All students in the Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management Program are required to achieve intermediate-level proficiency in French prior to graduation from the program. Our French proficiency requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways:

  1. Students can meet the proficiency requirement by taking French courses at Carleton. In order to meet the intermediate-level proficiency requirement students need to pass FREN 1100.
  2. Students can take a French proficiency test with a faculty member in the French department at Carleton.

Getting Started

Every student, regardless of their previous background, is required to start by taking the online French Placement Test at After completing the test, students will be given a list of courses that they have placed in based on thier responses to the online test.

Please note: We will only accept courses prefixed with FREN in the course code. Courses that begin with FINS cannot be used toward the fulfilment of our language requirement.

Carleton offers three first year French credits: FREN 1001, FREN 1002 and FREN 1100. These courses are intended for students whose proficiency ranges from that of a true beginner to an advanced beginner. Successful completion of FREN 1100 is equivalent to intermediate-level proficiency in our program.

If your placement test results include FREN 1001, FREN 1002 or FREN 1100, please register in the course that was recommended to you. It is important to note that you will need to use your free electives in order to complete your French proficiency requirement. Keep in mind that it can take a few years to complete the French requirement, especially if you initially place in FREN 1001.

Students with Previous French Proficiency

Many of our students come to us with previous French proficiency. Some students speak French as their first language while others have completed high school immersion programs, AP French, IB French or the DELF examination. Unfortunately we have no way of assessing your proficiency level here in our department however, you can request a French proficiency test with a faculty member in the French department at Carleton.

Step One: Take a French Placement Test online at

Step Two: If you have placed in French courses at the 2000-level or higher (ie. FREN 2100, etc.), please email to request a one-on-one proficiency test.

Please note: The French department will not schedule a proficiency test with you until you have taken the placement test at the link above. Do not reach out to the French department until you have completed the online placement test.

Step Three: Complete your one-on-one proficiency test. The instructor who performs your test will email us directly to report your proficiency level. We will then email you to explain your next steps.

International Policy Studies Language Requirement

Students who decide to pursue a specialization in International Policy Studies are required to graduate with either:

  1. Advanced proficiency in French (FREN 2100 recommended) or,
  2. Intermediate Proficiency in both French and another foreign language. This can be achieved by taking FREN 1100 as well as 1.0 credit in another foreign language at the first year level (ie. SPAN 1010 and SPAN 1020). Please note: Students must take the full 1.0 credit in the same language. We will not allow students to take a half credit in two different languages to fulfill this requirement (ie. SPAN 1010 and CHIN 1010 is not an acceptable combination).


Please reach out to directly if you have questions about the program’s language requirement.