English Language Requirements

English is the language of instruction and communication at the University. Accordingly, an applicant whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field.

The requirements listed below are effective December 1, 2013.

Applicants normally will be required to achieve a satisfactory score on a standardized English test acceptable to the University. This test must include a writing component.

Simon Fraser University Graduate Programs accepts the following tests:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems)

Any equivalent test must include a writing component and all test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test.

The minimum graduate program admission requirements for test scores:

English Language Test Score
Internet-based TOEFL 93 with minimum of 20 in each category
Paper-based TOEFL 580 and TWE 5
IELTS (academic) overall band score of 7.0 of the academic (NOT general) test with a minimum of 6.5 in each section

Some graduate programs may have higher requirements, as indicated in their section of the SFU Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I submit my test results?

TOEFL test takers should request electronic submission of scores directly from the test centre to SFU. SFU's Institution Code is 0999.  Use the official department codes listed on this link.

IELTS test takers can either request electronic submission or order an official paper test score to be mailed directly to your destination graduate program.

Is there any English training program which will guarantee me admission to the University?

There is no English program which will guarantee admission to a graduate program.

Each graduate program has minimum requirements for admission and you should consult your target graduate program with your questions.

Does SFU offer any English language courses?

SFU's English Language & Culture Program offers a range of non-credit courses for students who need to improve their English language skills.

My previous education was in English. Can I be exempt from the language requirements?

International applicants whose primary language is not English will not be required to complete an English-language test if they have completed a degree at an institution where the language of instruction and examination was in English in a country where English is the primary language. For a list of these countries please click here.