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The language of instruction at Carleton University is English. For admission, students will need to demonstrate that their knowledge and use of English are strong enough for studies in an English language university.
Students can do this by:
Students who submit any of the scores shown in Table 1 below may be eligible for an offer with no further ESL requirement and may begin full time degree studies.
|English Language Tests||Score||Type of Offer|
|Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)||Minimum score of 70 overall with a minimum score of 60 in each band||Offer to Undergraduate Degree Program with no ESL requirement.
May begin full-time studies.
|Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL||86 (22 in writing and speaking, 20 reading and listening)|
|IELTS (Academic)||6.5 IELTS (min 6.0 each band)|
|Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic||60 (min 60 in each Communicative Skill)|
|TOEFL ITP Plus (*temporary testing solution for China during Covid19)||Minimum score of 627 overall with minimum score in each: structure and writing 64, listening 64, reading 63|
|Duolingo English Test (DET) (*temporary testing solution for Fall 2021 and January 2022 applications only)||115 (with no subtest score below 90)|
|Cambridge English Language test (for Fall 2022 applications only)||176 or above on C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency – min 169 in each component|
Applicants whose first language is French must present transcripts to indicate that they have taken four years of anglais (English) in a Canadian secondary school to be admitted without an English as a Second Language Requirement.
Students with scores shown in Table 2 below may be admitted with an English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). When they first start in their program, these students will be required to take our ESL Foundation courses along with a limited number of courses from their degree program. This admission with an ESLR allows students to earn academic credits from degree courses taken while completing the English requirements.
|English Language Tests||Score||Type of Offer|
|Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)||Overall score between 40 and 69 (with a minimum score in each band of 30 and a minimum average of 40 over writing, reading, and listening)||Offer to Degree Program with ESL requirement.
Must complete Foundation ESL courses.
|Internet Based (iBT) TOEFL||61-85
(min 15 each section)
|IELTS (Academic)||5.0 – 6.4 (min 4.5 each band and the average of writing+reading+listening divided by 3 must be a min. of 5)|
|Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic||N/A|
|TOEFL ITP Plus (*temporary testing solution for China during Covid19)||Minimum score between 543 and 626 overall, with a minimum subtest score of 53|
|Duolingo English Test (DET) (*temporary testing solution for Fall 2021 and January 2022 applications only)||85-110 (with no subtest score below 65)|
Please note that students beginning their studies with an English language requirement are not eligible for admission to the following programs:
Foundation ESL allows students to begin their degree and study academic courses while completing the English as a Second Language Requirement (ESLR). The Foundation program can take up to three terms to complete and is made up of three levels of English as a Second Language courses (ESLA) which focus on the academic skills needed for university study. ESLA course(s) are taken concurrently with a limited number of degree courses.
Students admitted with this Foundation ESL requirement (admitted with an ESLR) will have their level of English language proficiency reviewed and assessed by the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLaLS). Students will receive an ESLA placement indicating the ESLA course level they have been placed into and how many additional credits they are permitted to register in at the same time as their ESLA course. Students admitted with this requirement should check Carleton 360 to see their ESLA placement (see VIEW or DISPLAY HOLDS). During the registration period, students must register in the appropriate ESLA course in order to be permitted to register in any other degree program credits they may be entitled to.
Foundation ESL courses:
|Course Number||Course Name||Description||Additional degree credits permitted|
|ESLA 1300||Introductory ESL for Academic Purposes||This level introduces students to the skills and strategies they need for academic success at university including basic research methods.||0.5 credit|
|ESLA 1500||Intermediate ESL for Academic Purposes||This level further develops the skills and strategies required for academic success, and adds to basic research skills.||Up to 1.0 credit|
|ESLA 1900||Advanced ESL for Academic Purposes||This level develops students’ research and analytic skills, primarily through reading and writing of academically oriented texts.||Up to 1.5 credits|
Note: As students progress through the ESL courses, their ESLA placements and course credit limits will be adjusted based on previous ESLA final grades (see the ‘What you need to know about ESLA‘ page for details).
For more information on Foundation ESL, please contact the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLaLS).
Students who are academically admissible to their degree program, but who are unable to provide a language test score in the ranges listed above should consider studying in an intensive ESL program. One option is Carleton’s on-campus language school partner, CultureWorks. The CultureWorks program allows academically qualified applicants to be offered conditional acceptance to the university. Successful completion of the CultureWorks program gives students direct entrance to Carleton. Studying on-campus in a safe and fun post-secondary environment helps students make an easy and more successful transition into university studies. As members of the university community, CultureWorks students have access to facilities and services on campus.
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