French Language

Welcoming beginner, intermediate, and advanced students of French

“In my university, we focus more on literature, so the Summer School was an occasion to learn more about political and sociological issues in France and the European Union while taking French language courses.”  - Yingtong, China 

Students who choose to take French summer courses during the June and/or July session of the Summer School's University Programme have the unique advantage of learning at one of France’s most prestigious universities while being immersed in the daily routines of life in Paris.

We consider that immersion in French language and culture is an integral part of the academic experience at the Summer School. For this reason, we offer the French language track exclusively on campus. Sciences Po welcomes students on campus in a safe learning environment. Sciences Po respects all public health regulations for higher education institutions; measures may evolve following new government recommendations. You can find more information about health regulations currently in force at Sciences Po on our Covid-19 FAQ.


Students of the French language track take classes at one of six levels, which covers learning French for beginners to advanced students. The coursework offered in the French language track is determined by a student's language level. 6 ECTS credits can be earned with the French language track. The programme includes a total of 66 contact hours per session broken down into the following courses:

  • Core French language classes: a complete French course covering the four competences (oral and written expression and comprehension) through themes related to social sciences (48 contact hours for one session).
  • Oral and written expression workshops: students put the knowledge acquired in their core French language classes into practice, with exercises specially adapted to their levels, including phonetics, written methodology, and debate (18 contact hours for one session).

The maximum class size is approximately 15 students. The total number of students in a French language class may change in light of the results of the placement test on the first day of the programme.

Students of the French language track can also choose to add one elective class in social sciences per session that can allow them to earn 3 ECTS.

Download the schedule for the French Language track in June 2022 (PDF, 142 KB)

Download the schedule for the French Language track in July 2022 (PDF, 146 KB)

To learn more about the French language track, here is an interview with a French teacher from the Summer School. 


A student's current level of French is determined by an initial placement test during the application process and a definitive placement test held on the first day. In assessing a student’s level, Sciences Po uses the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), which places full beginners at level A1 and advanced students at level C2. Download an explanation of the CEFR levels (in English and French, PDF, 140Ko).

A student’s course schedule is determined by his or her knowledge of French; students take the level of French they wish to reach at the end of the session. For example, a complete beginner should take Level A1, while a student with a B1 level of French will take Level B2 at the Summer School. Learn more about how to demonstrate proficiency at a level of French on the Eligibility page.


Beginner Levels (A1, A2)

Level A1

Level A2

Intermediate Levels (B1, B2)

Level B1

Level B2

Advanced Levels (C1, C2)

Level C1

Level C2 (only offered during the July session)

  • Summary: Intended for advanced students, these courses build on written and oral language skills - with a special focus on precision, idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms - in order to reach the C2 level. Students are also guided through the specific rules and culture of the French academic system, especially those of Sciences Po.
  • Syllabus July Download the July 2022 C2 French language class syllabus (FR, PDF, 1,37 MB).
  • Language prerequisite: Level C1 in French.
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