Admission requirements for international students

Updates from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

On Jan. 22, 2024, IRCC announced:

  • A temporary measure to stabilize the number of new study permits issued to international students for two years. For 2024, the cap will be approximately 360,000 students across Canada.
  • This cap does not apply to Master’s or PhD students.
    • IRCC will allocate a portion of the cap to each province and territory, who will then distribute the allocation among their designated learning institutions.
    • As of Feb. 8, UNB does not know our allocation or the allocation for the province of New Brunswick.
  • To implement the cap, every study permit application submitted to IRCC after Jan. 21, 2024, requires a provincial attestation letter (PAL).
    • The province of New Brunswick is developing a process to get a PAL. This process is expected to be in place by March 31, 2024.
  • Some students are exempt from the PAL, this includes Master's and PhD students, visiting and exchange students and work permit holders.
  • If you have received an offer to attend UNB and are not exempt from the PAL, you should not apply for a study permit until the process for getting a PAL has been determined or your application will be returned.
  • If you have received an offer to attend a Master's or PhD program, or are exempt from the PAL, you can apply for a study permit as soon as you receive your offer letter.
  • Current study permit holders are not affected by the cap. Those studying in Canada already who apply for a study permit extension will not be counted against the cap or require a PAL.
  • IRCC has indicated that in the weeks ahead only spouses of students in Master’s and PhD programs will be eligible for a spousal open work permit.

Please see the IRCC release from Jan. 22, 2024 for more information.

High school students

High school students applying to undergraduate programs at the University of New Brunswick must meet the following three sets of requirements in order to be considered for admission.

1. English language proficiency requirements

Undergraduate applicants whose native language is not English require the following English language proficiency minimum scores for direct entry into most academic programs:

  • TOEFL IBT with a minimum overall score of 85
  • IELTS or IELTS Indicator with a minimum overall score of 6.5
  • CAEL CE or CAEL Online with a minimum overall score of 60
  • Pearson Vue Test with a minimum score of 59
  • Cambridge English Assessment C1 advanced or C2 proficiency with a minimum score of 176
  • Duolingo with a minimum overall score of 115

The following undergraduate programs require a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (or equivalent) for direct entry

  • Fredericton campus: Nursing, Education, and Arts
  • Saint John campus: Nursing, Health Sciences

Please contact the UNB International Recruitment Centre to determine if you meet the minimum requirements for programs requiring a higher proficiency score (international@unb.ca).

2. Country-specific admission requirements

We accept qualified applicants from all countries who have completed their national high school curriculum or equivalent. Please refer to the country-specific admission requirements.

3. International secondary school programs

We welcome and encourage applications from the following international secondary school programs:

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

UNB requires Ordinary levels, plus a minimum of 3 qualifying AS/Advanced level subjects with the following individual program requirements:

  • English Language, English First Language, English Literature (other literature-based language courses will be considered)
  • 4 electives from group 1
  • 1 elective from group 1, 2 or 3
    • Overall average of C or higher in the subjects above required for most programs
    • Overall average of B required for the Bachelor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

  • English Language, English First Language, English Literature (other literature-based language courses will be considered)
  • Mathematics (must be taken at AS/Adv. Level)*
  • 2 electives from group 1
  • 1 elective from group 1 or 2
    • Overall average of B or higher in the subjects above

*Special admission with conditions may be considered if applicants only present Ordinary level Mathematics.


  • English Language, English First Language, English Literature (other literature-based language courses will be considered)
  • Mathematics (must be taken at AS/Adv. Level)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • 1 elective from group 1, 2 or 4
    • Each subject passed with a minimum grade of C or above
    • Overall average B or higher in the subjects above

  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL) or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (SL)
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • 1 elective from group 1
    • Each subject passed with a minimum grade of B
    • Overall average of B or higher in the subjects above

  • English Language, English First Language, English Literature (other literature-based language courses will be considered)
  • Mathematics (must be taken at AS/Adv. Level)
  • Chemistry
  • 1 of either Biology or Physics
  • 1 elective from group 1 or 2 (*a group 4 elective may be used for entrance to Computer Science only)
    • Overall average of B or higher in the subjects above

  • Language courses designated “Second Language” will not be considered to meet core requirements (only elective requirements).
  • University credit may be awarded for eligible subjects taken at Advanced level depending on degree program selected and final grades obtained. See advanced standing for more information.
  • Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to any program.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP)

UNB requires a minimum of 3 subjects to be taken at higher level (HL) with the following program-specific requirements:

  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • 4 electives from group 1
  • 1 elective from group 1, 2 or 3
    • Overall average of 3 or higher required for most programs
    • Overall average of 4 or higher required for the Bachelor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies

  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL or HL) or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (HL)*
  • 2 electives from group 1
  • 1 elective from group 1 or 2
    • Overall average of 4 or higher in the subjects above

*Special admission may be considered for students who have not completed the required math.


  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL or HL) or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation HL
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • 1 elective from group 1, 2 or 4
    • Each subject passed with a minimum grade of 4 or above with an overall average 4 or higher

  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL) or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation (SL)
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • 1 elective from group 1
    • Each subject passed with a minimum grade of 4 with an overall average of 4 or higher

  • English A: Language & Literature (other languages will be considered)
  • Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches (SL or HL) or Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation HL
  • Chemistry
  • 1 of either Biology or Physics
  • 1 elective from group 1 or 2 (*a group 4 elective may be used for entrance to Computer Science only)
    • Overall average of 4 or higher in the subjects above

  • Language acquisition courses designated “ab” or “B” are only considered as group 1 electives and will not satisfy the senior literature requirement.
  • University credit may be awarded for eligible subjects taken at higher level (HL) depending on degree program selected and final grades obtained.
  • Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to any program.

Group electives

  • Group 1: Literature, maths, sciences, languages and social studies
  • Group 2: Business and cultural courses
  • Group 3: Performing and fine arts courses
  • Group 4: Technology courses (including design technology)
  • Group 5: Health, physical education, and leadership studies

Transfer students

We welcome and encourage applications from students wishing to transfer from another post-secondary institution.

Applicants who have completed prior post-secondary studies outside of Canada or the United States of America are required to submit a World Education Services (WES) ICAP Evaluation as part of their admission package. Applicants should request the WES International Credential Advantage Package (ICAP) Document-by-Document report. If you have a prior WES report, you must add WES ICAP to your evaluation report.

In addition to meeting our regular admission requirements, transfer students seeking credit for earlier post-secondary work must submit a detailed overview of their program of study and official course outlines for each course they have completed. Transfer credits will be determined on a case-by-case basis in accordance with UNB faculty standards. Transfer applicants should apply early to ensure time for faculty to review course outlines.

Applicants must disclose all prior attendance at other post-secondary institutions in Canada or abroad, regardless of whether they are seeking transfer credit. Failure to disclose this information may result in a rejection of the student’s application or subsequent suspension from UNB.

Graduate students

See the School of Graduate Studies for admission requirements for graduate programs.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please email us: international@unb.ca. We are here to help!

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