Language Proficiency

Language policy

Application materials may be submitted in both English and French; interviews are also offered in both languages.

While there is no required proof of language proficiency, applicants are expected to have a working knowledge of the English and French languages (comprehension, spoken and written) from the outset of the M.D.,C.M. program.

The language of instruction is English; medical students will interact with francophone patients in the teaching hospitals and may also be assigned to francophone training sites for their clinical rotations. Graduates of McGill medical programs are subject to the Working knowledge of the French language (from le Collège des médecins du Québec) requirements established for medical licensure in Québec.

Note: Students will interact with francophone patients in the teaching hospitals and will also be assigned to francophone training sites for their clinical rotations. Note: Multiple choice exams are given in English only. Students may answer short-answer questions on exams in French and may submit assignments in French.

English proficiency

Applicants are not required to submit proof of proficiency in English if they meet any one of the following conditions:

  • their mother tongue/first language is English
  • they have completed both Secondary V and a Diploma of Collegial Studies in Quebec
  • they have obtained (or are about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction;
  • they have obtained (or are about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution in Canada or the United States of America (anglophone or francophone);
  • they have lived and attended university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

NOTE: IMG applicants who have completed their medical studies in English or in French are exempt from submitting language proficiency scores.

Applicants wishing to demonstrate proficiency in English can use one of the following five options:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Minimum of 250 for the computer-based (CBT) version, 577 for the (PBT) paper-based, and 90 for the Internet-based (iBT) version
 
McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English
Contact the Department of Language and Intercultural Communication, School of Continuing Studies
Telephone: 514-398-6160
Email: info.conted [at] mcgill.ca
Website: https://mcgill.ca/continuingstudies/
 
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
A band score of 6.5 or better
 
University of Michigan English Language Test (MELAB)
A minimum mark of 85%
 
Advanced Placement International English Language (APIEL)
A minimum score of 4

 

French proficiency (language requirements for professions)

Quebec law requires that candidates seeking admission to provincially recognized professional corporations* (such as the Collège des médecins du Québec) must be able to communicate verbally and in writing in French. To demonstrate a working knowledge of French, the professional corporation requires one of the following:
  • Evidence that you have completed three years of full-time instruction in a French post-primary school
  • A certificate that shows you completed your secondary education in Quebec in 1986 or later
  • Successful completion of a written examination set by Quebec's Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF). See below for more information

If you are a registered student and are within two years of graduating with a degree that will give you access to a professional corporation, you can write the OQLF examination. You should contact Enrolment Services for an application form. Examinations take place every three months and may be attempted an unlimited number of times. Priority is given to students closest to graduation.

More information may be obtained from the Office québécois de la langue française, 125 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 1X4. Telephone: 514-873-6565. Website: www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca

Improving your language proficiency

The Faculty of Medicine offers French medical workshops on Saturday mornings throughout the duration of the program. Extracurricular English and French language courses are available at the University and are strongly suggested if English or French language skills are weak. For more information see Language Requirements.

If you need to acquire a functional level of proficiency in French, you can take courses from either the French Language Centre (Faculty of Arts www.mcgill.ca/flc) or the School of Continuing Studies, 688 Sherbrooke Street West, telephone: 514-398-6200 (https://mcgill.ca/continuingstudies/). If you are already strong in French and want to maintain or improve your proficiency, you may consider taking courses in the Department of French Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts or the School of Continuing Studies.