English language requirements

Direct entry

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 PTE with a minimum score of 59
  • Cambridge English Assessment B2 First, 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).


An international applicant is not required to submit proof of English Language proficiency if:

  1. The applicant has studied in a high school in Canada for a minimum of 1 year and has achieved a minimum of 70% in Grade 12 English (ENG4U/EAE4U or equivalent course); or
  2. The applicant has studied in an English speaking high school for a minimum of 1 year and is applying from one of the following countries:
    • American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Island, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pacific Island Trust Territory, Ryukyu Island, Seychelles, Republic of Singapore, Republic of South Africa, St. Helena, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Virgin Islands, Zambia, Zimbabwe. or
  1. The applicant has studied in an English language school (secondary or higher) for a minimum of 3 years and can offer one of the following tests or qualifications:
    • GCE A Level English Literature with minimum grade of C
    • Norway English 3rd Year Upper Secondary with minimum grade of 4
    • Sweden English 3rd Year Upper Secondary with minimum grade of VG
    • Denmark English 3rd Year Upper Secondary with minimum grade of 10
    • India CBSE & CISCE year 12 English with minimum grade of 75%

In all cases, the University of New Brunswick reserves the right to require proof of language proficiency before permission will be granted to register in academic courses.


Conditional admission

International students who do not have an English test score, or who still need to improve their English skills, may be accepted into an undergraduate program on the condition that they will complete full-time English Language Training at UNB before starting their undergraduate degree. Conditional admission still enables students to obtain a study visa into Canada.

Fredericton campus

The Program of Academic English Preparation (PAEP) is UNB Fredericton’s pathway program into undergraduate studies. Academically admissible students to UNBF who do not meet the full English language requirements for undergraduate entrance to the Fredericton campus are candidates for PAEP. Students can apply with IELTS (or equivalent) scores or be tested upon arrival.

PAEP Pathway students with IELTS scores of 5.5 and 6.0 (or equivalent) are eligible to take academic courses in select faculties while studying English for Academic Purposes (EAP). English language training is delivered by the internationally renowned English Language Programme (est.1950). Students with IELTS scores below 5.5 (or equivalent) are eligible to study full time EAP classes before moving onto pathways that include academic course study. Upon successful completion of PAEP, students receive academic credit.

PAEP Pathway students benefit from UNB’s support services, weekly academic advising, residence accommodations, sports facilities and eligibility for UNB’s entrance scholarships. Full-time language studies incorporate class hours, homework, tutorials and advising involving 35+ hours a week. The program follows UNB academic terms commencing in September, January, and May.

Saint John campus

Students who are conditionally accepted to the UNB Saint John campus complete their English Language Training at Saint John College. Saint John College offers two pathway programs into undergraduate studies: the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program and the ESL Support Program. The EAP Program is a full-time, semester-based 4-level program designed for students with IELTS scores of 2.0-5.5 (or equivalent). The ESL Support Program is a one-semester, full-time program in which students take three advanced ESL classes along with 1-2 academic credit courses.

Students are tested and placed upon arrival and most students do not need to complete all five levels of language training before entering full-time academic studies. Saint John College programs begin in September, January, or May, although all levels of the EAP Program may not be offered in each semester.