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English substitutions and equivalents

Your documented and/or assessed level of English-language proficiency will determine in which of the following courses you will be eligible to enrol:

  • English Upgrading (ENGU), or
  • English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA), or
  • other college-level courses, or
  • writing-intensive courses (Communications, Creative Writing and English).

See the general admission and language-proficiency requirements for more detail.

New students must:
  • take the Douglas College Computer-based English (DCOE) Assessment, or
  • take the ENGU or ELLA Assessment, or
  • submit proof of their English-language proficiency (English 12 "C" or Communications 12 "B") to the Registrar’s Office along with their applications for general College admission.
To study:  you must:  and then enrol in:
English Language Learning and Acquisition 

Take an ELLA Assessment and meet with an ELLA instructor for placement in the appropriate course(s)

For details, visit the ELLA department

English Language Learning and Acquisition (ELLA) course(s)
English Upgrading

Write an ENGU assessment to determine your level of proficiency in written English and meet with an ENGU instructor for placement in the appropriate course(s)

For details, see the ENGU page.

English Upgrading (ENGU) course(s)
College-level courses and writing intensive courses Satisfy the language-proficiency requirement by meeting ONE of the following standards:
    High School Grades
    • English 12 - minimum final grade "C" *
    • English Literature 12 - minimum grade "C"
    • Communications 12 - minimum final grade "B" *
    • English 12 First Peoples - minimum final grade "C" *
    • Technical and Professional Communications 12 - minimum grade "C" *
    • AP English Language or Literature - minimum grade 3
    • IB English Language A (SL) - minimum grade 3

       * based on both the course and provincial exam grades

    Testing Options
    • Douglas College English Assessment
    • LPI - minimum essay score 4
    • TOEFL iBT - minimum score 83
    • IELTS - minimum overall band test score 6.5 (academic module only)
    • EIKEN Practical English - minimum placement of Grade 1
    • CAEL - minimum overall and essay score of 60
    • Cambridge English CAE- minimum score 75 or "B"
    • Cambridge English CPE - minimum score 60 or "C"
    • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 8 in each of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - minimum score of 56
    • VCC English Language Assessment (ELA) minimum score of 145
    Douglas College Course Options
    • ENGU 0350 and 0360 – Mastery
    • ENGU 0355 - Mastery
    • ENGU 0356 - Mastery
    • ENGU 0390 - Mastery
    • ENGU 0450 - minimum grade "P" and 0460 - Mastery
    • ENGU 0455 - minimum grade "P"
    • ENGU 0480 - minimum grade "P"
    • ENGU 0490 - minimum grade "P"
    • ELLA 0360 - minimum grade "C"
    • ELLA 0460 - minimum grade “P”
    • Assessed at ENGU 0455
    • Assessed at ENGU 0480
    • Assessed at ENGU 0490
    • Assessed at ELLA 0460
    Other Options
    • Enrolment in a college-level writing or literature course that transfers as ENGL, CRWR, or written CMNS
    • Successful completion (minimum 2.0 GPA) of 15 credits or more of study at a recognized post-secondary institution at which English is the primary language of instruction
    • GED Language Arts Writing & Reading - minimum score 450    
    • ABE English course equivalent to ENGU 0355 or 0390 

    Students without this level of English-language proficiency are not admissible to College-level courses and programs but may register in Douglas College upgrading courses.

    Note: For certain limited-enrolment programs and for certain individual courses, the English-language proficiency requirement may be different (refer to the particular Program section or the Course prerequisite information for further details).

    Note: Students who do not meet any of the above requirements may apply for admission as a "special student”. Students are urged to discuss their situation with the Registrar and/or a College counselor.

    Note: For the purpose of determining English proficiency, assessments of students for whom English is not their first language are valid for two (2) years. This includes results on English language proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE and CLB. Results beyond the two-year limit will not be accepted.

    BC Secondary School Students

    BC secondary school students must write provincial exams in any subject where it is mandatory in order to meet graduation requirements.The provincial exam for English 12 (or equivalent) is required for all students except for those who are completing the Adult Graduation program.

OR by meeting the standard set for the Douglas College Computer-based English (DCOE) Assessment.

College-level courses and courses in academic writing (ENGL 1130), creative writing (CRWR), literature (ENGL), workplace and practical writing (CMNS 1115) or writing skills (CMNS 1099, ENGL 1099)

Course Enrolment

Students who attempt to register in courses without satisfying the English-proficiency requirement, or whose documentation has expired, will be deregistered from courses without notice.

Students planning to enrol in their first English, Communications or Creative Writing course must have documentation on file in the Registrar’s Office that verifies they meet the language-proficiency requirement.