Advisory: As Halifax Water is currently undertaking work at the Fountain campus, we ask our community to not drink the water at the Fountain campus. We will update you as soon as the work has been completed.

Admission Requirements

In order to attend NSCAD University, there are a few requirements every student must have. Below is a summary of those requirements. Should you require any additional information or have questions, contact Admissions who will be happy to help.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants whose language of instruction 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 20At least 94 with no test less than 22
IELTSAt least 6.5 with no test less than 6.0At least 7.0 with no test less than 6.0
CAELAt least 69 with no test less than 60At least 69 with no test less than 60
CANTESTAt least 4.5 with no test less than 4.0At least 4.5 with no test less than 4.0
CAEAt least BAt least B
MELABAt least 82 with no test less than 80At least 82 with no test less than 80
IBAt least 5 in English A1 or A2 HL 
APAt least 4 in English language and composition or literature and compositionAt 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. Only conditional offers of admission will be made until such scores are received.

Conditional Offers of Admission

Those who do not meet NSCAD’s English language proficiency requirement at the time of admission will be offered conditional admission pending the submission of an acceptable test score as indicated above. Students may also enrol in English language studies through one of NSCAD’s partner language school pathway programs.


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.


Completion of high school grade 12 (or the highest grade level required for secondary graduation) with a minimum average of 70%, including a minimum of 70% in grade 12 English for university preparation is required. An international baccalaureate (IB) diploma with a minimum score of 24 is also acceptable for entry to NSCAD. SAT scores are not required.

Foundation or Foundation Transfer (First Year) / Advanced Standing / Visual Arts Certificate
Application Opens Application Deadline
Fall entry (September) October 1 March 1
Winter entry (January) October 1 (of previous year) October 1
Fall entry (September) October 1 January 15
Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Design
Fall entry (September) October 1 March 1