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English Proficiency

Because all courses at CityU are taught in English, all incoming students must demonstrate proficiency in English prior to enrollment, in addition to any other academic qualifications of their prospective program. It is vital to your success at CityU for you to be proficient in both spoken and written English.

CityU reserves the right to request proof of English proficiency from applicants (irrespective of citizenship, country of origin, or first language) at any time during the appraisal process. If English is not your first language (i.e. is not the first language you learned at home as a child):

  • You will NOT need to provide a proof of English proficiency (other than your official academic transcripts) if you lived and attended high school and/or university, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language
Click here to see the list of the countries where English is the acknowledged primary language
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines (Students must provide a certificate of instruction in English at an accredited Philippines university)
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • South Africa
  • You will NEED to provide evidence of adequate English ability prior to admission if you do not qualify for the above-mentioned exemption, even if you:
    • Consider English to be your first language
    • Have attended college/university at an accredited institution (in a non-English country) where English is the main language of instruction.

Acceptable means to demonstrate English proficiency

English placement test scores are valid for 24 months only.  CityU’s Institutional Placement and Proficiency will be measured by the iTEP (International TEST of English Proficiency).  Scores for all other tests taken outside of CityU must be authenticated by the test publisher (Official Transcripts).

Institutional versions of the tests below are not acceptable. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure their official test results are sent to CityU. Results must come directly from the examining institution to CityU; results uploaded by applicants are NOT official. CityU can receive results electronically, directly from the issuing organization, when possible as long they are securely sent with a protected password.

Standardized Test ScoreGraduate ProgramsUndergraduate Programs
iTEP Academic Plus4.54.0
TOEFL iBT8776
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)Band 6.5Band 6.0
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language)Overall 70
Writing 70
Overall 60
Writing 60
PTE (Pearson Test of English)5951
Duolingo110100
Cambridge EnglishCambridge English Advanced (CAE)Cambridge English First (FCE)

Read our English Proficiency Policy to learn more.

How can an applicant demonstrate English proficiency by an appeal?

Once the CityU applicant has submitted the petition, he or she may be asked to be interviewed by the ELP Director.

During this appointment, the applicant will have a 10 minute oral interview with the director. Following the interview, he or she will be given a multiple choice grammar test and an essay topic and will write a concise, one-page response within a 50 minute time period.

  • Interview: 10
  • Grammar: 30
  • Writing: 50
  • Total time: 90 minutes

Where does the English Language Proficiency interview take place?

Applicants will be required to come in person to their local CityU Canada site for a phone interview with the ESL Director of CityU Seattle.

When will the applicant know the results of the oral/written interview?

The director of English Language Programs will send an email response to both the applicant and his or her advisor within 3 business days.

Click here for appealing the English proficiency requirement.

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