The French and Francophone Studies Major

Language Courses

Language courses 101, 102, 103, 204 are a sequential series of courses designed to prepare the student in the basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) through the study of grammar, literature, and culture, and/or to provide the foundation for pursuing advanced work in language and literature.

French 206 and 309 are designed to develop the student’s spoken and written mastery of the language through compositions and intensive oral work based on cultural and literary topics. Admission to these courses is determined either by appropriate high school CEEB or Carleton placement test scores, or by completion of the previous course in the sequence with a grade of C- or better.

Literature and Culture Courses

Most of our courses address cultural, historical and literary concerns. We examine literary works for both their aesthetic and human values.

Our courses have a number of goals:

  • To refine and expand students’ students’ linguistic ability
  • To hone their critical thinking
  • To improve their ability to engage in literary and cultural analysis
  • To enhance their knowledge of both French and francophone cultures, and
  • To help students better understand themselves and the human condition.

In our discussions, we address universal themes and concerns, but we also try to uncover what is peculiarly French or Francophone about the works.

Programs Abroad

Participation in a Carleton or in another approved foreign study program is highly recommended for students majoring or concentrating in the above areas. The department operates programs in Paris and in Sénégal, but non-Carleton programs are available, too.

Students interested in study abroad should review our international off-campus program offerings and discuss alternatives with faculty in French and with the Director of Off-Campus Studies.


Major Requirements

The major consists of intensive work in language, literature, and culture, and it may include courses in film or other arts. All courses in the Department of French and Francophone Studies are conducted in French.

Sixty-nine credits beyond French 103 including:

  • LCST 245  (Critical Toolbox, usually taken in the junior year)
      Note: HIST 298, (Junior Year History Colloquium) or ENGL 295 (Critical Methods) may be substituted for LCST 245 with departmental approval.
  • Sixty credits in departmental or other electives. Students should generally begin with courses at the 200 level (FREN 204, 206, 208, 230-259), but at least twenty-four credits must be taken at the 300 level (400 does not count in this category). Up to twelve credits may be taken in other departments or programs (see pre-approved courses under the minor in French and Francophone Studies). All courses on the Paris program may be applied to this category, as long as the requisite number of 300-level credits is attained.
  • Integrative Exercise (3 credits): During their senior year, students will expand and deepen an essay in French from one of their advanced courses in the major. Normally, but not always, the director for this project will be the professor from that course. This essay may be completed during any term, but must be finished by the end of winter term. In the spring term, students will deliver an oral presentation (in English) summarizing their work. Senior students may choose one of the following:
    Option One: A substantial individual essay
    Option Two: An individual essay that complements work done in a second major (subject to approval by the Department)
    Option Three: Creation of a group multidisciplinary project, subject to approval by the Department

Further details about these options are available on the Department’s website.