English Language Proficiency

English Language Proficiency Scores

When English is a second language, an English Language Proficiency Score may be required (see Exemptions). The scores required for MES program admission exceed the standard university requirement for graduate-level studies.

Why ELP scores are important

Students in the MES Program are called upon to exercise their communication skills frequently within the classroom (daily) and through written assignments, group work, and oral presentations. A strong command of the English language in all areas (oral, reading, writing, listening, comprehension) is required for success in this dynamic fast-paced environment. Students must be prepared to complete reading and writing assignments within short time frames as well as contribute productively to discussions in class without advanced or comprehensive exposure to materials presented. Group work and in-class participation demand strong listening skills and comprehension of the language at an advanced level.

An acceptable test score is one that meets or exceeds the minimum standard of achievement and is no more than two years old at the time of application.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFLiBT Internet-based test minimum overall score: 94

Minimum score in each category:

  • 22 Reading 22 Listening 26 Speaking 24 Writing

Submit electronically Western ID: 0984

TOEFL-CBT Computer-based test minimum overall score: 240

Minimum score in each category:

  • 22 Reading 22 Listening 26 Structure

TOEFL-PBT Paper-based test minimum overall score: 587

Minimum score in each category:

  • 56 Reading 56 Listening 61 Written Expression

The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council

Minimum overall score: 7 out of 9, with no individual score (reading, listening, speaking writing) less than 6.5.

The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL Assessment)

Minimum score of 60.

Duolingo English Test

The minimum acceptable score for admission to the MES program is 120

Western University and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies receives scores from Duolingo directly. When completing the Duolingo English Test, please select “Western University-Graduate Studies” from the Institution list to ensure your results are available.

Culture Works

Successful completion of the High-Advanced level. Official proof of graduation required.

Fanshawe College ESL Program

Graduation from Level 10, English for Academic Purposes, with a minimum 80% in all components. Official proof of graduation required.

Western English Language Centre

Successful completion of the program.


Other formal evidence of graduate level proficiency in English may be considered in lieu of test scores, in certain circumstances, as outlined below. The university reserves the right to request a test score from applicants in these circumstances at a later date, as a condition of acceptance into the program. A decision will be made at the discretion of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for exemption.


Applicants with degrees from post-secondary institutions where the language of instruction is English are exempt from providing a score (at the time of application), provided the applicant attended the institution for at least two full years of academic study. An additional letter from the post-secondary institution stating that English is the language of instruction is advised, unless this information is included on the transcript.


Applicants having lived and worked in settings where the language of business communication is exclusively in English are exempt from providing a score with their application. Notation of this experience should be included in the Statement of Academic Intent, and in an additional letter included in your submission from the employer confirming English as the language of business used during your employment.