The French Language Program comprises a large number of qualified professors and instructors who are devoted to language teaching. Each semester around 500–600 students, including French majors and minors and students in other academic disciplines, enroll in our language courses. You will find many opportunities to learn and practice French at all levels of proficiency and enjoy the diversity of its cultures. A number of our courses satisfy the University’s Literature Core or the University’s Cultural Diversity Core.

Students interested in enhancing their linguistic proficiency while advancing their cultural literacy should consider the major and minor programs in French Studies.

Why Study French?

The study of French offers students an open invitation to a diverse world of people, cultures, and ideas. French is the sixth most widely spoken language worldwide with over 220 million French speakers on all five continents. “As a result of population growth, the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF) estimates that the number of French speakers will rise to over 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa. French is an official language of 29 countries, second only to English in this category.” In the United States, more than 1,4 million students study French at the university level. In both an international and national context, French continues to grow as a language of business, medicine and the sciences, and plays a special role in international politics as being one of the official languages of the United Nations and the European Union.

Knowledge of French introduces students to a wealth of literature, arts, history, and other humanities. It engages curiosity for travel, exploration, and the allows for more meaningful interactions with the international French-speaking population both in the U.S. and abroad. French uniquely merges the functionality, the opportunity, and the richness of culture that a foreign language offers. We hope that you will join us to claim your place within the French-speaking world.

Program Details


The language curriculum has been carefully designed to foster progressive acquisition of proficiency in French. From the first day of class students are exposed to the target language and trained to practice the necessary basic skills (speaking, oral interaction, listening, reading, and writing) while expanding their vocabulary and learning new grammar points and structures in context. All courses incorporate the study of culture from different French speaking countries. Students acquire the language while they learn to understand relevant socio-cultural and historical aspects of the French-speaking world and to appreciate and celebrate their differences. A number of our courses also satisfy the University’s Literature Core or the University’s Cultural Diversity Core.


The French language curriculum offers language instruction over four years. Students are required to follow the sequence, as our courses have been designed in order that students learn the language progressively:

  • Elementary French I (FREN1009)
  • Elementary French II (FREN1010)
  • Intermediate French I (FREN1109)
  • Intermediate French II (FREN1110)
  • Conversation, Composition and Reading I (CCR1) (FREN2209)
  • Conversation, Composition and Reading II* (CCR2) (FREN2210)
  • Foundation Courses** (FREN3305 Introduction to Drama and Poetry, FREN3306 Introduction to Narrative Forms, FREN 3307 Masterpieces of French Literature, FREN3308 Advanced Language Studies, FREN 3309 Topics in French and Civilization)

* Conversation, Composition and Reading II (FREN2210) and the Foundation Courses are approved courses for the major in French. CCR 1 (FREN2209), CCR2 (FREN2210) and the Foundation Courses being approved courses for the minor.

** Foundation Courses provide the bridge between CCR II and Advanced French Literature and Culture Courses (FREN44400 and above). The Foundation Courses focus on advanced grammar review and critical interpretation of literary and cultural texts. Students are advised to complete at least two Foundation Courses before taking a FREN44400-level course.


  • Elementary French I (FREN10009) and Intermediate French I (FREN1109) are offered in the fall only.
  • Elementary French II (FREN1010) and Intermediate French II (FREN1110) are offered in the spring only.
  • CCR1 (FREN2209) is offered in the fall only.
  • CCR2 (FREN2210) is offered in the spring only.
  • Foundatation Courses are offered both in the fall and in the spring.

In addition to these courses, we offer practica in Elementary (Elementary French Practicum I, FREN1011 and Elementary French Practicum II, FREN1012), Intermediate (Intermediate French Practicum I, FREN1013 and Intermediate French Practicum II FREN1014) and CCR (CCR French Practicum I FREN2217). These intensive, one-hour supplementary courses give French students the extra practice they need to fine-tune their French skills at the Elementary, Intermediate and CCR levels.

Language Proficiency Requirement

The Language Proficiency requirement of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences (MCAS) encourages a holistic educational model for all undergraduate students so that they may graduate with a global, cross-cultural perspective. Language proficiency can be demonstrated in both modern and classical languages. The Carroll School of Management (CSOM), the Lynch School of Education (LSOE), and the Connell School of Nursing do not have a language requirement.

There are different ways to demonstrate proficiency in French:

  • By successful completion of French Intermediate II (FREN1110) or Intensive Intermediate French for Proficiency (FREN1182) or a course beyond the intermediate level. For further information about placement please consult our Language Placement Guidelines.
  • By achieving a score of 3 or higher on the AP French Language Exam.
  • By achieving a score of 550 or higher on the SAT Subject Test in French. (Either form of the SAT Subject Test is acceptable: with or without the listening component.)

Language Lab

The Language Lab serves as a center that provides for the learning and teaching needs of the many different language departments at Boston College. It boasts an extensive collection of textbooks, films, teaching materials, technological equipment, and multimedia language learning tools. The Laboratory, located in Lyons 313, is run by accommodating staff and is accessible throughout the week.

BC French students can individually also take advantage of the many opportunities facilitated by the Language Laboratory which includes a variety of resources for French learners:

  1. French language learning titles (including textbooks/workbook-lab manuals/audio and/or video programs)
  2. Documentary or feature-length films on DVD or VHS video
  3. French music recordings
  4. French language reference books (dictionaries, grammar texts)

Studying & Working Abroad

One major reason to learn French is to take advantage of the many study abroad opportunities Boston College offers in France. The BC Office of International Programs (OIP) has a number of semester-long and year-long programs in Paris. Students can participate in programs at some of the most prestigious universities in France. These include:

  • L'Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP)
  • L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
  • L'Ecole Supérieure de Commerce (ESCP)
  • L'Institut de Langue et de Culture Francaise (ILCF)
  • Université de Paris IV, La Sorbonne
  • Université de Paris IX, Dauphine

For more details about the different programs please consult the Office of Global Education. They will help you to find the best program for you based on your interests and your level of French. Students can also consult with any professor of French in the department for further information on study abroad in France.

Summer Internship Program in Paris

In Paris, the political and cultural capital of France, BC offers a multitude of placements with companies in various industries as well as a diverse collection of smaller NGOs and nonprofits. This unique two-month opportunity provides academic guidance, homestay accommodations with a local family, and a chance to gain professional experience in an international setting all the while expanding one’s knowledge and competency of French. 

Further Study After Study Abroad

Many students, after having successfully accomplished their original goal of study abroad, return to Boston College with a more firm understanding of their passion for French. As an addition to the experiences of study abroad that ground students’ understanding of the practicality of proficiency in a foreign language and the credits, which transfer from the university abroad, the immersion experience has a way of inspiring many students to continue exploring their curiosity for French by taking additional language or literature courses or declaring a minor or major in French. When returning to Boston College after your study abroad experience, carefully consider the many opportunities (in the form of literature, linguistics, teaching methodology courses etc.) that still wait for you on campus to ever advance your language skills.


Andréa Javel

Senior Lecturer in French, Andréa Javel is Coordinator of our Elementary and Intermediate French Program, serving in that role since 1996. She came to Boston College in 1990, shortly after completing her Masters in Education at Harvard University. In addition to her work as Coordinator and as instructor of French, she also serves as Clinical Faculty Supervisor of undergraduate and graduate students (who are working as student-teachers in the Boston school system) at BC's Lynch School of Education, as well as member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Teachers of French.

Johann Sadock

A native of France who has taught French at Boston College for many years, Johann Sadock is the Coordinator of our third-year course, "CCR" (FREN2210, Conversation, Composition and Reading). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen, an M.A. from Michigan State University and degrees in French and Comparative literature, law and political science from L'Université de Paris-X.

Please note: Prof. Sadock is available for French CCR advising and placement during the academic year only; for advising and placement during the summer, please contact Prof. Franco Mormando.