Undergraduate Applicants

English Language Proficiency Requirements

The language/medium of instruction at OCAD University is English. It's important for your success at OCAD U that you demonstrate proficiency in both spoken and written English that is sufficient to meet the demands of studio/classroom instruction, written assignments, as well as participation in discussions and critiques.

In addition to meeting academic entrance requirements and English prerequisite course (if applicable) requirements, all applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit results of an English Language proficiency test meeting or exceeding the test results indicated below.

OCAD University reserves the right to request an English Language Proficiency test from any applicant regardless of their academic background. English Language Proficiency requirements are subject to change.

The following English Language Proficiency tests are acceptable for admission to an undergraduate program at OCAD U. Test results will be considered valid if completed within 24 months of the intended start date at OCAD U.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic
Score Requirements: Minimum 6.5 overall with no part below 6.0 (Academic Module).

*OCAD U uses the IELTS online verification system. Provide your Test Report Form (TRF) number to the Admissions & Recruitment office

*OCAD U does not accept the IELTS Indicator for admission purposes

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) iBT
Score Requirements: minimum total score of 84 with at least 20 in Reading, at least 19 in Listening, at least 22 in Speaking and at least 20 in Writing

*OCAD University's institution code for TOEFL is 0537

TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
Score Requirements: minimum total score of 84 with at least 20 in Reading, at least 19 in Listening, at least 22 in Speaking and at least 20 in Writing

*OCAD U's institution code for TOEFL is 0537

*OCAD U will continue to accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition for Fall 2022 admission to accommodate those impacted by the global pandemic. Acceptance of this test beyond the Fall 2022 admissions cycle is at the discretion of OCAD U.

*OCAD U does not accept TOEFL Essentials for admission purposes.

PTE Academic (Pearson Test)
Score Requirements: Minimum 58 overall with at least 56 in Listening, at least 56 in Reading, at least 56 in Speaking and at least 56 in Writing.

Duolingo English Test (DET)
Score Requirements: Minimum overall score of 110

Please note: Duolingo test takers who achieve an overall score of 110 but who score below 105 in the Production sub-score are required to enroll in OCAD U’s EAD: Expanded Program which includes a reduced course load of 1.5 credits in the Fall term. It is also recommended to enroll in the ELL section of ENGL 1004: The Essay and The Argument in the Winter term to ensure continued language support.

*OCAD U will continue to accept the Duolingo English Test for Fall 2022 admission to accommodate those impacted by the global pandemic. Acceptance of this test beyond the Fall 2022 admissions cycle is at the discretion of OCAD U.

CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment)
Score Requirements: Minimum 70 overall with no band below 60

*OCAD U will continue to accept the CAEL Online test for Fall 2022 admission to accommodate those impacted by the global pandemic. Acceptance of this test beyond the Fall 2022 admissions cycle is at the discretion of OCAD U.

COPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) and TOP (Test of Oral Proficiency)
Score Requirements: Minimum 86 overall with at least 32 in Writing, at least 22 in  Reading, and at least 22 in Listening. Minimum score of 6 in TOP.

If you have received a conditional offer OCAD U and your language test scores are lower than the minimum scores required for admission, then you may choose to apply for one of OCAD U's English for Art & Design (EAD) Programs. By successfully completing and passing the EAD program(s), you will fulfill OCAD U's English proficiency requirements for admission and will not need to retake a language test. They are also an opportunity to build your OCAD U community and get immersed in the language of studio art & design.

Designed specifically for students who speak English as a second language, English for Art & Design is for OCAD U students, taught by OCAD U instructors. To participate in the EAD program, your English proficiency scores must fall within the EAD discretionary range.

Learn more about OCAD U’s English for Art & Design programs.

OCAD University will also consider English language training that students have received at our English language school partners to satisfy English Language Proficiency requirements. Official documentation must be submitted directly from the language school partner.

English School of Canada

  • English School of Canada students who successfully complete the University College Transfer Program (UCTP) - English for Academic Purposes with a result of at least 80% will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  

Hansa Language Centre

  • Hansa Language Centre students who successfully complete the Hansa Language Centre English for Academic Purposes and the Level 10 exam with a score of at least 80% will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.
  • Hansa Language Centre students who successfully complete Hansa Language Centre English for Academic Purposes and the Level 9 exam with a score of at least 80% and who complete OCAD U’s English for Art & Design (EAD) Bridge to First Year program will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  

International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC)

  • ILAC students who successfully complete the ILAC University Pathway Program III - PW3.3 at Level 16 will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  
  • ILAC students who successfully complete the ILAC University Pathway Program III - PW3.2 at Level 15 and who complete OCAD U’s English for Art & Design (EAD) Bridge to First Year will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  

Upper Maddison College (UMC)

  • UMC students who successfully complete the UMC English for Academic Purposes Level 15 with an Exit Exam result of 80% or higher will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  
  • UMC students who successfully complete the UMC English for Academic Purposes Level 15 with an Exit Exam result of 70%-79% and who complete OCAD U’s English for Art & Design (EAD) Bridge to First Year program will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.

University of Toronto English Language Program

  • University of Toronto English for Academic Purposes students who successfully completed Academic English Level 60 with a minimum score of 'B' will not be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test.  

OCAD University will consider exemptions from the English language proficiency test requirement if you meet one of the following categories. Exemptions are not automatic and are based on official transcripts and/or supporting documents. You may be required to provide an official letter from your school indicating the language of instruction is English if it is not clearly indicated on your transcript or school profile.

  1. You are currently attending an accredited high school/secondary school where the primary medium of instruction is English and will successfully complete at least 4 years of full-time academic studies immediately prior to your anticipated start date at OCAD University
  2. You have attended and successfully completed at least 4 years of full-time academic studies at an accredited high school/secondary school where the primary medium of instruction is English within two years (24 months) prior to your anticipated start date at OCAD University
  3. You have attended and successfully completed at least 2 years of full-time academic studies (non-ESL/ELL/EAP programs) at an accredited Community College (post-secondary) where the primary medium of instruction is English within two years (24 months) prior to your anticipated start date at OCAD University.
  4. You have attended and successfully completed at least 1 year of full-time academic studies (non-ESL/ELL/EAP programs) at an accredited University where the primary medium of instruction is English within two years (24 months) prior to your anticipated start date at OCAD University.
  5. You have completed or will successfully complete an English language program with an acceptable Language Pathway program partner. Official documentation must be submitted directly from the English language pathway institution.

You may also qualify for an exemption if you have resided and studied in English (for at least four years) in any of the following countries/territories: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Scotland, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, eSwatini (Swaziland), Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Wales), United States of America, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In addition, Francophone Canadian citizens educated in Canada will not be required to provide English Language Proficiency Test results.

Please note: This list is for information only. Your eligibility for an exemption will be determined after you have submitted your application for admission and relevant supporting documentation (i.e.:  transcripts).

Please Also Note: For immigration purposes, you may be required to submit the results of an English language proficiency test to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada during the study permit application process even if you qualify for an English language proficiency test exemption at OCAD U. Also note that not all language tests are acceptable for immigration purposes.

Recommended Deadline: March 1, 2021 (for applicants interested in OCAD U’s EAD: Preparation program)

Recommended Deadline: June 1, 2021 (for applicants interested in OCAD U’s EAD: Bridge To First Year Program)

Recommended Deadline: July 15, 2021 (for applicants submitting test results to meet full requirements)

Final Deadline: August 15, 2021

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