Proof of English proficiency

The language of instruction at McGill University is English. You must demonstrate the required level of English proficiency prior to admission to McGill.

In some cases, applicants whose level of English proficiency falls slightly below the requirement may be considered for conditional admission. Such selected candidates first must complete the appropriate English program at the McGill School of Continuing Studies and then may enter the McGill degree program.

The Admissions Office reserves the right to request proof of English proficiency from any applicant (regardless of citizenship, country of origin or first language) at any time during the review process.

Applicants exempt from providing proof of English proficiency:

If you answer 'yes' to any of the following questions, you do NOT need to provide proof of English proficiency.

  • Have you lived and attended high school and/or university, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language?

    Click to view list of countries where English is the acknowledged primary language

    American Samoa





    Solomon Islands

    Antigua & Barbuda


    South Africa



    St. Helena



    St. Kitts & Nevis



    St. Lucia



    St. Vincent & the Grenadines






    Trinidad & Tobago

    British Virgin Islands


    Turks & Caicos Islands

    Canada (including Quebec)

    Marshall Islands


    Cayman Islands


    United Kingdom




    Falkland Islands

    New Zealand

    US Virgin Islands








    Sierra Leone


  • Have you completed a DEC at a French CEGEP in Quebec and the Quebec Secondary V diploma?
  • Have you completed a DEC at an English CEGEP in Quebec?
  • Have you completed or will you complete a French Baccalaureate - 'Option Internationale' (British or American section)?
  • Have you completed or will you complete an International Baccalaureate (IB) Group 1 English (Language A: Literature, Language A: Language and Literature, or Literature and Performance) with a ‘5’ or better?
  • Have you completed or will you complete English as Language 1 or Language 2 in the European Baccalaureate curriculum (in the Schola Europaea system)?
  • Have you completed or will you complete the British Curriculum A-Level English with a final grade of C or better?
  • Have you completed the British Curriculum GCSE / IGCSE / GCE O-Level English, English Language, English First Language, or English as a Second Language with a final grade of B or better?

If you answered ‘no’ to all of the above questions, you will be required to provide proof of English language proficiency even if you:

- Consider English to be your first language, or
- Have been attending a school at an accredited institution (in a non-English country) where English is the main language of instruction.

Acceptable means to demonstrate English proficiency:

Institutional versions of the tests below are not acceptable. It is your responsibility to ensure official test results are sent to McGill.

When Test of English proficiency is required, results must come directly from the institution/examination board to McGill, and applicants should not attempt to upload the results. 

McGill’s strong preference is to receive results electronically, directly from the issuing organization, when possible.

McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English – Language and Culture or English for Professional Communication

Certificate awarded.
For further information: The School of Continuing Studies website

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

Overall band score of 70 or better; individual component scores of 60 or better.
Both the paper (CAEL-Paper edition) and the computer (CAEL-CE) tests are accepted.
For further information: Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) website

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

Certificate of Proficiency awarded with a C or better.
For further information: Cambridge English website

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

Certificate awarded with a B or better.
For further information: Cambridge English website

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – Academic version

The regular Academic test and the test for UKVI are both accepted. A band score of 6.5 or better; individual component scores of 6.0 or better. 
For further information:  

McGill accepts only scores submitted electronically by an IELTS test center, and no longer accepts paper TRFs (Test Report Forms) directly from test centres and candidates. Please contact the test center where you took the IELTS test and request that your test scores be sent electronically to McGill. You can verify receipt of your results directly in Minerva;  please allow  an appropriate delay as McGill receives IELTS results on an ongoing basis.

Important note to applicants considering the IELTS test: We have received several reports from applicants of significantly delayed delivery of scores from various IELTs test centres.  If you choose to take the IELTS test, please allow extra time for delivery and make sure that the test centre is clear on the mechanism to send results to McGill.

MELAB (University of Michigan English Language Test)

A minimum mark of 85%.
For further information: Cambridge Michigan Language Assessments website

Pearson Test of English – Academic

Overall score of 65 or better; individual component scores of 60 or better
For further information: PTE Academic website

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The following table lists the minimum acceptable TOEFL scores.

Undergraduate Program

Paper-based score (PBT)

Internet-based composite score (iBT)*

Education (TESL), Management



Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (including Dietetics and Human Nutrition), Architecture, Arts, B.A. & Sc., Education, Engineering, Nursing, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Religious Studies, Science, Social Work



minimum component score of 21 in each of reading, writing, listening, and speaking




The TOEFL institutional code at McGill University is 0935-00.

For further information: TOEFL website



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