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Minimum PTE Scores for Canadian Universities and Visa Success

Canada’s education sector has gained recognition for its robust curriculum and advanced research facilities, appealing to international students seeking study opportunities abroad. As Canada is predominantly English-speaking, non-native English speakers must demonstrate language proficiency to enroll in Canadian universities. One widely accepted method is through English proficiency tests.

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) is among the most popular computer-based tests recognized by numerous Canadian universities and colleges. It assesses students’ language skills required for academic pursuits abroad. This blog aims to guide students on PTE score requirements for studying in Canada and obtaining a Canadian visa.

What PTE Score is Required for Canada?

Now, let’s begin by addressing the PTE score needed for Canada.

Canadian universities recognize a variety of English language proficiency tests, including the PTE, IELTS, and TOEFL. PTE requirements differ across institutions and may vary depending on the level of study—undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral—as well as the specific program to which one is applying.

  • Diploma:

  – PTE score: 45 Overall (Minimum 36 in each module)

  • Undergraduate:

  – PTE score: 50 Overall (Minimum 45 in each module)

  • Post-graduate:

  – PTE score: 65 Overall (Minimum 50 in each module)

For undergraduate programs, many Canadian universities require a PTE Academic score of 55 to 65. Competitive programs or universities may demand higher scores, typically around 65 to 70 or more. For graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, the minimum PTE score is generally higher.

A score of 60 to 70 is typically required, but this varies by institution and program. Competitive programs may require scores of 70 to 80 or higher. Diploma and advanced diploma programs generally accept PTE scores between 50 and 55.

It is essential to research the specific requirements of the university and program you are interested in to determine the exact PTE score needed. Note that different institutions and programs may have varying requirements, with some focusing on individual PTE sections (speaking, writing, reading, listening) and others on the overall score.

  • PTE Score: 70-79

  – Majority of universities

  – Most rank in the top 50-100

  • PTE Score: 60-69

  – Mid to high-ranked universities

  – Typically rank in the top 80-200

  • PTE Score: 50-59

  – Selective number of universities


  – Mostly rank within the top 300-800+

  • PTE Score: 40-49

  – Limited number of universities

  – Typically rank above 400

Furthermore, certain universities may grant conditional admission, enabling students to meet English proficiency requirements through preparatory courses before commencing their primary program. For Canada student visas, an overall PTE score of 60 is mandated.

Obtaining an offer letter from a recognized Canadian educational institution serves as evidence of sufficient English language proficiency.

Leading Universities in Canada Accepting PTE Scores

A curated list has been compiled featuring top universities in Canada that accept PTE scores for the enrollment of international students.

  • St. Thomas University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 50

  • University of Ottawa

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 52-55

  • Brock University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 55

  • University Canada West

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 58

  • Nipissing University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 58

  • Western University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 58

  • University of Calgary

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 59

  • McMaster University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 60

  • York University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 60-65

  • University of Waterloo

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 60-68

  • McGill University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 65

  • Dalhousie University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 61-65

  • Simon Fraser University

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 61-65

  • University of Alberta

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 61-68

  • University of British Columbia

  – Minimum PTE score for Canada: 65-72


Leading Colleges in Canada Accepting PTE Scores

  • Seneca College

  – Minimum overall score: 60

  • George Brown College

  – Overall score: 60

  – Minimum 55 in each skill band

  • Conestoga College

  – Overall score: 50

  – Minimum 36 in each module

  • Centennial College

  – Minimum overall score: 60

  • Humber College

  – Minimum overall score:

    – Undergraduate degree: 58-60

    – Graduate degree: 61-64

  • Niagara College

  – Minimum overall score: 51

  – Minimum 36 in each section

  • Georgian College

  – Overall score: 61

  • Durham College

  – Overall score:

    – Depending on the course: 58-64

If you haven’t achieved the required PTE score for Canada, here are steps you can take:

  1. Retake the PTE Test:

  – You have the option to retake the PTE Academic Exam without any limits on attempts. Candidates can schedule their next test as soon as five days after their previous attempt. Assess your weaknesses and prepare accordingly for improved performance.

  1. Consider Other Proficiency Tests:

  – Canadian universities accept alternative English proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL. These tests are recognized alternatives to the PTE and are widely accepted across institutions in Canada.

  1. Explore Foundation Programs:

  – Foundation programs are available to enhance your language skills before beginning your main course at Canadian colleges or universities. Many institutions offer these programs specifically for students who have not yet met the required English proficiency level.

  1. Research Institutions with Lower Score Requirements:

  – Some universities and colleges in Canada accept lower PTE scores. Explore these options and apply accordingly.


These steps provide alternatives and pathways to meet English language proficiency requirements for your academic pursuits in Canada.

Minimum PTE Score for Canada Student Visa

Understanding the minimum PTE score required for a Canada student visa is crucial for visa approval. Achieving the minimum PTE score demonstrates language proficiency and readiness for academic pursuits in Canada.

Canadian immigration authorities establish specific minimum PTE scores for visa applicants, reflecting different levels of English proficiency. Here are the minimum scores corresponding to various levels:

  • Functional English: Overall Score 30
  • Vocational English: 36 in each section
  • Competent English: 50 in each section
  • Proficient English: 65 in each section
  • Superior English: 79 in each section

Aiming to meet or exceed the minimum PTE score for Canada enhances your visa application and increases the likelihood of approval.

Student Visa Application Process for Canada

The student visa application process is closely linked to applying to your desired university in Canada. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the following application requirements beforehand:

  • Regular Student Permit:

  – Applicants can apply online or in person using a paper application at the CIC head office. The eligibility and verification processes are consistent for both methods.

  • Direct Stream Student:

  – Students applying through the direct stream can submit their application online via the CIC website. Applicants should expect a response from the visa authority within a minimum of 20 days.

Tips to Improve PTE Scores

To improve your PTE exam performance, tailor your preparation to your learning style and identify areas for improvement using a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats):

  • Focus on strengthening weaknesses and refining strengths.
  • Engage in mock tests to familiarize yourself with the format.
  • Practice with a timer to improve speed in answering questions.
  • Enhance listening skills through podcasts and note-taking.
  • Develop reading proficiency with books and newspapers to expand vocabulary.
  • Practice writing regularly to respond effectively to prompts.
  • Improve speaking skills by conversing in English and reviewing recordings for self-improvement.

Wrapping Up


PTE scores are accepted by various educational institutions in Canada as evidence of English proficiency, though specific score requirements may vary by university and program. Researching your intended university and program is crucial to determining the exact score needed for admission. Plan ahead, take the test early, and prepare thoroughly to meet the English language requirements for your academic journey in Canada.

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