Department of French and Italian

College of Letters & Science

About Honors and variable credit courses

(Click here for L&S Undergraduate Catalogue information about Honors  - General)

Taking a class for honors  

A student can choose to register for a course for honors credit. Students taking a course for honors will be required to do extra work as described below for each particular course. Students taking a class for honors should contact the professor/instructor as soon as possible at the very beginning of the semester (or before) to begin organizing the honors curriculum for the semester. 

Who needs permission to take a class for honors, or to register for a designated honors section?

Students in the L&S Honors Program do not need permission to take a class for honors or to register for a designated honors section. Please note that students in the L&S Honors Program must take a minimum number of credits in designated honors sections. More information available here.

Students not in the L&S Honors can obtain permission for their current instructor, the instructor for the course they intend to take, or an advisor in French.  

What about variable credit courses?

French 228 and 271 are offered for 3 or 4 credits.  The 4th credit is not required and can be added or removed normally up to the second week of class.The content of the 4th credit varies depending upon the instructor's and the students' interests. In general, this extra meeting allows students more contact with the instructor in a small group environment, more weekly interaction in French, greater research into the subject matter, and often the opportunity to develop ones own personal interests with relation to the subject. For more information, see French 227 and 228 below.

4th Credit Students: A program of extra reading and other assignments given in conjunction with approximately seven extra class meetings (known a discussion sections) which students are required to attend on top of the regular weekly 3-credit lecture sections. Depending on the instructor, these seven extra meetings may take place every other week, or they may be clustered in successive weeks at selected points in the semester.

French 101 and 102: A student who wants to do the Honors option will meet with the TA to discuss projects to do in addition to the normal 101 or 102 homework and activities. The student must do four (4) additional activities. Possibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lunch, dinner, or other activity at the French House
  • Watching a French movie (in French; English subtitles are ok) – these can be found through the LSS learning lab, 4-Star video, or elsewhere.
  • Following the news or weather on TV5 for a week
  • Some other event involving the French language; use your best judgment to determine what would be appropriate.

French 203: The requirements for a student taking French 203 for honors will vary on a case by case basis. They are determined in consultation with the student, the instructor, and the course chair. Options for completing the requirements for taking French 203 for honors include (but are not limited to):

  • a research project wherein the instructor and the student will determine a focus. The instructor will determine a timeline to include a formal proposal, outline, and 5-page paper and/or 5-minute presentation to the class.
  • a 3-4 short 2-page reaction papers, or
  • 3-4 in class presentations based on films, current events, news items, or a theme to be worked out between the student and the instructor.

French 204: Two options are available for additional writing assignments, to be determined in consultation with the instructor

  • A directed independent research project (6-8 pages). Students will consult with their instructors at least three times during the semester to define their topics and discuss their research. The description of the project will be due by the 4th week of class and the project will be due by the end of the semester
  • 4 analytical essays (2 pages each) based on French/ Francophone movies, with emphasis on cultural content. Students will consult with their instructors to choose their movies.

French 227: Students wishing to take 227 for honors should first speak with their instructor.

French 228: In addition to the regular course requirements, student must do 4 additional activities (essays or/and class presentations), based on movies, current issues, etc., with emphasis on cultural content. Student will consult with the instructor to choose the topics or themes. This extra work is the equivalence of one credit requirements.

French 271: In addition to the regular course requirements, student must do a directed independent research project, designed and carried out by each student in consultation with the instructor. Such projects often include a program of individual meetings with the instructor; occasionally, they also entail group meetings with other students taking the course for 4 credits.