Courses of Study

See course descriptions for this department or program 

In the Department of French and Italian.

*Unless otherwise specified, all courses are conducted in French.

Chair, Professor Adrianna Paliyenko (French)
Professors Arthur Greenspan, Bénédicte Mauguière, and Adrianna Paliyenko; Assistant Professors Audrey Brunetaux, Valérie Dionne, and Mouhamedoul Niang; Language Assistant Anne-Sophie Saudrais

Achievement Test: If a student offers a foreign language for entrance credit and wishes to continue it in college, that student must either have taken the College Board SAT Subject test in the language or take the placement test during orientation.

Requirements for the Major in French Studies
The major in French studies promotes the acquisition of superior language skills while offering an opportunity to explore the richness of French and francophone literatures and cultures. Emphasis is placed on developing the critical and analytical skills that enhance the appreciation of various forms of cultural production and on broadening and deepening students’ understanding of values foreign to their own.   

Students must successfully complete a minimum of 10 courses in French, beginning at the 200 level, including French 231, 493, and two courses selected from 232, 233, 238, 252. Majors must take at least one course in the department each semester. For students returning from foreign study, these courses must be numbered 300 or higher. Potential majors, and especially students beginning their French studies at the 100 level, should consult with the department chair during the first year to determine the appropriate sequence. One course conducted in English in such departments as art, government, and history, in which the principal focus is France or francophone countries, may be counted toward the major; it must be approved in advance. Majors are required to spend at least one semester studying in a French-speaking country and are strongly encouraged to spend a full academic year. Three semester courses of transfer credit may be counted toward the major for a semester of study away from Colby, a maximum of five for a year.

The point scale for retention of the major is based on all French courses numbered above 127. No major requirement may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory.
Honors in French
Majors may apply to write an honors thesis, which counts as one of the 10 courses required for the major. Formal application must be received no later than September 15 of the student’s senior year and preferably in the spring of the junior year. Students who successfully complete the honors thesis, including the oral defense, will graduate “With Honors in French.”