Curriculum & Courses
About Our Curriculum
Our courses in the French Department have a twofold objective: to perfect fluency in the written and spoken language, and to develop an understanding and appreciation of the literature and culture of France and French-speaking countries.
The Department’s primary goals are firstly to enable students to develop competence in spoken and written French, and secondly to expose students to the literature and culture of French and French-speaking countries. An important additional objective of the French Department is to encourage students to consider studying in France or a Francophone country.
In regard to students’ linguistic competence, our specific goals are:
- To enable students to express themselves on a range of topics with an acceptable degree of fluency and accuracy.
- To facilitate their comprehension of a variety of texts (both from literature and the media) written in French.
- To foster students’ confidence in the possibility of their living and studying in a French environment.
All first-year, transfer, and/or returning students who studied French prior to entering Columbia/Barnard must take the placement exam before taking any Barnard French courses. Questions about the exam can be found on our Placement Exam page.
Students entering Barnard in Fall 2016 and thereafter will receive points of credit for Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit, but these credits will not exempt students from General Education Requirements. Further information may be found on the Registrar's website. For additional information about language courses, students should consult the department chair.
Students who have satisfied the language requirement may immediately enroll in literature and culture courses (courses numbered above and including FREN BC3001).
In cooperation with Columbia College, the department offers a program at Reid Hall in Paris open to majors and non-majors. Visit our Study Abroad page for more information.