General Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements as outlined in the appropriate section of this calendar.

Place of Residence

For the purpose of admission to the University, the place of residence of a student is the place of domicile. This is normally presumed to be the place (country, province, etc.) where the parents or guardian’s home is located. That place remains unchanged unless the Registrar is satisfied that a place of residence is established elsewhere.

Age Requirement

No person under 16 years of age is admitted to any course except on the specific recommendation of the admissions committee of the relevant Faculty or School, which shall take into account all aspects of the applicant’s preparedness for the course or program involved, and which may attach such conditions to the applicant’s admission as the committee judges appropriate.

Students from Canadian High Schools

For general admission to most programs, students require grade 12 level university preparatory English and four additional university preparatory courses. Special attention will be paid to grades in English and mathematics. Final grades in mathematics (if required for the program) and English must be at least 65%. Students are expected to have an overall minimum average of 70%. Final grades in individual university preparatory courses other than mathematics and English must be at least 60%.

Any special or pilot course must have been previously approved by Dalhousie if it is to be used as one of the credits needed for admission.

Students from a Community College, College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) or a CEGEP

Applicants who have completed studies in a Community College, College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT) or a CEGEP program, may qualify for transfer credits. Applications are considered on an individual basis.

Acceptable High School Courses for Admission

  • English
  • Biology, Chemistry, French, Geography (or Global Geography), German, History (or Global History), Latin, Mathematics, Physics, Calculus, Comparative Religion, Computer Related Studies, Economics, Environmental Studies, Gaelic, Geology, Journalism, Law, Music, Political Science, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, Drama and other courses provincially coded as academic or advanced.

For Students from Quebec

Students attending high schools offering Grade 12 must meet the distribution and average requirements outlined for students from the Atlantic provinces, or first year CEGEP with minimum 70% overall average, with no individual academic subject below 65%.

PLEASE NOTE: Fulfillment of admission requirements does not necessarily provide the prerequisite background for all first year courses. Please consult the course description section of this calendar.

Students from Outside Canada

American High School Curriculum Students studying in an American-based curriculum (in the United States, or abroad), are required to present a Grade 12 high school average of “C” or better. In addition, students must present a minimum SAT score of 1100 or an ACT composite score of 23 or better with no individual score of less than 20.

British Curriculum (GCE and GCSE) Students studying in a British-patterned curriculum (GCE) are required to present the General Certificate of Education with at least five subjects. These must include at least two Advanced Level courses (A-levels), or four AS-level courses, with grades of at least “C”. Exceptional candidates may be admitted on O-level results.

Advanced Placement (AP), Baccalauréat (French Baccalauréat), A-level (GCE) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are accepted towards meeting admission requirements. Please refer to the General Admission Requirements section of the Calendar for specific admission requirements. Courses may be eligible for transfer credits. Please refer to section 12.

Admission Requirements by Country For most countries, we consider the same academic preparation that is required for university entrance in that country - that is, successful graduation from an academic secondary school program or equivalent. View our Admission Requirements by Country chart at for more information.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

English is the language of study at Dalhousie; therefore all applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency. This requirement can be satisfied with one of the following criteria:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    • TOEFL (computer based) - 237 with no band below 21
    • TOEFL (paper based) - 580 with no band below 55
    • TOEFL (iBT) - 90 with no band below 20
  • Students must achieve 4.0 or better on the essay or TOEFL Writing Test
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - 6.5 with no band below 6.0
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) - 81
  • Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) - 70
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - 61 with no band below 50
  • Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE) and Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) - 180 with no band below 170
  • IB Higher Level English class A1, A2 with a minimum grade of 5 or English B with a minimum grade of 6
  • AP English Examination (Language Composition; Literature and Composition) with a minimum grade of 4
  • O-Level GCSE or IGCSE English Language or English Literature course with a minimum grade of B
  • CanTest of English for Scholars and Trainees (CanTest) - 4.5
  • Student has graduated from a Dalhousie-recognized school which uses English as the primary language of instruction and the student has spent three successful years in the English program
  • Student has studied full-time for at least three years (or equivalent in part-time studies) in a secondary school where the language of instruction and examination was English
  • Student has studied full-time for at least one year in a recognized university where the language of instruction and examination was English and the course curricula require proficiency in English

The following Web links will provide more information on English Language proficiency tests:

TOEFL -     
IELTS -     
MELAB -       
CAEL -     

Arrange to have your English Language proficiency test score(s) sent directly by the testing agency to Dalhousie at the following address:     

Dalhousie University     
Registrar's Office     
PO Box 15000     
Halifax, NS B3H4R2     
Dalhousie University TOEFL Code: 0915

Language Training

Students who meet the academic admission requirements whose English proficiency minimum test scores are TOEFL PBT 550, CBT 213, or iBT 79 or IELTS 6.0 or MELAB 76 or CanTest 4.0 or CAEL 60 may be offered part-time Dalhousie admission with the co-requisite of completing a full-time approved English training program.

Students with Learning Disabilities

Dalhousie University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities and full participation for students with learning disabilities.

Students with diagnosed learning disabilities who meet the admission requirements for Dalhousie University may follow the current admission procedures. All newly admitted Dalhousie students will receive  information about accessibility services, should they require accommodations or special assistance due to a learning disability or any other disability. Students will also have access to contact information for accessibility services so that they can contact an advisor to ascertain the degree to which their needs can be met.

Students with diagnosed learning disabilities who do not meet the current admission requirements or who otherwise wish to have their learning disability considered may apply for special consideration as may all other students who have extenuating circumstances. These requests will be made to the appropriate admissions committee, acting in consultation with the Advisor to Students with Disabilities and other knowledgeable professionals.

The following documentation must be submitted by students who wish to apply for special consideration:

  1. Letter(s) of recommendation from the individual(s) most familiar with the applicant’s academic performance and/or potential for success at university;
  2. A written, oral or electronic statement from the student. In this brief personal statement, students should describe their learning disability, how this affected their grades and the type of assistance they would require while at Dalhousie University;
  3. A current (within three years) psychological assessment based on standard diagnostic instruments administered by a registered psychologist documenting the presence of learning disabilities. If a current report is not possible, Dalhousie University may accept an earlier report along with a current opinion (ie. within the past year) expressed in a letter by a registered psychologist (or individual supervised by a registered psychologist) that the student has a learning disability. This letter should specify the nature, extent and rationale for program modifications or accommodations that were deemed appropriate in the student’s last two years of schooling.

Mature Students

Applicants who are Canadian Citizens or permanent residents and 21 years of age or older, by the first day of courses, and are not eligible for admission on the basis of regular admission requirements, may apply for admission to some programs as a mature applicant. In order to be eligible, the applicant must either have no university-level study, or have attempted less than one year of transferable coursework. The student cannot have been in full-time university-level study for a minimum period of two years.

Applicants must provide a completed application for admission, high school or post-secondary transcripts, any other relevant documents (e.g. SAT scores, if available), and a letter outlining life and work experience since last attending full-time study. Applicants will be expected to clearly outline their education goals and motivation to succeed at university study. All factors will be considered in the admission decision.

Admission under this policy is restricted to first year of undergraduate programs. Applicants must have completed grade 12 English (or equivalent) with a minimum grade of 65%. Admission to some programs will require completion of other required subjects.

A student admitted on this basis may be restricted in the number of courses he/she can register in during the first year. Otherwise, these students have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as other students within their program.

Transfer Students

Students wishing to apply for transfer credit should consult Academic Regulation 7, in this calendar. Certified copies of course descriptions from calendars are acceptable in lieu of originals. Certificates in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by certified translations into English. Students applying with one year or less of university work must also submit high school transcripts.

The minimum GPA for admission as a transfer student may vary by program of study. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.

Note: Transfer credit will not be awarded for work completed while a student was academically ineligible.

International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), Baccalaureat (French Baccalaureat), A-Level (GCE) Courses

Students taking any of these courses, may qualify for advanced placement or transfer credits.

Transfer credits will be awarded based on equivalent Dalhousie courses. Credit may be awarded to students with Higher level IB courses with final grades of 5, 6 or 7 or a TOK score of C or higher. Credits may be awarded for AP national exam results of 4 or 5. For students with a Baccalauréat exam result of 11 or higher on courses with a minimum coefficient of 4, transfer credits may be awarded. Those who have completed A-Level courses with a final grade of C or higher may receive transfer credit.

Students may opt to forgo transfer credit awarded for these programs. To do so, applicants must contact the Registrar’s Office (902) 494-2450.

Lists of equivalent Dalhousie credits that have been previously determined can be found on the Registrar’s Office website ( Transfer credits are evaluated on an individual basis and will vary depending on each student’s personal academic program.

International and Exchange students attending Dalhousie as Visiting Students

International students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic standing at the home institution
  • Written academic approval from the appropriate department head, Dean or designate (e.g. Registrar) to undertake coursework at Dalhousie (written approval is usually in the form of a letter of permission)
  • The required student visa to study in Canada
  • Proof of adequate health insurance for the duration of the stay in Canada
  • Proof of proficiency in English

PLEASE NOTE: Students studying for less than one full academic year are restricted from taking full-year courses (see Course Codes and Definitions).

Recission of Acceptance into a Program

Dalhousie University reserves the right to rescind any acceptance of an applicant into a program or to rescind an offer of admission of an applicant into a program. Such rescission shall be in writing and may be made by the President or the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, in consultation with the appropriate Dean, at any time prior to the applicant’s registration being confirmed by the Registrar. Any such rescission shall be reported to the Senate in camera.

Canadian and Local Students attending Dalhousie as Visiting Students

All students wishing to attend Dalhousie University on a letter of permission from their home university must submit the following:

  • A completed application for admission
  • Letter of permission from the home university
  • Students applying from Saint Mary’s, Mount Saint Vincent, and NSCAD University are not required to pay the application fee, all other applicants are required to pay the application fee.

At the end of each academic session, grades will be forwarded to Saint Mary’s, Mount Saint Vincent, and NSCAD University on the student’s behalf. Students from all other universities must arrange for transcripts to be sent to the home university.