment tool. The table below displays some specific TOEFL cutoff scores accepted for various course programs by some of the top-ranked Canadian universities.

University NameTOEFL Course Specific Cutoff Scores
University of TorontoMS – 93 to 107
MBA/PGDM – 93 to 100
MIM – 93 to 110
ME or MTech – 93 and above
BE or BTech – 100 and above
BBA – 100 and above
BSc – 100 and above
MA – 93 to 100
The University of British ColumbiaMS – 90 to 100
ME or MTech – 90 to 100.0
BE or BTech – 90 and above
MA – 100 and above
MASc – 90 to 100
BSc – 90 and above
University of AlbertaME or MTech – 88 to 92
MEM – 90 and above
MS – 88 to 92
BSc – 90 and above
BBA – 90 and above
BE or BTech – 90 and above
MA – 95 and above
York UniversityMBA or PGDM – 100 and above
MIM – 88 to 100
BBA – 79 to 90
MASc – 90 and above
MA – 100 and above
BE or BTech – 83 to 88
Memorial University of NewfoundlandBE or BTech (15 Courses) – 79 to 90.0
BSc – 79 and above
BBA – 79 and above
MA – 80 and above
MS – 80 and above
ME or MTech – 80 and above
MIM – 80 to 92
University of WindsorMA – 83 to 100
ME or MTech – 92 and above
MBA or PGDM – 100 and above
MS – 83 to 92
BE or BTech – 83 and above
MEM – 100 and above
MASc – 83 and above
BSc – 83 and above
MIM – 83 and above
BBA – 83 and above

Didn’t Get the Ideal TOEFL Score? Here are Alternatives!

If you didn’t get your desired TOEFL score, don’t worry. There are many alternative options available for international students seeking admission to universities and colleges where English is the language of instruction.

Take an alternative English language proficiency exam:  Canadian universities accept other language proficiency exams, like Duolingo, IELTS, Cambridge English Qualifications, and the Pearson Test of English (PTE). You can try taking any of these exams instead of TOEFL to demonstrate your English language proficiency.

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You can retake the TOEFL exam: You can retake the TOEFL test as many times as you like. The only thing you should remember is that you can take the re-test only after three days after your previous test. And, another rule is that you can only take the test once in twelve days.

There are no restrictions on the number of times you can attempt to write TOEFL. Tests are conducted more than 60 times a year at the authorised test centres worldwide.

Apply to a university that does not require an English language exam: Most of the universities in Canada require international students to provide proof of English language proficiency, typically through standardised tests. However, a few universities in Canada don’t need the TOEFL or IELTS for admission, like the University of Winnipeg, Brock University and many more.

Tips for scoring well in the TOEFL Exam test

Scoring well on the TOEFL exam can open up opportunities. Here are some exclusive tips to help you prepare for and excel in the TOEFL exam:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the test format: The TOEFL exam comprises of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. Get accustomed to the pattern of each section, the question types and the time allotted for each team.
  2. Improve your language: To do well on the TOEFL exam, you need to have a good command of the English language. Read more authentic materials, watch English movies and series with subtitles and listen to podcasts in English-language media. Practice speaking and writing in English as much as possible.
  3. Take practice tests regularly: Only practice can build your confidence for the exam day. Take timed practice tests, analyse your answers, identify your mistakes and keep working on them.
  4. Scale-up your vocabulary: Strong vocabulary is essential for doing well on the TOEFL exam. Read widely, make flashcards of new words, memorize words with their meanings, understand their usage and practice using them in context.
  5. Develop your test-taking strategies: Many strategies can help you do well on the TOEFL exam, such as skimming and scanning passages to identify critical information.

Is TOEFL accepted in Canada? On an ending note, yes, TOEFL is definitely accepted in Canada, and one’s desired university determines different requirements.

is toefl accepted in Canada

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can an individual go to Canada with TOEFL?

Canada accepts TOEFL  and other English proficiency tests, including PTE, Duolingo and others.

Further, if an individual has studied English as a second language and received grades in 12th he/she may be eligible to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Is 80 a good score to get into top universities in Canada?

80-90 is treated as moderately good. With this moderate range you can get accepted into good grad schools. If you get 90 or higher, more top universities will take you.
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How can I register for TOEFL exam to go to Canada?

You can register for the TOEFL exam through the official ETS website. Choose a test date and location, then pay your online registration fee.

How can I send the TOEFL scores to Canadian universities?

Do send TOEFL scores to Canadian universities directly through the ETS website. There may be an additional fee for sending scores to more than four institutions.

Is TOEFL accepted in Canadian Universities?

More than 400 institutions in Canada positively accept the TOEFL score as proof of language proficiency.

What is the format of the TOEFL?

The TOEFL exam consists of four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing. The Reading and Listening sections have multiple-choice questions, while the Speaking and Writing sections require you to respond to given prompts and questions.

How to get a good score in TOEFL?

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the TOEFL including official study materials from ETS, practice tests and online courses. You can also refer to free resources online, such as videos and blogs, that offer tips and strategies to improve your TOEFL score.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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