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Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary
Thompson Rivers University 50th Anniversary

English as a Second Language (ESL)

English Language Programs and U-Prep

TRU is a leader in English as a Secondary Language (ESL) and University Preparation (U-Prep). Our ESL program provides specific and appropriate language training for students who plan to proceed to post-secondary study, focussing on English for academic purposes. Our students come from around the world, and we look forward to meeting you!

The TRU Advantage

  • English Placement Test (EPT) is available upon arrival 
  • IELTS and TOEFL scores are accepted 
  • Academic ESL designed for university preparation 
  • Can combine ESL and Academic courses for credit in Levels 4 and 5 
  • 20 hours of classroom instruction per week 
  • Language labs and activities 
  • Access to Leisure Exploration Activity Program (LEAP)

Each of the five levels of take one semester to complete. Students with no official test score will take an English Placement Test (EPT) upon arrival at TRU and will be placed in the appropriate level of English language study as indicated in the chart. If a student has an official test score they may choose to enter ESL or academic courses without taking the TRU English Placement Test. Please refer to chart.

Note: In order to guarantee registration for the courses you want, please submit your English test scores one month before arriving at TRU.

Level 1: Five ESL Courses | Completion gains direct entry to Level 2
Level 1 entry requirements:
  • TRU English Placement Test required
  • Suggested entry requirement TOEFL iBT 20
Level 2: Five ESL Courses | ESL Foundations Certificate Award | Completion gains direct entry to Level 3
Level 2 entry requirements:
  • TRU English Placement Test required
  • TRU ESL Level 1 Completion
Level 3: Five ESL Courses | ESL Intermediate Certificate Award | Completion gains direct entry to Level 4
Level 3 entry requirements:
  • IELTS: 5.0+ 
  • TOEFL iBT: 61+ 
  • TOEFL PBT: 500-529 
  • MELAB: 69+ 
  • CanTEST: 3.5+ 
  • CAEL: Overall 40+ 
  • TRU ESL Level 2
Level 4: Four ESL courses + one academic course | Academic preparation certificate | Completion gains direct entry to Level 5
Level 4 entry requirements:
  • IELTS: 5.5+ with no band below 5.0 
  • TOEFL iBT: 71+ 
  • TOEFL PBT: 530-549 
  • MELAB: 74+ 
  • CanTEST: 4.0+ with no component below 3.5 
  • CAEL: Overall 50+, no subtest below 40 
  • TRU ESL Level 3
Level 5: Two ESL courses + three academic courses | Advanced academic preparation certificate | Completion gains direct entry to academic study
Level 5 entry requirements:
  • IELTS: 6.0+ with no band below 5.5 
  • TOEFL iBT: 80+ 
  • TOEFL PBT: 550-569 
  • MELAB: 77+ 
  • CanTEST: 4.0+ with no component below 4.0 
  • CAEL: Overall 60+, no subtest below 50 
  • TRU ESL Level 4
Direct Entry into Academic Study
Academic program entry requirement:
  • IELTS: 6.5+ with no band below 6.0 
  • TOEFL iBT: 88+ with no section below 20 
  • TOEFL PBT: 570+, TWE 4.5+ 
  • MELAB: 81+ 
  • CanTEST: 4.5+ with no component below 4.0 
  • CAEL: Overall 70+, no subtest below 60 
  • PTE: 58+ 
  • TRU ESL Level 5


  • B2, visiting international students only
  • C1 for degree-seeking students
TOEFL exam formats
TOEFL iBT = Internet-based test
TOEFL PBT = Paper-based test
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