English Language Proficiency Requirement

Canisius does not offer English as a second language support. Therefore, we require students to demonstrate English language proficiency. Students who do not meet our exemption requirements are required to submit official documentation regarding their English proficiency.* 

*All exams need to have been taken in the last two years. If your test scores are older than two years, you will need to retake one of the below exams. 

English Language Proficiency Testing Requirements

Canisius is committed to reviewing applicants holistically. Although we are a test-optional institution, we require students to submit official test scores for English language proficiency.  Below you will find the English language tests we accept and the recommended score.

Recommended Score


IELTS 6.5+ Overall
SAT 560+ Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Score
ACT 42+ English and Reading Test Sections Combined
Duolingo English Test 105+
ELS Level 112+
PTE 65+ Academic Score
GTEC 1200+

70+ Overall

*In addition to TOEFL iBT and PBT, Canisius University also accepts TOEFL iBT Paper Edition and TOEFL Essentials.

Who is Exempt?

The following undergraduate applicants are not required to demonstrate English language proficiency with a standardized test:

  • High school students who have completed at least two years of study at a U.S. or Canadian secondary school studying academic English.
  • Transfer applicants who have completed at least two terms (semesters or quarters) of English composition with grades of “C” or better at an accredited U.S. or Canadian college/university (except Quebec). Please note, ESL classes and foundation-level classes are excluded.
  • Native speakers of English who are citizens of the "Exempt Countries" below who were also educated entirely in English.
  • Letters of Mode of Instruction are not accepted as proof of English proficiency.

*Canisius reserves the right to request an English Language Proficiency score upon review of an application. 

Exempt Countries

Applicants who are citizens of the below countries, are native speakers of English, and who were educated entirely in English may be exempt from submitting English Language Proficiency scores.*

*Canisius reserves the right to request an English Language Proficiency score upon review of an application. 

  • American Samoa

  • Anguilla

  • Antigua, Barbuda

  • Australia

  • Bahamas

  • Barbados

  • Belize

  • Bermuda

  • Botswana

  • British Indian Ocean Territories

  • Canada (except Quebec)

  • Cayman Islands

  • Christmas Island

  • Cook Islands

  • Dominica

  • Falkland Islands/Malvinas

  • Fiji

  • Gambia

  • Ghana

  • Gibraltar

  • Grenada

  • Guam

  • Guyana

  • Ireland

  • Jamaica

  • Kenya

  • Kiribati

  • Lesotho

  • Liberia

  • Malawi

  • Marshall Islands

  • Mauritius

  • Micronesia, Federated States

  • Montserrat

  • Namibia

  • Nevis, Saint Kitts

  • New Zealand

  • Nigeria

  • Norfolk Island

  • Northern Mariana Islands

  • Palau

  • Philippines

  • Pitcairn

  • Puerto Rico

  • Saint Helena

  • Saint Lucia

  • Saint Vincent, Grenadines

  • Seychelles

  • Sierra Leone

  • Singapore

  • Solomon Islands

  • South Africa

  • Swaziland

  • Trinidad, Tobago

  • Turks, Caicos Islands

  • Uganda

  • United Kingdom

  • United States

  • U.S. Minor Outlying Islands

  • Virgin Islands, British

  • Virgin Islands, U.S.

  • Zambia

  • Zimbabwe