Enrolment Guidelines

Enrolment in French Courses

Students must respect all requirements stated in the exclusions and prerequisites when enrolling in a course. Students who do not have the prerequisite(s) for a given course must obtain permission from the Department before registration. The Department will assess students’ admissibility to the course in consultation with the instructor. For FSL courses, prerequisites and exclusions ensure that students are offered the most appropriate language learning experience possible.

Important policies re:French as a Second Language (FSL) courses

The following policies must be respected when registering for French courses. Failure to do so may result in students being automatically withdrawn by the Department from the course in which they are registered:

Placement Test

Determining the appropriate level of your first French course

True beginners with no knowledge of French can enroll directly in FSL100H1 without taking the Placement Test. The Department reserve the right to verify the students' competence in French if in doubt about their eligibility. The Department places students in the language course appropriate to their level of linguistic competence based on the results of its Placement Test. Given that 100, 200, 300 and 400-level FSL courses correspond to levels of competence in French and not to years of study, a student may be recommended to enroll in a course at a higher level than his/her year of study. The Placement Test is mandatory for all students who wish to register in an FRE or FSL course for the first time except for true beginners with no knowledge of French. The Test can be taken only once and the results of the first test will prevail in the event of multiple attempts. Ideally, the Placement Test should be taken in the term preceding the one in which students wish to register in (e.g., for a course starting in September, students should take the Placement Test in the summer term, prior to their registration date on ACORN and before the beginning of classes). Please allow three to five working days to obtain your test results. Self-placement is not allowed in the Department of French. The administration reserves the right to conduct an additional test if in doubt about a student's undeclared proficiency in French.


Students are reminded that they must take FSL courses in the appropriate sequencing (100>200>300>400). In particular, 

  • If placed at a higher level than FSL220H1/FSL222H1 by the Placement Test, students registered in a Major program must take FSL271H1 before any FSL300 or 400-level course. 
  • Students currently registered in or having completed FSL320H1, FSL322H1, FSL375H1 or any 400-level FSL course cannot take FSL312H1, FSL313H1, FSL314H1 and FSL315H1. 

No auditing is allowed in FSL courses.

Other Policies

Students must note the following before enrolling in and while completing any French program:

  1. Enrolment in all programs requires the completion of 4.0 courses.
  2. Exemption from any required FSL or FRE course does not reduce the total number of courses required for a program.
  3. Students must satisfy the subject post requirements in place and described in the FAS Calendar or brochure of the year they register in the program.
  4. FSL100H1 & FSL102H1 do not count towards any Specialist, Major or Minor programs in French.
  5. Students not placed in FSL221Y1 or higher by the Placement Test must first complete FSL121Y1 before starting any program in French.
  6. FSL221Y is our 1st language course which is mandatory for all minor, major, and specialist programs. In order to ensure that students have a solid knowledge of the structure of the French language (written and oral) by the end of their program, a minimum grade of 63% is required in FSL221Y in order to continue to FSL321Y. Students may retake the course or upgrade their skills through a transfer credit obtained at a program such as Explore or Summer Abroad.
  7. FSL271H1 provides useful basics for further studies in Linguistics and French Language Learning, and for students who feel they would benefit from a better understanding of the grammatical structure of the language. If exempted from FSL221Y1 by the Placement Test, students must take this course before any higher level FSL course. It cannot be taken after or concurrently with FSL321Y1, FSL312H1, FSL313H1, FSL 314H1, FSL315H1, FSL375Y1, FSL421Y1, FSL442H1, FSL443H1, FSL472H1 or FSL473H1.

Students who are not enrolled in a program in French may enroll in an FRE course of their choice as an elective with the Department’s permission, if they can demonstrate adequate competence in French. These students may submit their written assignments in English.

Exclusions & Prerequisites

Students must abide by all requirements stated in the exclusions and prerequisites to register in a course. Students who do not have the prerequisites for a given course must obtain the permission of the Department, prior to registration. The Department will assess the students’ admissibility to the course in consultation with the instructor. For FSL courses, exclusions ensure that students follow the best progression in language learning.

Instructors check students’ academic credentials in the first weeks of classes. Students who do not comply with prerequisites or exclusions will be asked to withdraw, unless they obtain the permission from the Department. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they meet the deadline to withdraw or add a course with no penalty.

Language Citation

The Department of French participates in the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Language Citation initiative for French. In order to receive a Language Citation in French Studies, students should have completed two FSL courses at the 300+ level or two FRE courses at the 200+ level with a minimum mark of B-. Students should note that the Language Citation is not equivalent to an academic program. Enrolment in a French program (Major, Minor or Specialist) is not necessary in order to earn the recognition bestowed.

Enrolment in FRE 490Y1, 491H1/492H1

FRE 490Y1, FRE 491H1/492H1 are courses intended to enable students in good standing to study a topic or area not covered in the current departmental offerings. Only 1.0 FCE may be included in a Specialist Program, and only 0.5 FCE in a Major Program.

To enroll in either FRE 490Y1 (Senior Essay) or FRE 491H1/492H1 (Independent Study), applicants must follow the procedures outlined in the Guidelines for Independent Study Topics (PDF).

Exemption from Required FSL Courses

Students may be exempted from the FSL courses required in French programs on the basis of their linguistic competence, following the results from their Placement Test. Students must then replace these FSL program requirements with FRE courses. 

Students enrolled in two or more French programs are allowed to double-count only 1.0 FCE towards their French programs.

Native or fluent speakers of French are excluded from all FSL courses with the exception of those needing to improve their written or oral skills who must request permission from the Associate Chair, Undergraduate studies to enroll in FSL442H1 or 443H1. Such students will be asked to complete the Placement Test at the Department.

Students who obtain a final mark of 77% or higher in FSL321Y1 are exempted from the FSL442H1, FSL443H1 prerequisite (ie. FSL421Y1 or equivalent) in the Specialist Program in French Language and Literature.

College Courses, FCS and JFG courses are taught in English with reading and written assignments in English. No knowledge of French is required. However, students can count these courses with the exception of FCS195H1 towards a program in French (Major or Specialist ONLY) if they submit all written work and tests in French. These students must, during the first week of class, inform their instructor of their intent to do so and ask their instructor to fill out the Request for Credit towards a Specialist or Major Program in French which is handed in to the Department at the same time as the final marks.

French and Related Studies

A Specialist student may qualify for entrance to a program in French at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). Students taking French and another language English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish or Ukranian may qualify for entrance to a program in two languages. Other students will wish to enrich their program in French with closely related studies in Linguistics, Classics, History, Philosophy, Art, Music, etc. Specialists in other disciplines, particularly in the social sciences, will frequently find French a natural complement to their programs. A working fluency in French can be used to satisfy the language requirements of the Major Programs in European and/or International Studies.

Ancillary Fees

As a matter of principle, the University will be responsible for the delivery of an academic program. Students are expected to purchase the materials (books, photocopied handouts, etc.) required for the program.