Welcome to the Department of French!


 General Information

For general information about undergraduate courses and programs offered by the Department of French, please send an e-mail message to our departmental secretary, Mme Nehad Ghaly. You may also call the main office at: 416-926-2302. Please ensure that you leave your full name, student number, the reason for your call and a call back number.

Courses held in the Fall-Winter 2021-22 (delivery method details will be available in the course outline on Quercus)

For more information on Fall 2021 at UofT, you may also go to Resources for students or Frequently asked questions

Course Enrollment and Program Registration

Due to the Covid-19 crisis and until further notice, all queries regarding course enrollment and program registration must be submitted in writing to Mr. Alex Yeung

Please indicate the course program you are enrolled in, your name and student number.

The Undergraduate Counsellor at the Department of French is available from 10 AM to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, room 226, Odette Hall, 50 St. Joseph St. Toronto, ON., M5S 1J4. To answer your questions about course enrollment and program registration. You may drop in or book an appointment during those times by sending an e-mail message  or calling Mr. Alex Yeung at: 416 926 2333.  For course or program counselling or any undergraduate query, please indicate the course program you are enrolled in, your name and student number.


Q: I would like to enroll in a French course and have/have not studied French through high school; I do not know what level of French course I should take.

A: Determining the appropriate level of your first French course:

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, available at Placement Test, is mandatory for all students who wish to register in an FRE or FSL course for the first time (except true beginners with no knowledge of French who may enroll directly in FSL100H1). 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.


Q: What is the difference between FSL and FRE courses?

A: The FSL courses focus on language study and cultural competence whereas the FRE courses require a higher level of competence in French and are designed for students who want to pursue the study of Linguistics and Literature.


Q: I have a high school Certificate in French. Can I be exempted from taking FSL courses and register directly in an FRE course?

A: Students who have a high school Certificate in French or are proficient in French cannot register directly in an FRE course. They may be exempted from the FSL courses required in French programs on the basis of their linguistic competence by obtaining a Waiver of Program Requirement. To request a Waiver after completing the Placement Test, students should send to Prof. Patrick Thériault, the Associate Chair, Undergraduate studies at: french.undergradchair@utoronto.ca the following:

  • A brief letter or email in French explaining why they believe they should register in an FRE course
  • Placement Test results
  • Any additional documents that may reflect the student’s French competence (Certificate in French, proof of study in French, etc.)


Q: I am a native speaker of French. Do I need to take a Placement Test?

A: 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 take a placement test. These students must contact the Associate Chair, Undergraduate studies  in order to make an appointment at the Department and obtain permission to enroll in advanced-level FSL or FRE courses. 


Q: I took the placement test a few years ago. Can I re-take it?

A: No. The Test can be taken only ONCE and the results of the first test will prevail in the event of multiple attempts.


Q: I am a UofT student entering my second year and am considering taking a French course. I previously completed the placement test but did not take the recommended course. I would like to know if I am required to take the test again in order for me to register in the course previously recommended by the placement test.

A: The Test can be taken only ONCE and the results of the first test will prevail in the event of multiple attempts.


Q: I am currently a U of T student and one of the FSL/FRE courses I would like to take is full. How can I register in this course?

A: The only way to register in a non-restricted FSL/FRE course is through the ACORN System, except for late enrollment for Y courses at the College Registrars. The Department of French cannot override the system. Most of our FSL or 200-level FRE courses have an enrolment control (priority is given to students enrolled in French programs) or reach their enrollment limits quickly. However, places may become available from time to time as students adjust their programs. Our best advice is that you register for available and appropriate courses in July, and only then consider placing yourself on the waiting list for your preferred choice(s).  Please note that auditing or switching of sections at mid-session is not permitted in the Department of French.


Space in courses

Any in-class teaching that will be taking place in the Fall-Winter 2020-2021 will respect the social distancing regulations as per the Covid-19 policy.

It is University policy that the number of students enrolled in a course cannot exceed the capacity of the room as dictated by fire regulations. Some departments, for pedagogical reasons, assign lower capacities than room size.

The Faculty makes every attempt to ensure that the room assigned will accommodate the number of students expected to enroll; however, as there is not unlimited space to meet demand, some students may not obtain space in every course they want. You may add yourself to a waiting list for a course or courses, but this does not guarantee enrolment in the course(s); therefore, you are advised to select alternative courses in which to enroll in the event that you are unable to register in a course that remains full.


Q: What types of undergraduate programs does the Department of French offer?

A: The Department of French, St. George Campus offers a Specialist and a Major program of study in French Language and French Linguistics; a Specialist and a Major program of study in French Language and Literature; a Major program in French Language Learning (formerly known as Second Language Learning); and three Minor programs of study each in Practical French, French Studies, and French Language. Detailed information for our program requirements can be found on the departmental website.


Q: I selected a French Major in 2015, switched to a Minor, and then again to a Major in 2018.  Which program should I follow?

A: You would have to follow all of the NEW Major program requirements. Students are responsible for completing all of the requirements of their French program in the Faculty of Arts and Science Calendar from the year in which they enrolled. Please note that students who choose to select a new program on ACORN must complete all of the new requirements, even if they had previously selected a program. You may use Degree Explorer to help you assess your program, but please note that you are ultimately responsible for understanding and fulfilling the requirements. You may also contact the Undergraduate Counsellor for advice.


Q: I am interested in taking FRE 490Y/FRE 491H/FRE 492H. How do I register for this course, which has an “E” indicator? What is CR/NCR option?

A: Students cannot register for “E” courses on ACORN; students are enrolled at the Department upon acceptance. Admission is by permission of the instructor and the Associate Chair. Applicants must follow the procedures outlined in The Guidelines for Independent Study Topics https://www.french.utoronto.ca/other-courses/fre-491h492h-independent-study and submit the application form for Senior Essay and Independent Study Proposal, duly signed by their supervisor, to the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies. An electronic version of the application must be forwarded to Undergraduate Counsellor


Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) option

Degree students may select up to 2.0 full-course equivalents of their degree credits to be assessed on a Credit/No Credit basis. Course exceptions apply - see the CR/NCR website for details https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/current/academics/creditno-credit. You may add a CR/NCR option on ACORN beginning the first day of classes. The deadline to make changes (add or remove) a CR/NCR option is the same as the last day to cancel the course without academic penalty.  Please note that CR/NCR courses cannot be used to satisfy program requirements.  The exception made to the CR/NCR policy applies only to S & Y courses completed in the Winter 2020 term and does not apply to courses offered in the Summer 2020 terms. (cf. https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/covid19-artsci-student-faqs)


Q: How do I obtain the Language Citation in French?

A: 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 full course equivalents: 300+ level FSL courses or 200+ level FRE courses with a minimum mark of B- in each course. 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. They must submit a copy of their academic records to the Undergraduate Counsellor by emailing french.undergraduate@utoronto.ca and indicate the courses they wish to be considered for the Citation.


Q: I took part in the Explore program and would like to have my credit transferred.

A: Upon their return from the program, students must book an appointment with the French Secretary at french.secretary@utoronto.ca to do the test at the Department of French. They must ensure that their transcript has been sent to their college registrar. Once they receive their test results, they would forward them to the Study Elsewhere Advisor or to the transfer credit Department of the Faculty of Arts & Science: Transfer Credit Information


Q: I was exempted from FSL courses and the requirements on Degree Explorer show “incomplete”.

A: You must contact the Undergraduate Counsellor to indicate the courses that are used to replace the exempted courses, so that your records may be updated on Degree Explorer. Kindly include your student number.  Please note that being exempted from a course does not reduce the number of credits required for a program completion.


Q: What are my career options after completing a Specialist or Major in French?

A: Depending on your program (Linguistics, Literature, Language), possible career paths include:

  • provincial and federal government civil service
  • health professions such as speech pathology, speech therapy, audiology
  • language teaching
  • library and information sciences
  • foreign services/affairs, international development
  • computer applications in speech & text recognition, programming
  • media, public relations, journalism, publishing, editing, copywriting, technical writing
  • bilingual customer service
  • private sector positions


Q: What are my career options after completing a Minor in French?  

 A: Depending on your type of Minor program (Practical French, French Studies, and French Language), possible career paths include:

  • provincial and federal government civil service
  • bilingual immigration or customs officer
  • bilingual customer service
  • private sector positions


Q: How can I obtain a certificate in French? What are the requirements?

A: The Department of French does not offer a certificate or diploma in French.  However, you may apply for a Language Citation in French. See section on “How do I obtain a Language Citation in French?” for more information.


Useful links

Art & Science current undergraduate student

Faculty of Art & Science Calendar

Faculty of Art & Science 2019-2020 Time Table