French Major | French Minor

Study Abroad

A French major requires a study away experience in a French-speaking country. The department of French and Francophone Studies recommends study abroad as well for those doing a French minor. With prior approval from the department chair, up to two courses from a semester study away program may be counted toward the French major or minor if they are at the level of courses taken on campus toward a French major or minor. All additional courses necessary to meet departmental graduation requirements must be taken on campus. Before studying abroad students should have completed a French course at the 300 level.

Because study abroad programs vary widely in quality, focus and content, it is imperative that students consult with the department of French and Francophone Studies faculty as they choose their program. The following programs are recommended by the French and Francophone Studies Department for majors and minors.  Center for University Programs Abroad (CUPA), Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE) in Paris, Strasbourg, Bruxelles, Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) in Nantes, France and Minnesota Studies in Development (University of Minnesota) in Senegal.  For a list of all programs, consult with the Center for Study Away.

The French House

The French House is the center of the department of French and Francophone Studies' social and cultural activities. Students have the opportunity to live in the Macalester French House where residents benefit from daily conversation and interaction with native French graduate assistants and other students of French (both to improve oral proficiency in French and to develop increased understanding of culture and society in France and other French-speaking countries). The residents of the French House commit to speak only French while in the house, and to participate in department activities.

Placement Tests

Students can fill the Macalester College language requirement in this department in one of the following ways: 1) A score of 620 or higher on the SAT II test, with listening component, upon entrance to the program; 2) A score of 4-5 on the Advanced Placement Test in French language or literature offered through high schools; 3) A score of 5-6-7 on the International Baccalaureate French B exam (Higher level); 4) Successful completion of Macalester's French 204.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate

A score of 4-5 on an AP exam, or a score of 5-6-7 on the IB Higher level gives four credits toward graduation, but not toward the French major or minor program. Credits received through AP or IB may not be used to meet the general distribution requirement.

General Distribution Requirement

All courses in the department of French and Francophone Studies count toward the general distribution requirement in humanities except elementary and intermediate language courses, and FREN 333.

General Education Requirements

Courses that meet the general education requirements in writing, quantitative thinking, internationalism and US identities and differences will be posted on the Registrar's web page in advance of registration for each semester.

Additional information general distribution requirement and the general education requirements can be found in the graduation requirements section of this catalog.

Honors Program

The department of French and Francophone Studies participates in the honors program. Eligibility requirements, application procedures and specific project expectations are available from the department office.

Policy on French Language Grades

In order to be accepted into the next French language course in the sequence, a student must have received a grade of C- or higher in the previous course.

Topics Courses

FREN 194, FREN 294, FREN 394, FREN 494 

These are occasional courses, offered by faculty at their own initiative or in response to student requests. Topics courses have included: first-year courses on Literary Seductions, Difficult Dialogues: Culture and Identity in African and Francophone Cinema; advanced courses on French Intellectuals and/in the World, Paris and the Nineteenth Century, La Culture française contemporaine, The Animal and the Human, French Culture: from Lascaux to the Revolution, De l'Extrême-Orient aux Antipodes: représentations francophones de l'Asie et du Pacifique. (4 credits)

Independent Study

The department offers independent study options in the form of tutorials, independent projects, internships, preceptorships and Honors independent projects. For more information contact the department and review the Curriculum section of the catalog.

French Major

Major Requirements

A major in French consists of a minimum of nine courses beyond FREN 204 to include: a) FREN 306; b) one other 300-level bridge course (FREN 305FREN 308, FREN 309 or FREN 310; c) six advanced courses (300- and 400- level), including: one upper-level course on a period preceding the 20th century (depending on the topic this could be FREN 440, FREN 445 or FREN 451); one  course on a francophone region (depending on the topic this could be FREN 309, FREN 310FREN 403 or FREN 406); one French or Francophone culture course (depending on the topic this could be FREN 320, FREN 402 or FREN 475); d) the senior capstone requirement; e) an appropriate study abroad experience as approved by the department.

Senior Assessment

During the senior year, majors will be required to demonstrate proficiency in language, literature and culture by successfully completing a series of evaluations as outlined in departmental materials.

French Minor

Minor Requirements

A minor in French consists of five courses beyond FREN 204 to include at least two courses at the 300 level and three additional French courses at the 300–400 levels.