Which French course should I take?

One of the most frequently asked questions from students is “Which language course is right for me?” Students come to the University of Saskatchewan with a wide range of differences in previous study and background in languages. Many factors can impact a student’s language background and preparedness such as:

  • diversities in language high school programs
  • differences in language course levels and offerings in other universities world-wide
  • ongoing language program renewals in pre-university and post-secondary language departments
  • percentage of pre-university education taken in immersion schools or in an immersion setting
  • exposure to the language via family background and travel
  • results achieved in the last language course taken
  • number of years since last course taken in the language

All of the above factors can create atypical situations for students who register for their first language course at the University of Saskatchewan. The following table can serve as a guideline in determining appropriate course placement for most students and provides answers to the most frequently asked questions. Online self-testing language placement tests may also provide some guidance. Please consult our home page for links to these. Students who feel that the recommended course may not be appropriate for them due to their particular circumstances or who do not fall into any of the following typical situations due to unique language backgrounds resulting from any of the above or other special circumstances should contact the French undergraduate advisor. Their situation may need to be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

N.B. Students with some French background who are unsure of which French course is appropriate for them may wish to take the self-testing French placement tests available on our website.

Typical Placement and Entry Course Points for FRENCH Students

Level Obtained





No previous French study 
Less than Grade 11 (French 20) of
 Core French completed.



FREN 103.3
French for Beginners
Level 1


An introduction to written 
& oral French
Study and practice of basic simple French affirmative, interrogative and negative sentences, the present tense of “–er” and some irregular verbs, articles, demonstrative and possessive adjectives, basic vocabulary related to themes such as the family, food, travel.


Not recommended for students who completed Grade 11 French (French 20) nor for students who completed Grade 12 French  
(French 30) at any point in time.



French 20 or 
Grade 11 Core French completed
3 cu of Beginner Level I French completed at any university.
 Limited French Immersion (grade 7 or less) completed.




FREN 106.3
Beginner French
Level 2


Level 2 of Beginner written & oral French. 
Further study of present tense French verbs (“-ir”, 
“-re” & irregular verbs), past & future tense verb forms, study of the imperative and reflexive verbs, personal pronouns. Theme-based vocabulary development.


Normal entry point for students who completed Grade 11 French (French 20.) Not usually appropriate for students who finished Grade 12 (French 20) in nor for students with French Immersion up until grade 7.


French 30
(Grade 12 Core French)
Partial French Immersion High School completed*



FREN 122.3
Intermediate French
Level 1


First year university level French course. Instruction in French written & oral French. Grammar review & vocabulary development. Readings & discussions in French.


Typical entry level for students who completed Grade 12 / French 30 
Core French in. Not recommended for students with High School French Immersion up until Grade 12 (French 30.)



French High School Immersion
Grade 12 / French 30



FREN 128.3
Advanced French
Level 1


First year university level French language course for Immersion, Bilingual or Francophone students. Grammar review & vocabulary development. Readings & discussions in French.


This is the entry level recommended for French Immersion, bilingual or francophone students. Students with partial High School French Immersion studies should contact the French undergraduate advisor for appropriate course placement. Their placement will largely depend on French High School results and placement test results.


N.B. Fransaskois students
(French School Board graduates with some French family background whose pre-university studies were all conducted in French), bilingual or francophone students with high French proficiency levels may receive prerequisite waivers to register in 200 level French courses.


FREN 128.3 (language)

Although FREN 128.3 is recommended, students with high proficiency in French may take the following courses concurrently with FREN 128.3.

FREN 230.3 (literature – FREN Canada)
FREN 220.3 (literature - France)
FREN 251.3 (culture - France - past)
FREN 252.3 (culture – France – contemp.)
FREN 258.3 (Business French)
FREN 272.3 (culture – FREN Canada)


Course Descriptions vary.


FREN 200 level courses in language, culture, or literature can be eligible for a prerequisite waiver for 200 level French courses through permission of the instructor or the Department. Permission will be granted according to the student’s French proficiency level.