Literacy Requirements

Applicants to SFU must demonstrate their literacy competence. The route they take to do this will depend on whether they apply for direct admission from Grade 12, for admission by post-secondary transfer, or for admission as an International Student.

Note: Students applying with transfer courses from other post-secondary institutions will fall into one of two categories: (1) those with fewer than 24 credit hours of transferable work, or (2) those with 24 credit hours or more of transferable work. Students in the first category will be considered equivalent to "direct from high school" for admissions purposes and must meet the same minimum writing and quantitative standards as students entering from high school. Transferring students from the second category must meet the requirements for admission by college transfer, as outlined below.

Direct admission from Grade 12   **revised and in effect as of Fall 2019 admission intake

Students with grades below the minimum English requirements will not be admitted.

(a) Students with an English 12 grade of 75% or higher are admissable and eligible to register directly into writing-intensive (W) courses.

(b) Students with grades between 70%-74% in English 12 must either register directly into Foundations of Academic Literacy (FAL X99) or write the Language Proficiency Index test (LPI).

Students who opt to write the LPI exam must achieve a score of 4 on the essay portion of the LPI and a minimum score of 50% on each part of the LPI to be eligible to register in W courses. Please note that the thresholds must be met for each part. Scores are not averaged. Students who score below these thresholds must either register in FAL X99 or retake the LPI exam. Because LPI testing sites are generally limited to locations within BC, out-of-province applicants with English 12 grades below 75% will be able to access sittings at SFU. Students are advised to write the LPI as early as possible in their first term at SFU.
Continuation requirements for students taking FAL X99 - Students who enroll in the FAL X99 course must successfully complete it with a grade of C or better, within 3 enrolled terms at SFU, to be eligible to register in a W course. Students who fail to obtain a grade of C or better in FAL X99 after a maximum of two attempts will be blocked from further course registration. Registration will again be permitted once the necessary proficiency in written English has been acquired, as outlined here.


Admission by college or university transfer

To be exempted from the FAL X99 requirement, students transferring from other post-secondary institutions must either:

    (a) obtain a minimum grade of C- in a three-unit English (ENGL) course for which SFU grants transfer credit (no LPI score required); or

    (b) obtain a grade of C- or better in a three-unit post-secondary course for which SFU grants transfer credit as a W (writing intensive) course or is evaluated to meet the W course criteria by SFU (no LPI score required).

If students cannot meet either of these conditions, literacy admission requirements shall be the same as for secondary school graduates (see Direct Admission from Grade 12 above).


International applicants

International applicants may satisfy SFU's literacy competency requirement in one of several ways. Applicants admitted on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum overall band score of 7.0, with no part less than 6.5, will be eligible to register in W courses. Applicants with a minimum IELTS overall band score of 6.5, with no part less than 6.0, may be admitted but will be directed to FAL X99 Foundations of Academic Literacy. Applicants admitted on the basis of a score earned on a TOEFL will also be required to take FAL X99. FAL X99 must be completed by conclusion of the third enrolled term at SFU.