International applicants

International applicants who are applying from outside Canada should apply at least six months in advance of the intended start date to be sure to have all permits processed before their programs are scheduled to begin. Please be aware of program-specific application deadlines provided on the program pages.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada - Study permit applications are processed by Visa offices outside Canada and processing times can vary by location.

English language proficiency

English is both the working language and the primary language of instruction and examination at UNB, so students must be able to communicate and comprehend English both orally and in written form. All international applicants to the School of Graduate Studies whose mother tongue is not English are required to demonstrate that they have a sufficiently good command of the English language to enable them to participate fully in the academic life of the university.

This includes International applicants who are Landed Immigrants or reside in Canada. Proficiency in English must be demonstrated by one of the means listed below. This proficiency requirement will not be waived. The School of Graduate Studies will not issue the final "Certificate of Acceptance" until the English proficiency requirement is met.

Minimum language proficiency test scores 

Proficiency in English may be demonstrated through the completion of a minimum of two years of university level education within the past five years, where the language of both instruction and examination was in English.

Where this university is not in a country such as Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, or New Zealand for which an official transcript is accepted as sufficient documentation, the required documentation to be submitted will be a copy of the official transcript plus a certified (i.e. by Registrar or equivalent university official) letter indicating the specific courses from the transcript in which both the “instruction and examination were in English". In such circumstances, the School of Graduate Studies reserves the right to require evidence of a TOEFL, IELTS, CanTest, or MELAB score that meets the university’s stated requirements.

Some programs require a higher standard on these tests than the ones indicated as the minimum for the School of Graduate Studies. Consult the program listings to confirm that you meet the language requirements for the program you're applying to.

A photocopy of the test scores for preliminary consideration may be submitted with your application until the official scores are received directly from the testing agency.

Applications will be regarded as incomplete without test scores.

If the School of Graduate Studies determines subsequent to admission that an individual's actual proficiency in English is not adequate, the student may be required to take a standardized English proficiency test at UNB or successfully complete a UNB English language course (AESL 6021 and/or AESL 6022) in order to maintain registration in his/her/their graduate program.

Language proficiency test score

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    • Paper Based (minimum score of 550), including the Test of Written English — TWE (minimum score 4.0)
    • Computer Based TOEFL (minimum score 213) including the Test of Written English — TWE (minimum score of 4.0)
    • Internet Based TOEFL (Minimum score of 92) including the Test of Written English - TWE (minimum score of 25)
    • TOEFL ITP is not accepted
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Academic Module
    • Minimum score of band 7
  • MELAB (The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery)
    • Minimum score of 85%
  • CanTest (The Canadian Test of English for Scholars and Trainees)
    • Minimum score of band 4.5
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic)
    • Minimum score of 65

Graduate record examinations (GRE)

Some Programs require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Please review your program page. The general test is offered as a computer-based test in the U.S., Canada, and many other countries. Paper-based general test administrations are offered in areas of the world where computer based testing is not available. The test measures skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not necessarily related to any particular field of study.

Duration of graduate programs

Graduate students proceeding to the master’s degree by thesis must complete their work within four years of the date of their first registration, with most programs taking between one to three years to complete. Those proceeding to a doctoral degree must complete their work within seven years, with most programs taking between three to five years to complete.

All research- or thesis-based graduate programs offered by UNB involve the writing of a dissertation, thesis, or report, which must be defended at an oral examination. Students studying for one of these degrees at UNB, including international students, are reminded of this requirement and of the consequent need to remain at the University until the oral examination has been completed successfully.

Financial support

Applicants to the School of Graduate Studies at UNB who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents of Canada should be aware that studying in Canada is expensive and that often the financial offers made to students may not be sufficient to cover all of their expenses

Students from abroad are encouraged to apply for awards, such as:

  • The Commonwealth Scholarships;
  • The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), as well as;
  • Programs in their home countries that may provide support.

Browse the Awards Register for more information.

Health insurance

UNB Policy states that all international students who have student visas must purchase international health insurance. Details on these policies can be found on our website.

Upon arrival at UNB, you should immediately visit Financial Services to register and pay your tuition and associated fees. The registration in international health insurance (offered by Guard.Me.) will be triggered at this time and is included in your fees. You will receive a card with your policy number by email and you should print this and carry it with you. This insurance will provide you with emergency health coverage up to 14 days prior to the beginning of the program start date.

Note: Prior to your arrival, UNB’s international insurance is not in place. If you wish to have coverage prior to activation of UNB’s international insurance, you should arrange personal insurance coverage.

Most international students will be eligible to apply for New Brunswick Medicare coverage. Once you have proof of residency, your social insurance number and confirmation of enrolment, you should apply to for Medicare with the Province of New Brunswick.

International student support

If you are an international student, our advisors on the Fredericton campus and the Saint John campus will work with you to ensure that you have a meaningful academic, professional, and cultural experience from the first day of classes until graduation.