English Language Proficiency

English Language Proficiency Scores

All applicants whose first language is not English must provide formal documentation demonstrating that they meet or exceed the MES program English Language Proficiency requirements. The scores required for MES program admission exceed the standard university requirements for graduate-level studies.

Why ELP scores are important

Students in the MES Program are called upon to exercise their communication skills frequently within the classroom (daily) and through written assignments, group work, and oral presentations. A strong command of the English language in all areas (oral, reading, writing, listening, comprehension) is required for success in this dynamic fast-paced environment. Students must be prepared 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 in-class participation demand strong listening skills and comprehension of the language at an advanced level.

Documentation Requirements

Applicants whose First language is not English English Language Proficiency Test Score Requirement
  • with degree(s) completed at a university where English is not the language of instruction and/or
  • degree(s) completed in a country where English is not the official language

Official copy of test scores dated within two years prior to application to the MES program

  • who have recently studied full-time for two or more years at a university where English is the language of instruction and
  • that university was in a country where English is or is one of the official languages

Official copy of test scores dated within five years prior to application to the MES program

Applicants may submit an official copy of an English Language Proficiency test score originally used to apply for a recently completed degree program.

Only official test scores that meet or exceed the MES program English Language Proficiency requirements are accepted.

Test scores that are outdated or do not meet the minimum requirements for the program admission are not accepted as placeholders for pending test results secured following the application period.

Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English may be furnished and considered in lieu of these test scores. See Test and Performance Requirements below for a list of alternatives and related conditions.


The Admissions Committee will not take requests for ELP exemptions. Prospective applicants may contact the graduate program in advance of application to determine if test scores will not be required only in specific situations that deviate from those listed. A decision will then be made at the discretion of the program for exemption.

Test and Performance Requirements

When English is not the first language, formal documentation demonstrating the applicant has meet or exceeds the MES program's English Language Proficiency requirements must be submitted as part of an application. Applications that do not include sufficient evidence of English Language Proficiency as determined by the MES program or documentation indicating a program exemption in advance of submission will not be considered for admission.

Strong preference will be given to those applicants that exceed the English language proficiency requirements.

Duolingo English Test

The  Duolingo test is available online (takes 1 hour) and is offered at a reasonable cost

The minimum acceptable score for admission to the MES program is 120

Western University and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies receives scores from Duolingo directly. When completing the Duolingo English Test, please select “Western University-Graduate Studies” from the Institution list to ensure your results are available.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFLiBT Internet-based test


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

Submit electronically Western ID: 0984

TOEFL-CBT Computer-based test minimum overall score: 240

Minimum score in each category:

  • 22 Reading 22 Listening 26 Structure

TOEFL-PBT Paper-based test - Post-July 2017*


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

*Test taken July 2017 or later

TOEFL-PBT Paper-based test - Pre-July 2017*


  • Overall score: ≥ 587
  • Listening: ≥ 56
  • Written: ≥ 61
  • Reading: ≥ 56

*Test taken prior to July 2017

The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council


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

The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment)

Minimum score of 60.

Fanshawe College ESL Program

Graduation from Level 10, English for Academic Purposes, with a minimum 80% in all components. Official proof of graduation required.

Western English Language Centre

Successful completion of the program.