Language Requirements

The official language of instruction of McGill’s undergraduate medical education program is English. The student is expected to have a working knowledge of the English language (comprehension, spoken and written) from the start of the MDCM program. Due to early clinical exposure in bilingual settings, the student is also expected to have a working knowledge of the French language (comprehension, spoken and basic written) from the onset of the MDCM program.

Students are in contact with francophone patients in the teaching hospitals and may be assigned to francophone training sites for their clinical rotations. 

The French Language Centre in the Faculty of Arts offers credit courses to students registered in any academic program.

If English is not your first language, you should use the summer term to improve your language skills with a three-credit course (CESL 299   ESL: Academic English Seminar and/or CEAP 500 Research Essay and Rhetoric) for newly admitted non-anglophone students. The course has limited enrolment, so register early!  Contact mwc [at] for details or visit the website of the McGill Writing Centre.

For information on other part-time French or English programs/courses offered by McGill, please visit the School of Continuing Studies.

You may take certain courses without working toward any certificate.

Other language courses are offered through the continuing education departments/faculties at universities on the island of Montreal. See:

Another useful resource is the CCFA language school, located near the Peel Metro (telephone 514-985-2414).

French for Medical Purposes Program

French for Medical Purposes Workshops are scheduled in the Fall and Winter semesters.

General Information (non-credit and non-transcript)


Using a face-to-face approach, coupled with online support, French for Medical Workshops are designed for future healthcare professionals wishing to acquire competency in speaking and listening. The Workshops are aimed at helping students acquire the communicative skills required to function effectively in work-related settings. Course content develops vocabulary, strategies, and grammatical structures through oral exercises and communicative activities embedded in professional situations related to the health care milieu.


  • Basic French
  • Elementary French
  • Low Intermediate French
  • High Intermediate French

For more information, please see: French for Medical Purposes Program

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