Language courses

As a freshman student, you may wish to take a language course this year. The following regulations regarding language courses apply to students in the freshman year.

  1. No more than one 6-credit or 9-credit language course at an elementary level may be taken in the first year.
  2. You are permitted to take two language courses in the freshman year provided that they are at different levels, e.g., Elementary French and Intermediate German. YOU MAY NOT TAKE TWO INTRODUCTORY-LEVEL LANGUAGE COURSES.
  3. A 6-credit language course given in one term is permitted -- this is equivalent to two courses both in the number of credits as well as the workload.
  4. The 12-credit intensive language courses are designed to accelerate three-year students and are normally not suitable for freshman students.

Placement tests: All language courses have limited enrolment and, as such, may require a departmental approval (issued by the department offering the course). Consult the McGill Calendar and/or the class schedule for information about placement tests or departmental approval (if necessary). Please note that placement tests for French as a second language will be held during the week prior to the beginning of classes in September. Please click here for dates and times.

East Asian language courses

Language courses offered by the East Asian Studies Department are worth 9 credits, the equivalent of 1.5 courses per term. If you intend to take a beginners course in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, you are advised to register for 4 courses in the first term. If you find things are going well with the course during the fall term, you can always pick up a fifth course in the winter term.

English as a Second Language

If you have never studied in English before, you are strongly advised to take English as a Second Language courses in your first year. You may be able to converse easily but still find it quite difficult to read and write in English. If you are a non-anglophone student and have studied in English for four years or less, you are permitted to take English as a Second Language courses.

English for Academic Purposes and Effective Communication courses

If you would like to improve your English writing skills, you may wish to take the English for Academic Purposes course, Fundamentals of Academic Writing (CEAP 250),

Note: B.Sc. students may take a maximum of 12 credits in English as a Second Language courses, including English for Academic Purposes courses.

French courses

You are permitted to take French courses in the French as a Second Language Department with the following stipulations:

  1. FRSL 101 - Beginners French: This course is open only to students having no previous knowledge of French. This means that you have never successfully completed a French course in high school.
  2. FRSL 207 - Elementary French: This course is not open to students who have completed Grade 12 or OAC French in Canada.
  3. FRSL 211 - Oral and Written French I: Normally, this course is not open to students who completed their secondary education in Quebec. This is the minimum level at which students with Grade 12 or OAC French in Canada should place. If you have an Advanced Placement (AP) in French (minimum grade of 4 for transfer credit and exemption), you may not take FRSL 211 for credit. If you place at this level and have an AP in French Language or Literature, see your SOUSA adviser in Dawson Hall.

French bursary programs: If, prior to coming to McGill, you completed a French bursary program through a university, you may be eligible for transfer credits. Upon your arrival at McGill, you must arrange to take a placement test and see an adviser in SOUSA in Dawson Hall. Transfer credits will not be given for French bursary programs completed through a CEGEP or college.

Spanish courses

  1. All Spanish language courses are conducted entirely in Spanish. This includes all introductory-level courses after the first week of class.
  2. If you have an Advanced Placement (AP) in Spanish, you are not permitted to take HISP 210 for credit.

a) HISP 210 - Spanish Language, Elementary

If you have little or no formal training in Spanish, you will place at this level.

b) HISP 220 - Spanish Language, Intermediate

Normally, you will place at this level if you have completed one of the following:

  • two years of CEGEP Spanish
  • 4-5 years of high school Spanish in the United States
  • "A" Level in Spanish
  • first-year Spanish at McGill or at another university in Canada or the United States