Students can take their first Francophone studies course at Bowdoin only after the Department has assessed their level and recommended an appropriate class. This recommendation is determined on the basis of the placement exam that all students must take before course registration, any AP score earned in French, and a consultation with the Department that takes place at the Francophone studies open house during first-year orientation or through individual appointments with a faculty member.
If you earned a 5 on the AP French or 6 or you have never taken any French, you need to complete only the first four questions of the placement test. All other students must complete the online test to determine placement.
Students who received scores of 4 or higher in the AP exam, or 6 or higher in the upper-level IB exam, will be awarded one AP/IB credit upon the successful completion of a course, level 2305 or higher, with a grade of B- or higher. Please remember that all students, regardless of AP/IB score, should take the placement test.
- Credit will not be given if a student places into, or elects to take, a course lower than 2305.
- Only one AP credit may be earned per person per language.
How to take the placement exam and obtain your course recommendation:
- Login to Blackboard at https://blackboard.bowdoin.edu.
- Click on the Placement Exams and Surveys link.
- Click on Languages from the left-hand menu. Then follow the directions carefully.
Typical Placement Recommendations
Prior Experience in French
|Students who have never taken any French||Enroll in Francophone Studies 1101 in the fall semester|
|Students who have had fewer than two years of high school French||Enroll in Francophone Studies 2203 or Francophone Studies 1101 in the fall semester, as placed|
|Students who have taken two or more years of high-school French but have not earned a 5 on the French AP||Enroll in Francophone Studies 2203 or Francophone Studies 2305 in the fall semester, as placed|
|Students who have earned a 5 on the French AP||Enroll in Francophone Studies 2407 or 2409 in the fall semester or Francophone Studies 2408, 2410 or 2411 in the spring semester to begin the introduction to cultures and literatures series. Students who feel they need to improve their mastery of grammar and writing prior to continuing in French may choose to enroll in Francophone Studies 2305 in the fall semester upon consultation with the Francophone studies section|
|Native or near-native speakers of French||Consult with the Francophone studies section regarding placement|
During course registration, all students should know which course level was recommended based on their placement exam and consultation with the Department. This information is available from their academic advisors through the registrar’s electronic system (Polaris) or from Francophone studies faculty.
Students should enroll in the recommended course. Students may move between course levels during the first weeks of classes in consultation with their instructors.