• Minimum cumulative GPA — 3.30
  • Declared major in French
  • Prerequisite course work – at least five courses which count toward the declared concentration in French, including at least one course in an area directly related to the subject of the honors project
  • Study abroad in progress or completed by the date of application

Application Procedure

Honors Application Form

  • Students should apply during spring term of the junior year. Students on study abroad may have an extension of the application deadline to Friday at the end of the second week of fall term of their senior year.
  • Students should fill out the application form for department honors with the signature of the adviser for their honors project. Proposals for honors projects will be reviewed by departmental faculty before they are approved by the department chair. Each application will include a working title for the project and a project proposal about two pages in length and a one page bibliography

What Is an Honors Project in French and How Does it Differ From a Capstone Project?

An honors project in French may take many forms.

  • A substantial paper of original research written in French. The paper should be a minimum of 40 pages in length.
  • An annotated translation of a yet untranslated novel, a series of short stories, poetry or an expository work of prose with an introduction, including comments about the problems of translation and how they were resolved.
  • An honors project differs from a senior capstone project by its length and the original nature of the final project.  In addition, the honors project requires an oral exam given by three faculty members.  The capstone presentation is a public event evaluated by all French faculty and is open to students of french.

Number of Independent Project Credits

  • Students may take up to six independent credits to complete the honors project


  • Application deadline – Friday of the third week in April of the junior year. For juniors on study abroad – Friday of the second week of fall term of senior year.
  • Students should make a report to their adviser at least twice during fall semester. During the second to the last week of fall semester the adviser should meet with the student to make a clear progress evaluation and set a schedule for the completion of the work. This written evaluation should be filed with the department chair by Friday of that week.
  • Progress will be reviewed by the adviser during the second week of spring semester. At that time an evaluation will be made as to whether the student should continue. This evaluation will be made by the adviser and will be based on the amount and quality of the work completed. This evaluation should be made in writing to the department chair. The same form asks for proposed names for an examining committee and a proposed date for the honors exam.
  • The honors certificate form signed by the examining committee must be filed with the department chair by Friday of the third week of April (around April 23). The final oral examination must be completed by that date, but it is recommended that the honors exam take place several weeks before that date to allow time for small revisions in the project. The final written project should be given to the examining committee at least seven but preferably ten days before the date of the honors exam.

Final Examination

  • The examining committee for the final evaluation of the honors project will include one member of the French Department, in addition to the adviser, and an outside examiner, either someone for another department at Macalester or from another college. The evaluation will include evaluation of the completed written project and an oral exam on the project.