Statement on Language Proficiency

French is the official language in Quebec and thus health and social services administered by the Ministry of Health are bound by the Charter of the French Language. In order to provide essential services and safe care to all patients within a Quebec-based healthcare setting, students must achieve an appropriate level of French before entering their respective health profession program’s clinical affiliations where they integrate their knowledge, skills and attitudes*. This will ensure all students have every opportunity to maximize their learning with all patients, families and fellow health care workers they meet during their studies at McGill University.

Potential applicants may wonder whether their current ability in French language proficiency will allow them to meet the linguistic demands of studying in a health profession program at McGill University. Some of the clinical communication competencies learners will exercise during their studies include: listening to a client; responding to questions by patients or their family and asking questions to learn more; explaining a condition in formal and informal terms so a client/patient can understand; speaking with other healthcare professionals (such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists) about cases. These conversations often occur in a fast-paced or high-stakes environment in-person or on the phone, and may require writing notes in a file that are clear to other professionals.

To assist potential applicants to our health professions programs in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, we are suggesting a free language self-assessment questionnaire developed by the Canadian Language Benchmark as a self-assessment tool. The questionnaire will give students a good sense of the adequacy of their language skills for our programs. Applicants are not expected to send the results of the questionnaire to the program. Candidates are encouraged to visit the websites of their program for further information and resources.

We offer support to Indigenous candidates in meeting their language proficiency requirements. Please consult the Indigenous Applicants page for more information or contact the Indigenous Health Professions Program.

*Note that requirements differ for some programs, in particular for the speech-language pathology clinical Master's at the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

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