English Proficiency Requirements
Sheridan is home to students from over 120 countries and welcomes learners from many language backgrounds.
Sheridan’s common, shared language of instruction is English in all our classrooms (lectures, seminars, laboratories, etc.) and any program workplace components (such as co-op, placements, etc.). Students need to be able to speak and write clearly in English and have strong listening and reading skills. These language skills support student success in all of our programs.
Admission to Sheridan’s programs is based on both academic requirements and English language proficiency for all students whose first language is not English.
If English is not your first language, or if your previous education was in another language, you can demonstrate your knowledge and skills in English in three ways: successful completion of Sheridan’s ESL program; or previous secondary or postsecondary experience in English; or achieving the minimum requirements of an English-language proficiency test.
Select the headings below to reveal more information about each of the three ways of demonstrating your proficiency in English at Sheridan.
1. Successful completion of Sheridan’s ESL program
Sheridan’s English as a Second Language (ESL) is a full-time, intensive program for students who want to improve their English skills for personal, professional or academic reasons. It provides a balanced approach to language learning that encourages students to develop their skills both within and outside our classrooms.
The highest level, English for Academic Purposes (EAP) can meet the English Proficiency requirements for most certificate, diploma, degree or post-graduate certificates at Sheridan.
2. Previous secondary or postsecondary experience
You can demonstrate your English-language proficiency with successful completion of one of the following:
- at least three full-time years* of study in English at an accredited secondary school/examination board recognized by Sheridan
- at least two full-time years* of study in English at an accredited college recognized by Sheridan
- at least one full-time year* of study in English at an accredited university recognized by Sheridan
- at least one full-time year* of study in English for a post-graduate certificate at an accredited college recognized by Sheridan
- International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma program where English is the language of instruction, with High Level or Standard Level “English A: Literature”, “English A: Language and literature” or “Literature and performance”
- Full GCSE, IGCSE or GCE (O Levels, AS Levels, or A Levels) programs with “English” or “English First Language” courses
* ESL courses do not count towards your years of English study.
Not all career colleges and private (post) secondary institutions are recognized as accredited institutions by Sheridan. These unrecognized institutions do not count towards your years of English study or for admissions requirements.
Recognized accredited institutions
Sheridan recognizes the following types of academic institutions for the English language proficiency requirement:
- Canadian (other than Quebec) public or private secondary school accredited by the province.
- Canadian (other than Quebec) public postsecondary school. Canadian degree granting institutions that are primarily faith based and approved as a private postsecondary institution in Canada.
- Quebec public or independent school accredited by the Quebec Ministry of Education and must follow the Québec Education Program. Including completion of any of the following: Secondary V certificate including English Language Arts Secondary 5; CEGEP with academic pre-university courses including a minimum two courses in English (603); Or a recognized Quebec University where the primary language of instruction is English.
- Accredited secondary school/college/university/examination board
- in one of the countries listed below.
- in a country not listed below but is government-authorized and accredited by one of the countries listed below and is approved to follow and award that country’s academic curriculum.
A Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia B Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands C Cameroon (with GCE O and A level English courses), Canada (see requirements in the bullet points above), Cayman Islands D Dominica F Fiji G Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana I Ireland (English curriculum) J Jamaica K Kenya M Mauritius (with GCE O and A level English courses) N New Zealand, Nigeria P Philippines1 S Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Sierra Leone, South Africa (English curriculum) T Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos U Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America Z Zambia, Zimbabwe
1 This is a temporary exemption for institutions in Philippines. It starts in the Winter 2024 intake and is effective for two years. To qualify for the exemption, a school letter certifying the primary language of instruction and evaluation was English is required along with the transcripts.
3. Minimum scores on English-language proficiency test
Sheridan recognizes the following tests and considers their minimum scores for admission decisions. (Only one official result is required.) Note: For admission purposes, some programs require a higher score than the minimum scores stated below.
- Test results must be completed within the past two years (24 months) of the first day of classes.
Certificate or Diploma program requirement
Degree and Graduate Certificate program requirement
Sheridan’s ESL program EAP level (English for Academic Purposes)
A minimum score of 70% in listening and speaking and 70% in reading and writing. General Education courses and Navigating Digital Environments (INFO) minimum required grade of 50%.
A minimum score of 75% in listening and speaking and 75% in reading and writing. General Education courses and Navigating Digital Environments (INFO) minimum required grade of 50%.
Sheridan EPA test (English Proficiency Assessment)
Listening Band – 4.0 Reading Combined Band – 4.0 Writing – CLB 7
Listening Band – 4.5 Reading Combined Band – 4.5 Writing – CLB 8
CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language) online or in person
overall score 60 with no individual section below 50
overall score 70 with no individual section below 60
Cambridge English Test Exams (B2 First/C1 Advanced/C2 Proficiency score)
overall Cambridge English Scale score 169 with no individual score below 162
overall Cambridge English Scale score 176 with no individual score below 169
Duolingo English Language Test
Test Certificate must be submitted with the Sharable Public Test Certificate Link
overall score of 105 with no individual subscore lower than 85
overall score of 115 with no individual subscore lower than 95
IELTS Academic Level (International English Language Testing System) online or in person
overall score 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5
overall score 6.5 with no individual band below 6.0
overall score 3.7
overall score 3.9
PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English) online or in person
overall score 58 with no individual section below 49
overall score 60 with no individual section below 57
TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TOEFL iBT Home Edition (DI Code: 9117)
overall score 80 with no individual section below 20
overall score 88 with no individual section below 21
- Pharmacy Technician program (PPHTO) English proficiency requirements are: TOEFL iBT overall score 91 (21L, 25W, 23S, 22R); IELTS Academic Module overall score 6.5 with no individual band below 6.0. No other tests above are accepted.
- Teaching English as a Second Language program (PTESL) English proficiency requirements are: TOEFL iBT – Listening: 24; Reading: 24; Writing: 27; Speaking: 27; IELTS Academic Module – Listening: 7; Reading: 7; Writing: 7; Speaking: 7. No other tests above are accepted.
- Sheridan does not guarantee acceptance of any tests above for any third-party regulatory body.
Submitting testing documents
- As an international applicant: Request your Testing service to send directly to Sheridan (please add your Sheridan ID if prompted), or upload a copy of your test certificate through your Application Portal.
- As a domestic applicant: To avoid processing delays, contact the testing service directly and ask them to send your official test results to ontariocolleges.ca
- Please do not send your English proficiency results until your application is received at Sheridan.
- The level of English-language instruction varies greatly across individual schools, school systems, regions and countries. Sheridan reserves the right to require proof of proficiency in English from any applicant (regardless of citizenship, country of origin, education or first language). This may require any applicant to complete English-language testing to demonstrate proficiency. Sheridan reserves the right to refuse exemption requests.
- Meeting or exceeding the minimum score requirements does not guarantee admission to Sheridan College, and minimum score requirements are subject to change based on program demand.
- Sheridan reserves the right to add and remove language proficiency requirements and/or tests at any time.