English Language Requirements

Covid-19 Update

Simon Fraser University is aware that the pandemic is impacting English language test dates in various countries. If you are not able to receive test results prior to your document deadline, contact your program(s) of application with your currently-scheduled test date and your GA/student number to see if one of the following is possible:

  • Consideration for conditional admission, pending English language test scores
  • Extension of document deadline for your English language test

English is the language of communication at the University and instruction in most programs. Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate command of English sufficient to pursue graduate studies in the chosen field. Applicants applying to programs conducted entirely in French will be exempt from this requirement.

International applicants 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.  

University minimum requirements for test scores:

Internet-based TOEFL 93 with minimum of 20 in each category. In order to satisfy the requirement, applicants must achieve the scores listed above on a single test date. TOEFL MyBest (super-scored) results will not be used.
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
CAEL overall 70; minimum 60 in each section
Pearson Academic (PTE) overall 65; minimum 60 in each section
Cambridge English Qualifications C1 Advanced - minimum score of 193
C2 Proficiency - minimum score of 200

All test scores are valid for a period of two years from the date of the test. Some graduate programs may have higher requirements than those listed here.

Test scores that are more than two years old are not able to be verified and cannot be used for graduate applications.

Submitting IELTS and TOEFL test scores

IELTS and TOEFL can be submitted electronically directly from the test centre. Releasing your results electronically to Simon Fraser University will update all relevant applications (if you applied to more than one program). 

  • For TOEFL, SFU's Institution Code is 0999, a departmental code is not required. If ETS requires a departmental code please select the most appropriate choice from this list.
  • For IELTS, log in to the website of the IELTS test centre and click 'Apply for additional TRFs' in the left-hand menu of your results page. Fill out the application form online
    • In India, the British Council is able to transmit electronically to SFU. Please use the following information when submitting your test scores: Organization ID 2036 - Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby BC, V5A 1S6

It can take a minimum of 3-4 weeks for your results to update on your application portal. If you have waited 4 weeks and still do not see your results updated, please send us a ticket that includes:

  • Your GA or student number
  • The date on which you released your results to SFU
  • Your unofficial test results with your name and test information clearly visible
  • Your application deadline for your program of application

Please note our inquiry response time is approximately 3 business days.

Submitting CAEL or Cambridge test scores

Results for Cambridge or CAEL testing should be sent directly from the testing centre in a sealed envelope for processing to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Submitting Pearson PTE test scores

Send a scan of your unofficial test results with your name and test number clearly visible to our tickets along with your name and GA or student number. Allow a minimum of 1 week for verification of your results.

International Admission Requirements

If you attended a post-secondary institution outside of Canada, the majority of programs will not require a credential evaluation service to be used.  A guideline of international credential requirements by country can be found using the drop down list.

Most three-year, Bologna-compliant degrees from research intensive universities are acceptable as a basis of admission to graduate diplomas, certificates and master’s programs at Simon Fraser University.

International Admission Requirements
Select your country to view requirements

Countries from which an English language proficiency test is not required

AIA Anguilla
ASM American Samoa
ATG Antigua and Barbuda
AUS Australia
BHS Bahamas
BLZ Belize
BMU Bermuda
BRB Barbados
BWA Botswana
CAN Canada
CYM Cayman Islands
DMA Dominica
FJI Fiji
FLK Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
GBR United Kingdom
GHA Ghana
GIB Gibraltar
GMB Gambia
GRD Grenada
GUM Guam
GUY Guyana
IRL Ireland
JAM Jamaica
KEN Kenya
KNA Saint Kitts and Nevis
LBR Liberia
LCA Saint Lucia
LSO Lesotho
MLT Malta
MSR Montserrat
MUS Mauritius
NGA Nigeria
NZL New Zealand
SGP Singapore
SHN Saint Helena
SLE Sierra Leone
SYC Seychelles
TCA Turks and Caicos Islands
TTO Trinidad and Tobago
TZA Tanzania, United Republic of
UGA Uganda
USA United States
VCT St Vincent and the Grenadines
VGB Virgin Islands (British)
VIR Virgin Islands (U.S.)
ZAF South Africa
ZMB Zambia
ZWE Zimbabwe

My previous education was in English but not in one of the countries above. Can I be exempt from the language requirements?

In this situation, you should contact the Graduate Program Assistant for the program to which you applied.