Courses in French are designed to provide well-balanced training in language, literature and culture. Courses above the intermediate level offer opportunities for more intensive and advanced learning of the oral and written language as well as a wide choice of special study in various topics, periods and genres in French and Francophone literatures and cultures. Students thus acquire skills and knowledge which may be applied to any field requiring critical thinking and an analytical mind. Qualified students, whether or not they intend to major or minor in French, are welcome to apply to Dickinson's junior year programs in Toulouse or in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Courses appropriate for prospective majors
Test scores and credits that may affect course selection
Advanced Placement scores:
A student who has received a grade of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test will be granted credit for college work and will receive placement in the appropriate French course as determined by their scores on the on-line placement test.
A student who completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) in French and who has
received a score of 5 and above will be granted credit for college work and will receive placement in the appropriate French course as determined by their scores on the on-line placement test.
Students who place out are encouraged to continue with their study of French as a means to qualify for study abroad opportunities in the French-speaking world.
On-line placement test
The placement test for French is available on the orientation website under Placement Exams. If a student has studied French and there is any chance that he/she might wish to continue with French, he/she needs to take the placement test, even if the student has AP credit. After the student has taken the test, he/she will receive email notification of the placement. Students
who cannot take the test on-line by July 1 will need to contact Professor Linda Brindeau before Thursday, August 22, 2013.
Students who wish to take a course in the French Department and who have completed their course of study prior to Dickinson in a Francophone educational setting must register for courses at the 300 level. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact Professor Linda Brindeau.
Introductory courses that fulfill distribution requirements
Completion at the intermediate level, FREN 116
Courses in French or francophone literature at the 200 (FREN 246 specifically) or 300 level
FREN 230, Communication in French and Francophone Contexts
FREN 236, Introduction to Cultural Analysis
FREN 246, Introduction to Francophone Cultures
For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: French.
Suggested curricular flow through the major
FREN 116, 230
or FREN 230,236
or FREN 236 followed by FREN 240, or 245, or 246
NOTE: Entrance level dependent on the results of a placement examination
FREN 230, 236
or FREN 236 followed by FREN 240, or 245, or 246
Study in Toulouse, France, and/or Yaoundé, Cameroon
or two 300-level courses
Two 300-level courses including one Senior Seminar
Related electives (e.g. language and literary studies, international studies, History of Moder France, Medieval History, Art History)
NOTE: Normally French majors may not take 200-level courses their senior year.
The French department encourages participation in its co-curricular activities. The department sponsors a French language table where students and faculty meet once a week to share a meal and informal discussion in French. Each year the French department brings to campus French
students from the University of Toulouse, who live in the Romance Language House and serve as resource persons to students interested in the language. The Club Français sponsors films, videos,
field trips, lectures and special events.
Opportunities for off-campus study
All students intending to major in French are strongly urged to plan their program of studies in such a way as to allow for study abroad during the junior year at Dickinson's Study Center in Toulouse, France, or in Yaoundé, Cameroon, or in Rabat, Morocco. The department considers the experience of living and studying abroad a most important part of a satisfactorily completed major.
1. - All students who apply for the junior year program in Toulouse must have completed FREN 236, Introduction to French Cultural Analysis, as a prerequisite to participation in the program. This course should be taken as early as possible. Note that FREN 230, Communication in Context is a prerequisite for FREN 236.
2. - Experience has shown that performance in FREN 236 is an important indicator of how well a student will perform in the Toulouse program. Therefore, final decisions on applications of students who have not completed FREN 236 will not be made until the semester in which it is taken, when sufficient evidence of the student's progress in that course is available.
3. - We recommend that students planning to study in Cameroon complete FREN 246, Introduction to Francophone Cultures, before departure.
4. - Students who go to Toulouse for the full academic year are encouraged to pursue academic internships that can count for their French major and /or as a field experience in another major if available.
Multilingual Writing Center: Students who possess advanced language skills and writing experience are eligible to become writing tutors at the Multilingual Writing Center. Please contact Professor Lucile Duperron or Noreen Lape, Director of the Writing Program.
Careers: Recent graduates who have majored or minored in French are attending graduate school in diverse disciplines or are engaged in teaching, law studies, publishing and editing, and a wide variety of international business or banking concerns, as well as NGOs.
Every Year, French majors apply and receive teaching assistantships sponsored by the French Government.
Note: French and Italian Studies are one department, but have been filed individually and alphabetically for ease of access.
Flowchart for Placement Information
Flowchart for Those Retaking Placement Exam