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Athabasca University


Due to Covid-19, Athabasca University has temporarily changed some student processes. Please refer to the Covid Q&A page for any updates and current steps that may be different from our regular practices.

3.1.7 English Language Proficiency

English is the primary language of instruction at Athabasca University. Applicants whose native language is not English, or who have not completed their secondary or post-secondary education in English speaking countries, must demonstrate English Language Proficiency in the ways outlined below before they are allowed to register in AU courses:

  • A minimum of 15 credits (e.g. five, 3-credit courses) eligible for transfer credit from a recognized English-speaking university; or one year of transfer credit based on work completed at a non-university, post-secondary institution, with an overall average of 75 per cent (GPA of 3.0);
  • A minimum score of 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS); A minimum score of 60 on the Carleton University's Canadian Academic English Language Assessments (CAEL);
  • A minimum score of 80 on the English Proficiency Test administered by the English Language Institute of the University of Michigan (MELAB); A minimum overall score of 59 on the Pearson Test of English (PTE);
  • A minimum score of 213 on the Computer-based Test of English as a Foreign Language, with 4.5 on the Test of Written English; or 80, with an essay score of 20, on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L);
  • Successful completion of AU's English Language Proficiency Program, with an overall average of 75 per cent (GPA of 3.0).


Students must submit their proof of English Language Proficiency via:

  • email:
  • fax: 1-780-675-6147
  • in person at Athabasca University
  • mail/courier to:

Athabasca University
Office of the Registrar
Enrolment Services and Academic Records
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3
1-780-675-6288 (telephone number to be listed on courier waybill)

The date reflected for the submission will be based on the date of the documentation is received or the post-mark or shipment date. Notification of the result of the request will be provided by either e-letter or letter mail.

Copies of the proof of English Language Proficiency will be stored with the official student records and may be subject to audit.

The Office of the Registrar maintains a list of English speaking countries from which applicants would usually be deemed to have met English Language Proficiency.

English Language Proficiency Requirements Policy


All Appeals to this policy must be made within two months of the Office of the Registrar's original decision by using the online appeals form, which will direct the appeal to the designated Appeal Officer. The Appeal Officer has the final decision-making authority on all appeals related to this policy. All decisions will be communicated in writing to the Appellant.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Updated April 20 2021 by laurab

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