English Proficiency Requirements for International Students

All students must possess strong English writing, comprehension and speaking skills to be successful in their studies, in any workplace components of their program and in their careers. 

Applicants are required to demonstrate proof of English proficiency through completing and submitting the recent (within two years of the start of the program) results of one of the following English proficiency tests.

Proof of English proficiency can also be obtained through completion of Lakehead University's Academic English program.

English Language Requirements:     

In countries where IELTS testing centres are limited or closed due to COVID, Confederation College is making additions to the English language test options for admission to programs. Until further notice, results from the following testing options will be accepted, subject to specific scores, as stipulated. 

Note: Applicants from India can only proceed with the Academic IELTS, TOEFL iBt, or PTE-A, due to visa processing requirements.  Duo Lingo is not accepted.

Confederation College reserves the right to retest students whose demonstrated English proficiency level does not match the test scores submitted for admission. Students may be withdrawn from their program and be required to complete additional English language instruction if a clear discrepancy exists between online and on-campus test results.

The minimum English proficiency requirements for our post-secondary programs are as follows: 

Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programs (Except Health Care and Aviation Programs):

  • Academic IELTS: 6.0 (no band lower than 5.5, except for students from India who must have no band lower than 6.0 to meet SDS requirements) 
  • TOEFL iBT: 79 
  • PTE-A: 54 (no communicative skill lower than 54) 
  • Duolingo: 105 (no band lower than 85)
  • CAEL: 60 (no band lower than 60)

Aviation, Health Care, Accelerated and All Post-Graduate Certificate Programs: 

  • Academic IELTS: 6.5 (no band lower than 6.0)*
  • TOEFL iBT: 88 
  • PTE-A: 60 (no communicative skill lower than 54) 
  • Duolingo: 125 (no band lower than 105)*
  • CAEL: 70 (no band lower than 70)

* Dental Hygiene, Bachelor of Science in Nursing & Practical Nursing: Minimum speaking band is 6.5 or Duolingo 125 in Conversation and Production.

Exemptions - English Speaking Countries 

Applicants who are citizens of, and have studied (in English) in, the countries listed below, qualify for exemption from the English proficiency requirement.  They must have a minimum of a "C" grade in all senior-level or post-secondary English credits. 

Applicants who are not citizens of, but have recently graduated (within the last two years) and studied for a minimum of two years, in one of the countries listed below, may also be eligible for exemption from the English proficiency requirement. They must have a minimum of a "C" grade in all senior-level or post-secondary English credits to qualify. 


Antigua and Barbuda, Australia


Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Botswana


Canada, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands 




Falkland Islands, Fiji


Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana






Kenya, Kiribati


Lesotho, Liberia


Malawi, Mauritius


Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria



Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, South Africa


Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos 


Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America


Zambia, Zimbabwe

Alternative Pathways 

Applicants who do not meet the above English proficiency requirements are encouraged to consider the programs offered by our neighbour, Lakehead University,  at its English Language Centre.