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French Studies

French is not only one of the official languages of Canada:  it is also one of the world’s major international languages. Courses in French studies provide a varied, flexible and in-depth examination of the French language and the multitude of cultures it expresses. The skills and knowledge acquired will lay the groundwork for careers in teaching, journalism, translation, publishing and government service, as well as research in a variety of fields. In the Canadian job market, command of the French language is a definite asset. The department offers students an integrated curriculum, which brings together courses in language, linguistics, literature, French Culture and didactics. Unless specified otherwise, the language of instruction is French.



  • French Language and Literature (specialist and major options)
  • French Language and Linguistics (specialist and major options)
  • French Language Learning (major)
  • French as a Second Language (minor)
  • French Studies (minor)


First-Year Courses

  • FCS 195H1 - French Culture from Napoleon to Asterix (taught in English)
  • FSL 100H1 – French for Beginners
  • FSL 102H1 – Introductory French
  • FSL 121Y1 – French Language I
  • FSL 221Y1 – French Language II

Please note that FSL 100H1, FSL 102H1 and FSL 121Y1 do not count towards any of the French programs.


Advice for First Year

In first year students may take any French as a second language (FSL) course that is appropriate to their level of skill. Students with no knowledge of French must enrol in FSL 100H1. The Department reserves the right to place students in the language course appropriate to their level of language skills, based on the results of the placement test. Since 100, 200, 300 and 400-level FSL courses correspond to levels of competence in French, 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 register in a FRE or FSL course for the first time (except true beginners who have no knowledge of French – they will enroll in FSL 100H1). The placement test can be taken only ONCE and the results of the first test will prevail in the event of several attempts. Ideally, the placement test should be taken in the preceding term of the course students intend to register in, e.g. for a Fall term or "Y" course, students should take the placement test in the summer term, prior to their registration date on ACORN and before the beginning of classes in any given term, in order to ensure enrolment in the appropriate course. Students not having access to a computer capable of managing sound files should write to french.placement@utoronto.ca to arrange to take the test at the Department of French.


What can I do with a degree in Literature?  Possible career paths include:

  • Career in Media, Public Relations, Journalism, Publishing, Editing, Copywriting
  • Library and Information Sciences, Research
  • Foreign Services/Foreign Affairs Specialist, International Development, Political Aid

What can I do with a degree in Linguistics? Possible career paths include:

  • Career in Health Professions such as Speech Pathology, Speech Therapy, Audiology
  • Teaching Language or Second language acquisition
  • Career in Media, Public Relations, Journalism, Publishing, Editing, Copywriting, Technical Writing
  • Language, Voice, Speech, Text Recognition, Synthesis Programming
  • Bilingual Customer Service Specialist

What can I do with a degree in French as a Second language? Career paths include:

  • Bilingual Customer Services; Hospitality Industry; Travel Agent; Flight Attendant; Immigration Officer; Customs Officer

What can I do with a degree in French Language Learning?  Career paths include:

  • Teaching; Translation; Public Relations Officer; Communication Specialist
  • Journalism; International development


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