International Applicants

*SAT/ACT scores are not required to apply to NSCAD.


English Language Proficiency Requirement

Applicants whose language of instruction either in high school (for at least three years) or at the post-secondary level (for at least one year) is not in English must submit evidence of their ability to carry on studies in English. This evidence must be provided through one of the following:




 TOEFL [code: 3265]  at least 90 with no test less than 20  at least 94 with no test less than 22
 IELTS  at least 6.5 with no band less than 6.0  at least 7.0 with no band less than 6.0
 CAEL  at least 69 with no band less than 60  at least 69 with no band less than 60 
 CanTest  at least 4.5 with no part less than 4.0  at least 4.5 with no part less than 4.0
 CAE  at least B  at least A
 MELAB  at least 82 with no band less than 80  at least 82 with no band less than 80
 IB  at least 5 in English A1 or A2 HL  at least 5 in English A1 or A2 HL


[code: 5773]


 at least 4 in English Language and Composition or Literature and Composition  at least 4 in English Language and Composition or Literature and Composition


These test results must be sent directly from the testing service to NSCAD University Admissions Office to be considered valid.


Conditional Offers of Admission

Applicants who do not meet NSCAD's English Language Proficiency Requirement at time of admission will be offered conditional admission pending the submission of an acceptable test score as indicated above or successful completion of one of the pathway programs offered by our partner Halifax language schools.


Language School Undergraduate Degree Pathway Programs

Those who successfully complete the following programs will be granted full admission to NSCAD undergraduate and post-baccalaureate certificate programs without submitting results from one of the above-listed tests.

Language School Graduate Degree Pathway Programs

Those who successfully complete the following programs will be granted full admission to NSCAD graduate programs without submitting results from one of the above-listed tests.


After admission to the university, all students complete the writing requirement as part of each of our undergraduate degree programs.

Writing Requirement

All degree students at NSCAD University must demonstrate the ability to write competently in English. Students meet this requirement by successfully completing FNDN 1800 Writing for the Arts, in the Foundation year. Students who attended another post-secondary institution before entering NSCAD may meet the writing requirement through transfer by demonstrating that they have previously completed studies in  an English-speaking university program. Students must have studied at an English-speaking university and must have completed at least six credits of English courses or nine credits of liberal arts courses at a B- level or better to fulfill the requirement.

Students transferring from community colleges cannot meet the writing requirement through transfer except in circumstances where NSCAD University has a formal articulation or transfer agreements with a specific college in which meeting the writing requirement through transfer is provided for in the agreement. Students from other community colleges for which transfer is not possible, may register for a 2000-level liberal arts/art history course concurrently with FNDN 1800, but must successfully complete FNDN 1800 before taking other LAS/AHIS courses at NSCAD University or under NSCAD University auspices.


Permit to Study
Students from the United States and abroad must meet specific obligations in regard to their presence in Canada.


If their period of study will be longer than four months, students must obtain a permit to study in Canada, which is issued through the Canadian Consulate in the student’s home country. An International Student must present a copy of this permit to study to the Office of Student Experience before they begin classes at the university.


In order to obtain a permit to study, a student must submit the following items to the nearest Canadian consulate:

  • A passport, birth certificate, or other identification that identifies you as a citizen of your native country.
  • The original letter of acceptance from the university.
  • Satisfactory evidence of sufficient funds for the period of study in Canada. This proof may be a notarized statement of parents’ willingness to financially support the student's stay in Canada along with a notarized bank statement certifying their resources, a statement of a Federally or State Guaranteed loan, or any other documentation that proves sufficient funds to finance the period of study in Canada. Some countries may not allow an individual to take sufficient funds out of the country for her/his maintenance in Canada. A student from one of these countries must find a sponsor before being issued a student permit. The university does not sponsor students, and does not maintain a list of sponsors.


Students from countries other than the United States may be requested to submit additional items (e.g. health examination, photographs, evidence of English proficiency) in order to obtain a student permit. It is recommended that such students contact the nearest Canadian consulate when they begin their admissions process to ascertain these requirements. A copy of the permit to study must be presented to the Office of Sudent Experience before a student will be permitted to attend classes.

Information for applying to study in Canada, official government website 


Other Required Documentation
For detailed information on student authorizations (permit to study) and other documentation required by individuals to enter Canada to study, prospective students should consult the Canadian government website at


Students who may be younger than 18 years old when entering Canada to study should consult their local consulate regarding the documentation necessary to establish legal guardianship while in Canada until such time as they reach the age of 18. The university cannot act as a legal guardian for a student.


Enrolment at NSCAD University
Additional information in regard to international student enrolment is provided as a regular part of the admissions and registration processes.


Non-Canadian students should note that the university is required to charge a differential tuition fee for all International students.


Should international students encounter problems with immigration once they are in Canada, they should contact the Office of Student and Academic Services immediately.


Health Insurance for International Students
All International students are required to purchase health insurance in Canada to be considered to have adequate coverage for Canadian medical services.


NSCAD will send students information on this program, which they are required to purchase in order to register at NSCAD. No exemptions will be considered.


Are you interested in living and working in Nova Scotia after graduating from NSCAD?

The Study and Stay in Nova Scotia program provides guidance, mentoring and supports to qualifying applicants through their journey from student to professional. Visit their website to learn more.


The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program is open to eligible NSCAD students after graduation. Please visit the official government website to learn more.