Study in Canada Without IELTS in 2022: Alternative Exams & Universities

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  • Canada is the third most preferred destination for studying abroad, with 642,000 international students.
  • International students can study in Canada without IELTS with different options like alternative tests, 4 years of education in English medium, and more.
  • Alternative test scores that students can submit instead of IELTS are TOEFL, PTE, CAE, CanTest, and more.
  • Students can work in Canada through an express entry program for skilled professionals and also opt for either employer-specific or open work permits.
  • Some of the leading universities that allow students without IELTS to study in Canada are Brock University, Cambrian College, Okanagan college, and more.

Canada offers a multitude of programs for international students with some of the top-ranking universities. This is why many students look to study in Canada. However, one of the biggest requirements to pursue undergraduate, master’s, or postgraduate programs in Canada for international students is IELTS. If you are wondering how to find universities in Canada without IELTS, here is a comprehensive guide.

Possibility of Studying in Canada without IELTS

The Canadian universities consider different factors to assess the English language proficiency of students looking to study in Canada. So, the answer to your question, “can I study in Canada without IELTS?” is yes. From alternative test scores to LORs issued by previous academic institutes, there are many possibilities for studying in Canada without IELTS. Apart from these options, many universities also consider students from English-speaking nations exempted from IELTS scores.

LOR Samples

Best Alternatives to Study in Canada without IELTS

Canadian universities offer undergraduate, graduate, and even advanced diplomas for international students with different alternatives to IELTS. So, students looking to go to Canada without IELTS can also submit,

  • Proof of studying in an English medium school for at least four years before applying for the admissions.
  • If the candidate is from an English-speaking country like the US, UK, Australia, and others, they can be considered for admissions without IELTS in Canada.
  • Many universities offer an in-house English language program for those students who are unable to offer English proficiency scores.

Alternative English Proficiency Tests except for IELTS

Many Canadian universities allow students with alternative English proficiency tests to pursue degree programs. Canadian universities accept students from non-native English-speaking countries with language proficiency certificates. IELTS is one of the prominent English proficiency tests, but it’s not the only one. However, if you are wondering what these tests are, then here is a list.

  • TOEFL(Test of English as Foreign Language)
  • PTE(Pearson English Language Test)
  • Duolingo English Test
  • CAEL(Canadian Academic English Language)
  • CanTest(Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)

Universities to Study in Canada without IELTS

Now that we know there are different requirements for admission in Canada without IELTS, let’s discuss the top universities that offer them.

Here is a list of the top universities that provide admissions in Canada without IELTS:

  • Brock University
  • Cambrian University
  • Okanagan College
  • Concordia University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Carleton University
  • McGill University
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Winnipeg

Brock University

Founded in 1964 in Saint Catharine’s, Ontario, Canada, Brock University had massive public support from the Niagara region establishment. It is affiliated with the Universities in Canada, International Association of Universities, Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Canadian University Press. Brock University has a ranking between 1000-and 2000 in the QS Global World University Rankings.

Admission requirements

  • High school or senior secondary education proof for admission eligibility
  • 12 years of rigorous grades in academics
  • A minimum grade of B
  • TOEFL with an overall score of 88 with no band having a score below 21
  • IELTS score of 6.5 with no band below 6
  • Duolingo test score of a minimum of 100
  • CAEL score of 70 with no band having scored less than 60
  • PTE score of 58

Cambrian University

Cambrian University was founded in 1967 in northern Ontario and provides more than 80 full-time bachelor’s and master’s programs. It also provides more than 900 part-time courses which cover topics like Accommodation and Human Rights, Business Analytics, Cybersecurity, Human Resources Management, International Business Management, IT Business Analysis, Mobile Application Development, etc.

Admission requirements

  • Academic certificates/transcripts translated by organisations in Ontario
  • TOEFL/PTE/ IELTS scores based on the college under Cambrian University

Okanagan College

Okanagan College is one of the top Canadian colleges, with campuses across Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon. Especially for students looking to study in Canada without IELTS, this university is a good option. It caters to more than 15,900 students, with each class having 18 seats. So, you get a quality education for your degree and master’s program.

Admission requirements

  • Secondary or high school transcripts
  • English language proficiency test scores of TOEFL, Duolingo, and others
  • Copy of valid passport and visa
  • Application form with all documents and fees

Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador

More than 19,000 students from over 115 countries get the benefit of studying at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. The university boasts of more than 1,00,000 alumni across the world. With more than 450 scholarships awarded annually, it is a good option.

Admission requirements

  • Minimum of 3 years of study in the English Medium school
  • 30 credit hours for English at a secondary institution
  • Successful completion of in-house intensive English program
  • CAE with a minimum of 176 score
  • CAEL score of 50-60
  • TOEFL with a minimum score of 79

Student Visa in Canada without IELTS 2022

If you are looking to study in Canada, the most important document will be a student visa. One of the essential documents for visa application will be your test scores for different English proficiency tests. Apart from that, you will have to submit the following documents to the immigration authority of Canada for a student visa without IELTS:

  • A valid passport and visa
  • Letter of acceptance from the college for which a student is applying
  • Proof of financial backing (Enough funding to support your study)
  • Documents for a Canadian bank account in your name
  • Acknowledgement letter for student loan
  • Bank statements
  • Draft for convertible money from the bank
  • Proof of payment for tuition and accommodation fees
  • Letter of acknowledgement from the scholarship organisation
  • A medical certificate or police verification based on home country

Work in Canada without IELTS

Foreign nationals looking to work in Canada need visas, also called work visas or work permits. There are two main types of work permits that you can apply for:

  • Employer-specific work permit
  • Openwork permit

With an employer-specific work permit, you can work in Canada within the purview of that organisation. However, with an open work permit, you can work with any organisation or company in Canada. However, if you are to avoid IELTS, there are some workarounds. The first is to be highly skilled and gain express entry into Canada with a work permit. The second is to choose a university that waives the requirement for IELTS. Further, you will get a window of 180 days on completion of the university program for application for a work permit.

The university option seems attractive as it will allow you to study and also have a chance at a work permit. However, studying in Canada has its costs. So, it’s not that easy without financial aid. Here is a list of scholarships that you can apply for in Canada to get financial aid.

List of Scholarships in Canada

The average cost of studying in Canada for a diploma course is anywhere between 2000 CAD to 19,000 CAD. Similarly, for a bachelor’s, it can go up to 20,000 CAD, and for an MBA, it can go up to 40,000 CAD. So, there is no denying that you may need a scholarship program to support your study. So, here are some of the best scholarship programs in Canada:

  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
  • Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program (CFSP)
  • CIFAR Global Scholars program
  • Mitacs Elevate
  • McCall MacBain Scholarship
  • Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Program
  • Trudeau doctoral scholarship
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (Vanier CGS)
  • Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) scholarships
  • Canada-ASEAN Scholarships

How does LeapScholar help students study in Canada without IELTS?

All these processes, IELTS alternative tests, visa application, finding the right university, and more, look intimidating for any student. Fortunately, you have LeapScholar. A one-stop solution for everything you need to study in Canada without IELTS in 2022. The question that may arise is how?

LeapScholar provides extensive counselling for finding university, applications, visa application support, scholarships, and financial counselling. Apart from that, our mentorship program involves helping students score high in IELTS and alternative tests. It also helps you with mentoring for finding a job and improving your skills. So, book your consultation now and let LeapScholar help you fulfil the Canadian dream!


IELTS is an important exam to study in Canada. However, it is not mandatory, and there are ways to study and work in Canada without IELTS. All you need is good test scores in alternative tests like TOEFL, PTE, and CanTest or a way around offered by many universities.

Other options include having four years of English medium education at secondary level. So, if you don’t have such education at the high school level, an alternate English proficiency test is the only choice. So, start your preparation for TOEFL or other alternatives to IELTS with LeapScholar.


Can I immigrate to Canada without IELTS?

Yes, you can immigrate to Canada without IELTS. However, it will depend on the university you choose or whether you have come through an Express Entry program.

Do I need a letter of acknowledgement from the scholarship provider?

If you are looking to study in Canada, you will have to apply for a student visa. One of the key requirements of a visa application is to prove whether you have the financial health to study in Canada. So, if you are opting for a scholarship, a letter of engagement will act as proof.

Is it compulsory to take an intensive English language program?

No, it is not compulsory to take an intensive English language program if you have sufficient scores in exams like TOEFL, PTE, CAE, etc. However, it depends on the college or university, as some of them have such exams mandatory.

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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.