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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 from submitting an English proficiency test score.

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.

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.

If you are experiencing difficulty writing a test of English proficiency in person, see our resources available to you.

Accepted English Proficiency Tests and Preparation Programs

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)

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

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

CAEL of CAEL Online: 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.

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.

Renison University College’s English for Academic Success

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

Conestoga College’s Intensive English Language for Academic Success

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%.

*Note: Duolingo is approved for winter 2021 and spring 2021 admissions, but is still under review for fall 2021 admissions.

Resources During COVID-19

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

  • You can complete the Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program, which is currently offered remotely.
  • Laurier accepts CAEL Online and TOEFL iBT Home Edition, which can be completed at home.
  • Laurier will accept the Duolingo English Test for winter 2021 and spring 2021 admissions. A decision about fall 2021 admissions is pending.

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 meeting an English language requirement. One of the options for completing this requirement is through 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. If it has been more than 2 years since the completion of this education, an English language test will be requested.

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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