English proficiency


English is the language of instruction at OCAD University. All applicants, including mature applicants, must demonstrate proficiency in English by satisfying one of the following:

  • Ontario high school students: grade 12 University level English (ENG4U or EAE4U) with a minimum final grade of at least 70%
  • OAC English with a minimum final grade of at least 70%
  • Where English is the official language of instruction: grade 12 academic English or equivalent with a minimum grade of B or 70%
  • Post-secondary English equivalent to an OAC, or grade 12 academic English with a minimum final grade of at least  a B or 70%
  • TOEFL or equivalent test. Please see below for TOEFL and equivalent test scores.

Additional Requirements

High school applicants: if your first language is not English and you have resided and studied less than four years in a country or school system where the official language is English, you are required to present the successful results of a TOEFL (or equivalent test) in addition to the grade 12 English requirement to complete proof of English proficiency.

Applicants not currently in high school: if your first language is not English and you have resided and studied less than four years in a country where the official language is English, you are required to present the successful results of a TOEFL (or equivalent test) to complete proof of English proficiency.

English Language Testing Scores

CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment): 70 overall with no band below 60.

COPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) and TOP (Test of Oral Proficiency): 86 overall with at least 32 in writing, at least 22 in reading, and at least 22 in listening. Minimum of 6 in TOP.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 6.5 overall with no part below 6.0 (academic version). 

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Applicants taking the TOEFL test for the first time must provide an internet-based score (IBT) of 80 overall with no scores below the following: 19 in Reading, 14 in Listening, 22 in Speaking, and 20 in Writing.

Where IBT is not available: PBT (Paper-based TOEFL) minimum score of 580.

English Language School Partners

OCAD University will consider English language training that students have received at the Hansa Language Centre. Official documentation from the ILAC must be submitted. 

  • Hansa Language Centre students successfully complete the Hansa Language Centre English for Academic Purposes Level 10 with a score of at least 80% not be required to produce IELTS/TOEFL or equivalent test results.
  • Hansa Language Centre students who successfully complete Hansa Language Centre English for Academic Purposes Level 9 with a score of at least 80% and who complete OCAD U’s English for Art & Design (EAD) program will not be required to produce IELTS/TOEFL or equivalent test results.

OCAD University will consider English language training that students have received at the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC). Official documentation from the ILAC must be submitted. 

  • ILAC students who successfully complete the ILAC Pre-Degree III/University Pathway Program Level 16 will not be required to produce TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent test results. 
  • ILAC students who successfully complete the ILAC Pre-Degree III/University Pathway Program Level 15 and who complete OCAD U's English for Art & Design (EAD) program will not be required to produce TOEFL/IELTS or equivalent test results.

OCAD University will consider successful completion of Level 60 with a minimum score of 'B' in the University of Toronto English Language Program as equivalent to the TOEFL/IELTS  or equivalent test. Official documentation from the University of Toronto must be submitted.    

English for Art & Design (EAD)

Designed specifically for students who speak English as a second language, English for Art & Design is for OCAD U students, taught by OCAD U instructors.

If you have been accepted to OCAD U and your scores are lower than the English Proficiency Requirements listed above, then you may apply to the English for Art & Design (EAD) Program. If you pass the EAD program, you will fulfill OCAD U's English proficiency requirements for admission. To participate in the EAD program, your English proficiency scores must fall within the EAD discretionary range. For more information, please visit the English for Art & Design page.