Guide for New Students

Chair: Professor Éva Pósfay

Welcome to French and Francophone Studies at Carleton! Our department represents a vibrant collection of faculty and students who share a passion for things francophone, from Paris to Timbuktu, from Renaissance literature to contemporary French slam. The department offers an exciting curriculum of language, literature, and culture courses for both majors and non-majors. In French classes, students achieve a high level of language proficiency, as well as a mastery of critical skills in literary and cultural analysis. The department also offers extensive extracurricular opportunities on campus (French Table, Coffee and Crêpes, French Movie Night, and many other activities), excursions to the Twin Cities to see exhibits and plays, and two academic programs abroad: a French Studies program in Paris every year, and a biennial program in Mali, West Africa.

Why take French? French is the language not only of France, but also of Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Haiti, French Guyana, no fewer than twenty-three African countries, and many islands in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. After English, it is the most frequently studied second language in the world. It can be beneficial for students who plan to enter professions in international affairs, international development, law, journalism, science, social services, education, medicine, business, and politics. French is also the language of a rich literary, philosophical, and cultural heritage.

Can I major in it? The Department offers a major with two tracks: the French Literature Track focuses on the study of literature and film, representing a wide range of periods and traditions; the Cultural Studies Track is an interdisciplinary course of study engaging the entire Francophone world while including such fields as history, art history, political science, and others.

Can I minor in it? Carleton does not have official minors, but it is possible to continue your studies officially in one of two ways: completing an interdisciplinary concentration in French and Francophone Studies, or earning a certificate of advanced study (the equivalent of a minor) in French. Both of these distinctions appear on the transcript at graduation.

How to get started:  First-year students should take the appropriate French language course(s) (as determined by a placement exam taken during the summer or an AP score) in order to complete the basic language sequence before moving on. Students who have tested out of the language sequence are invited to enroll in courses beyond French 204; 206, 210, 240, 241, and 243 are each appropriate next steps after the completion of French 204.

 Questions? For questions about placement exams, please contact the departmental assistant, Mary Tatge, at mtatge@carleton.edu, x4252, LDC 340.

For all other questions, feel free to contact the Chair, Éva Pósfay, at eposfay@carleton.edu, x4244, LDC 353.

Interested in talking with an experienced French and Francophone Studies senior major? Get in touch with our Student Departmental Adviser Alexis Ervin '14 who is a resource to all current students, especially to new students.

 We look forward to seeing you in the department!