English Language Proficiency

The Master of Data Analytics (MDA) is a professional science master’s degree designed to produce graduates with strong technical analytics skills that are currently in demand. MDA students are required to complete reading and writing assignments within short time frames as well as contribute productively to discussions in class without advanced or comprehensive exposure to materials presented. Group work and participation in classroom environments demands strong listening skills and comprehension of the language at an advanced level.

This means that a strong command of the English language in all areas (oral, reading, writing, listening, and comprehension) is required.

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide formal documentation demonstrating that they meet or exceed the MDA program's English Language Proficiency requirements. Specific documentation, test options, and performance requirements are as follows:

ELP Documentation Requirements if English is NOT your First Language:

  • Completed undergraduate degree in a country where English is not the official language = Must submit test results from within the last 2 years
  • Studied 2 or more years at a university in a country where English is the official language = Must submit test results from within the last 5 years (the ELP results can be what you submitted for your undergrad application)
  • Completed 2 or more years of high school plus a 4-year undergraduate degree in Canada or USA = Exempt from ELP requirement - not required to submit ELP test results

Test and Performance Requirements

Duolingo English Test

The minimum acceptable score for Admission to the MDA program is 120.

International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)


  • Academic Test
  • Overall score: ≥7 out of 9
  • No individual score less than 6.5

Test of English as a Foreign Language – Internet-based test (TOEFLiBT)


  • Overall score: ≥ 94
  • Reading: ≥ 22
  • Listening: ≥ 22
  • Speaking: ≥ 26
  • Writing: ≥ 24

Test of English as a Foreign Language – Paper-delivered Test (Post-July 2017)


  • Overall score: ≥ 68
  • Reading: ≥ 22
  • Listening: ≥ 24
  • Writing: ≥ 22

*Test taken July 2017 or later

Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English may be considered in lieu of these test scores (e.g., programs offered through Western's English Language Centre; Fanshawe College's ESL Program; etc). Students must contact the graduate program to determine if test scores will not be required for their specific situation. A decision will then be made at the discretion of the program for exemption.

The Admissions Committee will not take requests for ELP exemptions. If English is not your first language formal documentation from one of the above tests that demonstrates you meet or exceed the MDA program's English Language Proficiency requirements must be submitted as part of your application. Applications that do not provide such documentation will not be considered.

Strong preference will be given to those applicants that exceed the English language proficiency requirements. If English is not your first language and you believe that your proficiency in English has improved since your last test we strongly advise you to submit a more recent assessment of your English skills.

We recognize that Covid-19 has resulted in the closure of many testing sites worldwide. As such, the MDA program is now accepting the Duolingo test as an acceptable test that is available online (takes 1 hour) and at a reasonable cost ($49 USD). Please consider this option if you are unable to access other testing centres.