Acceptable Language Tests & Minimum Scores

Acceptable tests of English Language Proficiency and their respective minimum score requirements are listed below.

English Language Test Minimum Acceptable Score
IELTS – International English Language Testing System (Academic) 6.5 Overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening); results valid for 2 years
CAE – Cambridge English: Advanced 176 Overall with minimum score of 154 in each component; valid for 2 years
PTE – Pearson Test of English Academic 60 Overall with minimum score of 60 in Writing and Speaking; valid for 2 years
CAEL – Canadian Academic English Language 70 Overall with no component score below 60; valid for 2 years
MELAB – Michigan English Language Assessment Battery 85 Overall valid for 2 years
Minimum 80 in each of the three required components;
Minimum 3 in optional speaking component (Required)
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language IBT: 86 Overall with a minimum score of 20 in each of the four components (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening); valid for 2 years

Testing Exemptions

At the discretion of the university, you may be exempted from McMaster’s English proficiency testing requirements if you meet one of the following requirements (exemption is not automatic):

  1. Attended, in full-time academic studies (non-ESL), an accredited Secondary School (High School) or Post-Secondary College in an English-speaking country for at least four years immediately prior to your anticipated start date at McMaster, OR
  2. Attended, in full-time academic studies (non-ESL), an accredited English medium Secondary School (High School) or Post-Secondary College for at least four years immediately prior to your anticipated start date at McMaster,* OR
  3. Attended, in full-time academic studies (non-ESL), an accredited English medium University for at least one year immediately prior to your anticipated start date at McMaster, OR
  4. Resided in an English speaking country for at least four years immediately prior to your anticipated start date at McMaster.

Important Instructions / Notes

  • It is your responsibility to make all arrangements regarding the writing of the English Language Proficiency tests and to have the official score report forwarded to the Admissions Office directly from the testing centre in a timely manner.
    • Please refer to our deadlines and documentation pages.
    • The McMaster University institution code for ETS/TOEFL is 0936.
  • Canadian citizenship, in and of itself, is not enough to satisfy the English Language Requirements, nor does a credit in Grade 12 English (or the equivalent)
  • Students attending a Canadian curriculum offshore school in China are required to submit an English Language Proficiency test
  • Students currently attending an Ontario high school and previously attended a Canadian curriculum offshore in China will be required to provide an English Language Proficiency test
  • The University reserves the right to require applicants with an English Language Proficiency score disparate from their academic English prerequisite achievement to present further evidence of proficiency.
  • If evidence of misrepresentation of fraudulent or falsified documentation is found, the penalty is severe. McMaster University reserves the right to rescind any Offer of Admission and/or scholarship.

 

MELD – McMaster English Language Development Diploma

If you are a student who meets all academic requirements, but does not meet the minimum English-language proficiency scores detailed above, you may still qualify for an offer of admission that is conditional upon the successful completion of the MELD program.

The MELD Diploma is a 1-year (two academic terms) intensive transition program designed for students whose primary language is not English. MELD focuses on the development of academic English, acculturation, and engagement with the university community.

For more information about the program and how to apply, please see the MELD website (link).

MELD Details