English language proficiency

The language of instruction at McGill University is English. If you don't meet one of the exemptions listed below, you will need to complete an English proficiency test as part of your application.

Proof of English proficiency is an important part of the application process for many applicants to McGill. Determine whether or not you need to submit proof of English ahead of time in order to meet our document submission deadlines.

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 who don't need to provide 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 the International French Baccalaureate - (Baccalauréat Français International – BFI) (American or British section), or the previous ‘Option Internationale (OIB)’?
  • 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 5) or better?
If you answered ‘no’ to all of the above questions, you will need 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

When a test of English proficiency is required, results must come directly from the examining institution to McGill; applicants are not able upload the results. It is your responsibility to ensure official test results are submitted to McGill.

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

Note that the Institutional versions of the tests below are not accepted.

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

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

Cambridge C2 Proficiency (formerly Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE))

Please arrange for electronic results to be sent to McGill directly by Cambridge.
Certificate awarded with a Grade C or better.
For further information: Cambridge Assessment English website

Cambridge C1 Advanced (formerly Certificate in Advanced English (CAE))

Please arrange for electronic results to be sent to McGill directly by Cambridge.
Certificate awarded with a Grade B or better.
For further information: Cambridge Assessment English website

Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL)

Overall band score of 70 or better; individual component scores of 60 or better.
The paper (CAEL-Paper edition), the computer (CAEL-CE) and online (CAEL-ONLINE) tests are accepted.
For further information: CAEL website

Duolingo English Test (DET)

Score of 125 or better (130 for B.Ed. (TESL), B.Com.) (updated September 2022).
For further information: englishtest.duolingo.com/

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – Academic version

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

Note: Note: McGill does not accept the IELTS One Skill Retake

Note: McGill accepts only scores submitted electronically by IELTS, and does not accept paper TRFs (Test Report Forms) from test centres or 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.

Pearson Test of English – Academic

Please arrange for your electronic results to be sent to McGill directly by Pearson.
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.

Note: Due to testing disruptions during the pandemic, McGill will exceptionally accept the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition. Test score requirements remain the same.

Please note that, at this time, McGill does not use TOEFL’s MyBest™ scores.

Undergraduate Program

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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