Language of Instruction
The language of instruction at McGill University is English. Students may, if they wish, write term papers and examinations in French. It is recommended that students who lack proficiency in either French or English, avail themselves of the opportunity to take an intensive English or French as a Second Language course prior to, or early, in their program of studies.
Working knowledge of both languages is important for students who will be working in clinical affiliations throughout the province. Please refer to the description below of french for Healthcare Professionals for further information. English language requirements may be found with the Undergraduate or Qualifying Year (QY) graduate admissions guidelines.
French for Healthcare Professionals
Applicants who are not proficient in French are strongly urged to upgrade their written and/or oral French communication abilities as soon as possible. A list of helpful resources may be found here.
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 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 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.
Applicants often wonder whether their current ability in French will allow them to meet the linguistic demands of studying in a professional health program at McGill. Some of the clinical communication competencies you will exercise during your studies include: listening to a client or their family describe the reason for consulting, asking questions to learn more, explaining a condition in formal and informal terms and communicating with other healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists. This could be in-person, on the phone or with written documentation. The suggested minimum level of proficiency is an intermediate level. If needed, we suggest the Canadian Language Benchmark (www.nclc-ael.ca) as a self-assessment tool. The questionnaire can provide applicants with a good sense of the adequacy of their French language skills
All applicants should be aware that any clinical placements in the province of Quebec require the ability to communicate (written and oral) in French. Students who do not speak French may request out-of-province or international clinical placements. Such requests are strictly subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed so students who do not speak French will have more limited clinical placement opportunities. This may result in delayed graduation from the program. In addition, please note that any expenses related to out-of-province or international placements are the responsibility of the student.