English Language Proficiency and ELT Partners

Applicants with a minimum of three years of secondary school or post-secondary studies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United States, United Kingdom and some Caribbean* and select other countries may be exempted from TOEFL/Academic IELTS requirements upon provision of a full transcript with a qualifying English grade. Exceptions may apply; please view our exemption chart for more information.

*Excluding international applicants from Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Puerto Rico.

TOEFL Institution number: 8428

English language score requirements
**Applicants with an Indian passport are required to submit official Academic IELTS test scores with a minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score below 6.0, as per SDS guidelines. Select programs may require higher scores. TOEFL / PTE / CAEL test scores will not be accepted.

  • Most one-year certificate programs
  • Most two-year diploma programs
  • Most three-year advanced diploma programs
  • Academic IELTS: 6.0, no band score less than 5.5
  • IBT TOEFL: 80, with minimum section scores of 20
  • Pearson PTE: 50-57
  • CAEL: Overall scores of 60 with no section below 60
Degree programs, One-year graduate certificate and compressed, fast-track programs and the following diploma programs:

  • Dental Assisting (Levels I and II)
  • Dental Reception and Administration
  • Electrical Engineering Technician
  • Health Care Technology Management – Honours Bachelor
  • Journalism – Mass Media
  • Library and Information Technician
  • Massage Therapy
  • Music Business Administration/Music Business Management
  • Police Foundations
  • Public Relations
  • Social Service Worker
  • Sport Administration/Sport Management
  • Academic IELTS: 6.5, no band score less than 6.0
  • IBT TOEFL: 88, with minimum section scores of 22
  • Pearson PTE: 58-64
  • CAEL: Overall score of 70, no section below 70

  • Practical Nursing
  • Communicative Disorders Assistant (graduate certificate)
  • Academic IELTS: 7.0, with no band less than 6.5
  • TOEFL: 94, with minimum section scores of 23
  • Pearson PTE: 65-72


The following applicants may be exempt* from submitting IELTS Academic/TOEFL/PTE Academic scores:

  1. International students who completed a minimum of three years of full-time secondary or college/university level education in one of the countries where English is an official or the only language of common usage (check below if your country is listed on our ESL exemption list).
  2. International students who obtain an International Baccalaureate with the medium of instruction in English, and pass in English A from one of the International Schools' members of the Council of International Schools.
  3. Graduation from Durham College's ELC Program or one of Durham College's English-language partner schools for programs offering conditional admission.
    • *At the discretion of the admissions officer

All other students must submit their valid IELTS Academic/TOEFL/PTE Academic scores to International Admissions. Only tests taken in the last 2 years are considered valid.

Students who completed their high school education** in one of the countries listed below may be deemed exempt from IELTS Academic/TOEFL/PTE, depending on their high school graduation results and with a qualifying English grade:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Botswana
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada: All provinces except Quebec
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Fiji
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Liberia
  • Marshal Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent & The Grenadines
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Uganda
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
  • USA
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Under discussion: Lesotho, Guam

** If a student does not meet the minimum English grade requirements of Durham College, from their high school /college/university English courses, they will be asked to provide a valid IELTS Academic/TOEFL/PTE Academic test to the college or complete the English-language training on-campus or at one of our off-campus language partners.

Don’t meet the English-language requirements?

The English Language Centre (ELC) provides a language pathway for students who meet the academic requirements for admission but require additional English language training. Qualified students will receive conditional admission to their Durham College diploma or certificate program at the same time as they receive admission to the ELC.

For more information, please visit international.durhamcollege.ca/experience-durham-college/english-language-centre

Off-Campus Language Partners

Durham College also recognizes the qualifications awarded by several English-language schools located off-campus. Qualified students of these schools are offered conditional acceptance to post-secondary studies based on their successful completion of the relevant program without any other English proficiency test result(s).  Students should contact the schools to obtain more information about the relevant programs.

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