B.A. in French


Students who have previously studied French should consult with a Faculty Advisor in the French Program for placement at the proper class level. You must also see a Faculty Advisor to determine the best sequence of courses for you. Students seeking to Major in French will meet with their Undergraduate Advisor and complete together a French Advising Worksheet, which will be updated each semester. Students are placed in a class on the basis of their academic background, an interview with the Faculty Advisor and the instructor of the class, and an on-line placement test. Lower division courses (100-200) listed for a major can be waived if the student has taken their equivalent or if sufficient knowledge and ability are demonstrated.

Placement Test

The Placement Test in French can be taken via ilearn-- please consult your advisor for further details. There are 45 questions in the online test:
  • A grade above 40 = Student should enroll in courses beyond the prerequisites.
  • A grade above 30 = Student should enroll in FR 216
  • A grade above 20 = Student should enroll in FR 215
  • A grade above 10 = Student should enroll in FR 102
  • A grade less than 10 = Student should enroll in FR 101

Lower Division

Students who begin at SFSU with no previous knowledge of French are expected to spend at least two semesters at the beginning level (100), and at least two semesters at the intermediate level (200) before enrolling in upper-division courses.
First year courses consist of two 5-unit semester courses, FR 101 and FR 102, taught in a sequence over two semesters. They meet five times a week, generally in the morning. The same textbook is used for both semesters. It is complemented by a Workbook, a video, and c.ds; extra material is available online. All classes are taught in French from the very beginning. A regular faculty member teaches the course three times a week, and a GTA teaches the other two days, under the supervision and coordination of the regular faculty member.
Second year courses consist of 3 semester units and meet two times a week during the day (8 a.m-4.pm.). We offer FR 215, Intermediate French I and FR 216, Intermediate French II.


Upper-division courses, leading to a B.A. or a minor in French, consist of three units and meet two or three times a week during the day (8 am - 4 p.m.). The French B.A. Program includes 30 semester units of core courses in French language, literature and culture.
French majors must take:


I. Language (choose one)

  • MLL 325 Linguistics for Foreign Languages (3 units)
  • FR 301 French Phonetics (3 units)
  • FR 450 Translating Themes: English/French (3 units)
  • FR 304 Advanced Grammar (3 units)

II. Composition (choose one)

  • FR 305 French Composition (3 units)

III. Culture (choose one)

  • FR 400GW French Culture (3 units)
  • FR 410 Contemporary French Civilization (3 units)

IV. Literature (choose one)

  • FR 500 Introduction to Literary Texts (3 units)
  • FR 501 Contes et Poèmes (3 units)



Both FR 500 and FR 501 have been designated as the “capstone courses” in French, meaning that students must take at least one in residence at SFSU. They cannot be replaced by study abroad coursework.


  • 18 units (6 courses) in French courses numbered 300-699 not taken as required courses. At least 9 units (3 courses) must be taken at the 400 level or above
NOTE: All upper-division courses are conducted in French, and students are expected to use French in their speaking, reading, and writing. It should take a minimum of four semester to complete the required and elective courses for the major (300-600 level; 30 units).

Sequence of Courses and Semesters Offered

At the lower division level, FR 101 and FR 102 are offered every semester; FR 215 is offered in the Fall and FR 216 in the Spring.
At the upper-division level, at least 2 of the 4 required courses will be offered in the Fall, and at least 2 of the 4 required courses will be offered in the Spring. Elective courses will be offered both in Fall and Spring semesters, their number may vary.
Lower division courses (Prerequisites for Major and Minor)


  • FR 101 - First Semester French (5 units)
  • FR 102 - Second Semester French (5 units)


  • FR 101 - First Semester French (5 units)
  • FR 102 - Second Semester French (5 units) †


  • FR 215 - Intermediate French part I


  • FR 216 - Intermediate French part II
Visit the current University Bulletin for complete course descriptions and class schedule.

International Program

Students can complete up to one half of the undergraduate major degree in France. The International Program of the California State University has its French campus in Aix-en-Provence. This program has been very successful and offers the students a closely guided course-of-study in a university town and in one of the most pleasant regions of France. Students can also participate in an exchange program with universities in Paris (MICEFA), also coordinated by the office of International Programs on campus. A maximum of 15 units may be counted towards the major, or 10 towards the minor, the exact composition of which shall be determined in close consultation with your academic advisor. Please see your French Program Advisor at SFSU both before and after you return from abroad.