English Language Requirements

English is the primary language of instruction and communication at Royal Roads University. As part of the application process, all applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate proficiency in English speaking, listening, reading and writing by one of the following means:

  1. Submission of official English language proficiency scores
  2. Graduation from college or university at which English was the primary language of instruction in an English-speaking country
  3. Completion of a pathway program through the International Study Centre at Royal Roads

Additional information on these options is included below.

Option 1 - Submission of an official English language proficiency score report which meets one of the following minimum standards:

Official results should be sent directly from the testing organization & should be less than 2 years old. RRU may consider other language proficiency tests on a case-by-case basis.

COVID-19 update

Due to the recent temporary suspension of testing conducted at various IELTS and TOEFL centres, Royal Roads University will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) as evidence of language proficiency until further notice. The Duolingo English Test is an online English proficiency test that can be taken online, on-demand, in under an hour for only $49. The test is taken via a computer with a camera and includes a proficiency score, video interview, and writing sample which are shared with Royal Roads University when you send your results. Certified results are available within 48 hours of the test session.

IELTS, TOEFL and PTE-A tests are still required from applicants who reside outside of any affected areas. We will be monitoring activities for IELTS, TOEFL and PTE-A centres and adjusting our requirements as necessary. Applicants who submit a Duolingo English Test to clear a condition of admission will be required to sit an English language placement test upon arrival, and may have their study plans adjusted in order to ensure that sufficient language support is provided before beginning any degree program. 

For first year entry (4-year undergraduate degree programs):

For first year entry (4-year undergraduate degree programs with language upgrading):

For all Year 3 (degree completion) and most* graduate level entry:

*For the Master of Intercultural and International Communication, Master of Arts in Professional Communication, Doctor of Social Science, and Doctor of Business Administration programs:

Option 2 - Graduation from a recognized diploma or degree program from a college or university at which English was the primary language of instruction in an English-speaking country.

Holding a credential from one of the listed countries means that the English language requirement will normally be waived. However, please note that Royal Roads University reserves the right to request proof of language proficiency by means of a recognized language proficiency score report at any point in the application process.

Option 3 - Completion of the International Study Centre's undergraduate or pre-master's pathway program(s).

An applicant who does not yet meet our minimum language requirements for entry to a degree program has the option of registering in RRU’s International Study Centre’s pathway program(s). These programs provide support beginning at an IELTS 4.5, and will teach the language and academic skills required for success upon entry to one of RRU’s degree programs.


An applicant who believes they are fully proficient in English may provide a written submission to the International Admissions Office, demonstrating English proficiency through other means. Some programs may require additional or alternative verification of English competence.