Depending on your college, Illinois students have to complete through the third or fourth semester of a foreign language i.e.: FR103 or FR104.  Depending on your Placement Test score or AP score, we can help you evaluate where to start.  


 Feel free to check our FAQ below for some helpful tips.

What are my options for Placement or Proficiency Tests in French?

CITL offers a Placement Test for all students in the first weeks of each semester, please reach out to Dr. Amy Clay ( if you have questions.   

For credit, you will need to take the Proficiency Exam to see if you can gain Illinois credit. Please consult with the advisor in your home department to select the most suitable option for you:

  1. Proficiency Test granting credit for FR103 or FR104.  Click here for more information from CITL. 
  2. Taking French language courses like FR101-FR104 or advanced courses like FR205, FR207 etc...
  3. Write to Dr. Daniel Maroun ( with your intention and information (such as level of French), and he will direct you to the right instructor.

Note that students can take courses in the basic language sequence, including using the credit/no-credit option, if that would meet their departments’ requirement. However, students should take the placement test to identify the appropriate course level.

Graduate Students:

Graduate students seeking reading knowledge for their M.A., M.S., or PHD requirements can choose from the above options, or take FR501 when available.


What is Basic Language?

Basic Language is the series of language courses called 101, 102, 103, and 104.

How much language do I need to take for GenEd?

This depends on the college your major is in.  LAS students need to have the equivalent of 4th semester which is FR/ITAL 104 for French.  Other colleges may only require up to the third semester to satisfy the requirement.  Check with your home advisor or with one of ours!

How do I know what level to enroll in?

Incoming Freshmen and Transfer students for French should have all taken a Placement Test which helps identify the class one should enroll in.  Details about the test are available via the link above.  Students interested in Italian should email the Director of Italian Basic Language, Prof. Laura Hill.

It's been a while since I've taken French or Italian, what class do I need to take?

We still encourage students to go by their Placement Test scores; however you should feel comfortable choosing a lower level if you want to review.  For example if you test into FR102 as an incoming Freshmen but don't take it until Junior year, you may want to start at FR101 for review. 

I took 4 years in high school, why should I continue?

Ultimately, continuing the study of language is up to you, but if you have such a lengthly investment, it is wise to continue it to help position you as the strongest candidate on the market or for future graduate schools.  A major or minor in French or Italian shows cultural awareness and a broad skillset in analytical reading, critical thinking, written and spoken communication; everything an employer loves in an ideal employee.  We encourage you to have some fun and continue the study of language.

Whom do I contact if I have more questions?

  • Students studying French should contact the Director of Basic Language, Prof. Amy Clay or the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof. Dan Maroun
  • Students studying Italian should contact the Director of Basic Language Prof. Laura Hill.