Sep 30, 2023  
Course Catalog 2020-2021 
Course Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French Major

The major consists of a minimum of 9 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the French and Italian department.  

The French major consists of at least nine full courses, beginning at the level of French 206. Students who enter the major at a higher level are still required to complete nine full courses. Any course dealing with the Francophone world, taken at Oberlin or abroad, may count toward the major; two half courses may count as a full course.

arrow View suggested course sequence.

Summary of Requirements

At least seven of the courses must be French-taught.

FREN 101, 102, and 205 are not counted toward the major. French-taught Languages across the Curriculum (LxC) sections, which are generally half courses, will count as French-taught credits.

Courses that dedicate at least 30% of the syllabus to French or Francophone content may, with the Chair’s approval, be counted as partial major credit.

Cross-referenced courses are courses offered by a department other than French and Italian, but that count toward the French major.

Suggested Course Sequence

French 101-102, 205-206, 301, other 300-level courses in FREN, followed by 400-level courses.  French 301, 309, or 321 is the prerequisite for other courses at the 300-level. Two 300-level courses beyond 301 are the prerequisite for 400-level courses. Other prerequisites may be noted: see the course descriptions below.

Advanced Placement

An AP score of 4 or 5, an IB score of 6 or 7, or an SATII score of 628-800 will result in placement in a gateway course and one full course (FREN 300) credited toward graduation and the major.

Study Away / Tranfer of Credit

Four courses may be counted from approved study abroad programs or an accredited college/university.

One 400-level course must be taken in residence.

Five courses must be in residence, except in the case of a student who spends an entire year enrolled in a French-speaking university, in which case three courses must be in residence.


The Honors Program in French provides qualified majors with the opportunity to complete a special project during their senior year. An Honors Project entails independent study in French, in consultation with a faculty sponsor, completed over two semesters (FREN 505). Qualified students are invited to apply to the program during the second semester of their junior year. Admission is determined on the basis of faculty evaluation and approval of honors proposals and overall and major GPA.

arrow Find further information about the Honors Program from the departmental website.

French Major Course Lists

Gateway Courses

Return to the summary of requirements.

Note: FREN 301 is the normal gateway course, but for more advanced students, either FREN 309 or FREN 321 may serve as a gateway course.

French Courses

Return to the summary of requirements.

Note: FREN 101, 102, and 205 are not counted toward the major.