Course placement for French


What is your most recent level of foreign language study?

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One to Two Levels of High School Language Study

Students with 1-2 levels of high school language study do NOT NEED to take a placement test. Determine your placement in a first-year course using this table:

High School Study French Course at UMTC
0-1 levels 1001
2 levels with break 1001
2 levels with no break
(i.e., junior and senior year language study)

If you have had more than three months of foreign study in a formal language-learning program (e.g., an exchange program) or you speak the foreign language at home, your placement may have to be adjusted. See the section on foreign study/foreign language at home below.

Three Levels of High School Language Study

Students with 3 or more levels of high school language study should attempt the Entrance Proficiency Test (EPT) to place into a second-year course. The EPT is a three-hour test consisting of three sections: reading, listening, and writing. You will take all three test sections online.  

Take the EPT online

If you score a HIGH PASS on the EPT, you feel your language skills are very strong, and you are interested in starting your language study at U of M in a third-year course instead of a second-year course, you should take the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE). Students who pass the LPE prior to completing any French coursework at the University of Minnesota fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement and may register for a third year course. Students who are successful on the LPE normally have perfect or near-perfect scores on the EPT and find the EPT to be easy.

College in the Schools (CIS) UMTC

Students who have completed French through the College in the Schools program will continue the course sequence. Students who completed FREN 1003 through the U of M-Twin Cities CIS program will take FREN 1004 at U of M.  No placement exam is necessary.  

Students who completed FREN 1004 through the U of M-Twin Cities CIS program and wish to take more French classes may continue on to FREN 3015. Students who have completed FREN 1004 with a grade of C- or better through the U of M Twin Cities (on campus or through CIS) are not required to complete the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) in order to fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement or to enroll in FREN 3015.  

For information on taking the LPE after FREN 1003, check the information about the LPE SCREENING Test.  Please note that students who pass the LPE after completing FREN 1003 fulfill the CLA Second Language Requirement, but if they wish to continue to advanced classes, they must complete FREN 1004.  Students may not skip from 1003 to 3015.

College Level Instruction

Students with previous college-level instruction at another college or university should consult their previous transcripts and speak with their adviser to determine which course in the sequence of language courses they completed. Find the most recent language course on this chart to determine the appropriate test for placement.

Most Recent College Course UMTC Test to Take
First semester (70 - 75 hours) No Test Required;
Register for FREN 1002
Second semester (140 - 150 hours) Attempt EPT
Third semester (210 - 225 hours) Attempt EPT
Fourth semester (280 - 300 hours)* Attempt LPE

NOTE: Students are strongly advised against attempting the LPE if they do not have the suggested amount of college-level instruction or its equivalent, or if this instruction is not in the very recent past.  Students may attempt the LPE only one time prior to taking 1004 at U of M.*Students completing a fourth-semester course at another college or university should consult their adviser to determine if the course fulfills the CLA Second Language Requirement. If the course fulfills the language requirement, then the LPE is needed only if the students want to continue in 3015.

A semester of language instruction at the University of Minnesota consists of 70 - 75 class hours. If your semester course offered less than 70 hours, adjust your placement procedure to a lower level regardless of the actual number of semesters you completed.

Students who pass the EPT will be placed in a second-year course.

Students who pass the LPE will have fulfilled their Second Language Requirement for CLA and may register for a third-year language course. Students who fail the LPE should contact the CLA Language Testing Program for more information.

Students who have studied the language abroad or use it at home

If you are interested in taking a second-year course (1003-1004) at U of M, you must first pass the Entrance Proficiency Test (EPT).

If you are interested in taking a third-year course (3000-level), you must pass the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE).

If you want to start your language study in a first-year course, you do not need a placement test. See the course descriptions below for information on first-year courses.

French Course Descriptions

FREN 1001

First semester: starts beginning-level language instruction; does not require prior language study.

FREN 1002

Second semester: continues beginning-level language instruction; presumes competence with vocabulary, topics, and structures taught in 1001.

FREN 1022

First-year review: designed for students with rudimentary language skills who do not need a full semester of 1001 but are not ready to start in 1002; covers all 1002 materials and also provides an intensive review of structures taught in 1001.

FREN 1003

Third semester: continues language instruction; students must pass either 1002, 1022, or the Entrance Proficiency Test (EPT) to register for 1003.

FREN 1004

Fourth semester: completes the intermediate-level language instruction which began in 1003; students take the Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) during 1004.