Universities accepting IELTS score 6.5 in Canada

canada university

Canada’s vibrant culture and booming economy make it one of the most sought-after countries for students to study and settle in. Canada has approximately 97 universities spread across its ten provinces. A candidate should narrow down the universities that offer the course they want, keeping in mind that some only teach in French.

Most Canadian institutions require you to pass an English proficiency test in order to be admitted, with IELTS being the most widely used. Once you’ve decided to take IELTS, the next step is to research the minimum score requirements for the course you’ve chosen. Many students narrow their course search based on the IELTS score required for the course. Fortunately, most Canadian universities accept a minimum overall score of 6.5

For admission to undergraduate and postgraduate studies, most Canadian institutions require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. The following are some reputable and Tier One Canadian institution that accept a 6.5 band score:

University Courses accepting 6.5 overall band score
University of TorontoThe University of Toronto has 40 libraries and the third-largest library system in North America, as well as over 700 undergraduate and 300 graduate programmes in Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Commerce & Management, Computer Science, Engineering, Kinesiology & Physical Education, Music, and Architecture. With the exception of MArch and MA English, almost all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes require a 6.5 overall band score. 
University of British ColumbiaThis university provides 254 undergraduate and 244 postgraduate programmes in Business, Science, Education, Health and Medicine, Engineering, and Humanities. Clinical education is provided to Faculty of Medicine students at more than 80 training sites throughout British Columbia. The MFA courses require a 7 band score, whereas most undergraduate and postgraduate programmes require only a 6.5.
McGill UniversityMaclean’s University Rankings 2022 has ranked McGill University as the top Medical-Doctoral University in Canada for 17 years in a row. Most of their graduate and postgraduate courses require a 6.5 band, whereas MBA admissions require a 7 band.
McMaster UniversityMost undergraduate and postgraduate courses at this university, which is ranked sixth in Canada, require only a 6.5 band score (including MBA/PGDM courses).
University of MontrealSeveral bachelor’s and master’s programmes at this university do not have an IELTS requirement because they mostly use the 12th grade as a cutoff. Admissions, however, require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.
University of AlbertaUAlberta is one of Canada’s top five research universities. Graduates from the University of Alberta are ranked second in Canada in terms of employment rate. This is due to the numerous internship, job shadowing, and career mentoring programmes available here. All bachelor’s courses accept 6.5 band scores, while master’s programmes require 7 band.
University of OttawaSeveral courses are available in over ten different streams, with over 50 specialisations in undergraduate and graduate programmes. This university is well-known for its engineering programme, as well as its research facilities and affordable tuition. All undergraduate programmes, including Bsc, B Tech, and BSN, require only a 6.5 band, whereas Masters programmes require a 7.
University of CalgaryThe University of Calgary has five campuses, four of which are in Calgary and one in Doha, Qatar.This university has a high-Arctic research site, a marine institute, and astrophysical observatories. The University of Calgary offers more than 250 courses in Humanities, Science, Engineering, Biology, Management, Arts, and Education. A 6.5 band score is required for undergraduate programmes in these subjects. A minimum band score of 7 is required for MS, MIM, and MA programmes, while an overall band score of 7.5 is required for M Arch admissions.
Simon Fraser UniversitySFU offers over 300 courses as well as 27 certificate and diploma programmes. Most undergraduate and diploma programmes require a band score of 6.5, while MBA programmes and a few other Masters courses require a band score of 7.
University of WaterlooThe courses offered here are spread across six faculties of Arts, Engineering, Environment, Health, Mathematics, and Science, as well as 30+ Departments and Schools, and it is ranked first in Computer Science programmes, with graduate courses requiring only an overall 6.5 band score. Some PG Math courses require you to have a 7 band score. Master of Mathematics in Computer Science, Master of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and MA Rhetoric Communication and Design, on the other hand, require an overall 7.5 with 7 bands in writing and speaking. 
Dalhousie UniversityThis Nova Scotia university has the largest library in Atlantic Canada, with over one million books. All three MBA programmes require an overall 7.5 band score, while bachelor programmes with professional courses require an overall 6.5 band score.
Queen’s UniversityOne of Canada’s oldest universities, well-known for its MS, MIM, and B Tech programmes, all of which accept a 6.5 band score. All MBA programmes, as well as some courses such as Masters of Art Conservation, Political Studies, Screen Culture, and Curatorial Studies, among others, require a minimum band score of 7.
University of VictoriaThis university has excellent research facilities in eight fields and accepts a 6.5 band score for the majority of its UG and PG courses, with the exception of the Masters in English. Applied Linguistics and Linguistics
University of SaskatchewanOne of the best veterinary, environmental, and agricultural science universities in Canada, accepting 6.5 for all undergraduate programmes. Certain MS programmes require a 7-band average.
Carleton UniversityMost undergraduate and postgraduate courses require an overall grade point average of 6.5, with no less than 6 in each module. A 7 band score is required for certain ‘collaborative specialisation’ courses and doctoral degree admission.

What is Maclean’s ranking?

Maclean’s annual university rankings continue a tradition begun in 1991 of providing essential information in a comprehensive package to assist students in selecting the university that best meets their needs. Maclean’s rankings take into account 12 performance indicators such as student/faculty ratio, scholarships/bursaries, operating budget, reputation, and more. They primarily rank universities by categorising them as medical/doctoral, comprehensive, or undergraduate. (SourceOpens in a new tab.)

Let us look into the list of top 10 universities in the Maclean’s ranking for 2023:


University Overall Ranking 2023 
Mount Allison University1
University of Northern British Columbia2
St. Mary’s University3
Trent University4
Acadia University5
Bishop’s University6
St. Francis Xavier University7
University of Prince Edward Island8
Ontario Tech University9
Lakehead University10


University Overall Ranking 2023 
Simon Fraser University 1
University of Victoria2
University of waterloo3
University of Guelph4
Carleton University5
York University6
Memorial University of Newfoundland7
University of New Brunswick8
Toronto Metropolitan University9
Wilfrid Laurier University10


University Overall Ranking 2023 
Mcgill University1
University of Toronto 2
University of British Columbia3
McMaster university 4
University of Alberta5
University of Ottawa6
Dalhousie University7
Queen’s university at Kingston8
University of Calgary9
University of Montreal10

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Can I get a scholarship with a 6.5 score in Canada?

You would be qualified for many scholarships because IELTS overall band 6.5 is the minimum requirement for scholarship applications. Some courses may require you to submit additional documents such as reference letters, work experience, a 500 to 1000-word essay on why you are eligible for the scholarship, and so on.

Refer to the respective college websites for more information on available scholarships for the course you plan to enrol in. Scholarship coverage varies, and some may provide you with a full fee waiver while others may provide you with financial aid for travel allowances, health insurance, and lodging, among other things.

We have a full article on various IELTS scholarships and how to apply them. Check the article for more details.

How many years of gap is accepted in Canada?

Most reputable Canadian universities accept a 5-year study gap for postgraduate courses and a 2-year gap for undergraduate and diploma courses. This, however, is entirely dependent on the course you intend to enrol in, the entry requirements, and the college policy.

Even if you have a 5-year or more study gap, you can apply for a study visa as long as you provide a genuine and true reason for the gap. However, your statement of purpose should include the reasons for taking this break and why you intend to resume your education. If the admissions committee recognises your potential and does not see the gap as a barrier to your continued education, they may give you a chance.

What are some of the accepted reasons for the study gap in Canada?

Travelling Taking a gap year after completing your secondary, graduate, or diploma studies to explore new opportunities and places. You will be admitted if you can demonstrate how this gap year helped you grow and made you more capable, and how you are now ready to pursue further education.
Family Any genuine family issues, such as bereavement, financial crisis, or childbirth and support, may be accepted as a reason.
Work experienceYou would be required to provide a certificate of experience in a field related to the course that you intend to pursue.
Skill developmentYou may be eligible for admission if you used your gap year to learn new skills and can provide proof, such as a certificate of participation or completion.


Canada is an ideal study-abroad destination. However, because they house a large number of universities and a wide range of courses, it is critical to filter which ones you are eligible for and have an achievable IELTS score based on your English proficiency levels.

Shruthi Raveendran

I am Shruthi Raveendran, a TEFL-certified IELTS/PTE and ESL tutor who has 8+ years of experience working in the education industry. I am a passionate writer, logophile and film enthusiast

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