Course Offerings

If you require syllabi that are not listed below, please contact your API Program Coordinator.



Students at all levels take French language classes. The amount of credits each student receives for the French language classes varies and depends on the student’s level placement and session duration. *Students may not exceed 15 semester credits total on this program.

French language classes are designed to increase students’ written and oral comprehension and expression. All French language classes involve Oral French, Written French, and Grammar.


  • Each course has one three-hour session per week.
  • All students earn up to 45 contact hours or three (3) semester credits per course.
  • Courses are listed according to language level. Often a course will include a couple of levels; students at either/any of the listed levels may take that course.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, courses are offered both Fall and Spring semesters.
  • We cannot guarantee that these specific electives will be offered each year. This list is based on past offerings and students will be sent an updated list of offerings as part of pre-registration.
  • Culture et gastronomie françaises (French Culture and Gastronomy) [Syllabus]
  • Culture et gastronomie (Culture and Gastronomy) [Syllabus]
  • Les Françaises et la mode (The French and Fashion) [Syllabus]
  • Paris ciné (Parisian Cinema) [Syllabus]
  • Paris découverte (Discovering Paris) [Syllabus]
  • Cinéma: Gros plan sur “la French Touch” (Wide Angle on the “French Touch”) [Syllabus]
  • Culture et gastronomie françaises (French Culture and Gastronomy) [Syllabus]
  • Histoire de France: de la Révolution à la 1ère guerre mondiale (French History: from the Revolution to WWI) [Syllabus]
  • La peinture francaise du Neo-classicisme au neo-impressionnisme (French Neoclassic and Impressionist Painting) [Syllabus]
  • Littérature du XVIII°/L’Encyclopédie (18th Century Literature/The Encyclopedia)
  • La mode et le stylisme (Fashion and Style) [Syllabus]
  • Panorama de la littérature et des idées en France – du Moyen Âge au XVIIIe siècle (Panorama of Literature and Ideas in France – From the Middle Ages to the 18th Century) - Spring only [Syllabus]
  • Paris en photos (Paris in photos) [Syllabus]
  • Paris et son histoire (Parisian History)
  • La peinture française du Néo-classicisme au Fauvisme (French Painting from Neo-Classicism to Fauvism) - Fall only
  • Societé française par les journaux télévisés (French Society on TV News) [Syllabus]
  • Tourisme et gastronomie (Tourism and Gastronomy) [Syllabus]
  • Découvrir l’actualité économique française (Discover Today’s French Economy) [Syllabus]
  • L’Art en France des Lumières à l’Impressionnisme (French Art from the Enlightenment to Impressionism) – Fall only
  • L’Art en France des Lumières au scandale réaliste (French Art from the Enlightenment to Realism) – Spring only
  • L’Art en France de la Renaissance au règne de Louis XIVe (French Art from the Renaissance to the Reign of Louis XIV) – Spring only [Syllabus]
  • Comment fonctionne La France? (How Does France Work?) [Syllabus]
  • Panorama du cinéma français (Panorama of French Cinema) [Syllabus]


Each course meets once per week for four hours. Students should choose 1-3 electives from the following courses. These courses are subject to change due to availability and enrollment numbers.

Architecture In A Changing World – Paris 1789-1914 (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

This survey course offers students a thematic approach to architecture through the period opening with the French revolution and ending at the eve of World War I. Shifting modes of architecture through various styles and functions will be examined using key works in Paris, studying the opposing forces of the artistic and political establishments. By replacing architectural advances in the broader context of a modernization of Paris, we will examine how architecture offers insights into social and political changes. This course more particularly proposes to look at architectures whose functions, materials, colors and forms were relevant to modernity.

European External Relations (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

The objective of this course is to give students, who already have some knowledge of international affairs, a basic introduction to European external relations and particularly within the North-South context. Relations between individual European nations and other areas of the globe have existed since the 15th century and today these relations are continued through the European Union. The course will therefore provide an introduction to the EU institutional structures and decision-making processes that concern EU external relations and the foreign policy of specific member-states (Germany, France and the United Kingdom). Students will also learn about European civil society through the operations of non-governmental organizations, centering on their relations with EU institutions and their international activities in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

European Union Today (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

The objective of this course is to give students grounding in the historical, political and economic aspects of the European integration process since World War II and to acquaint students with the EU institutional structure and decision-making processes as well as to study the various political, economic and social aspects of the EU. Through this course, students will gain a critical insight into the internal contradictions and the additional challenges that the EU has to deal with in order to enhance cooperation among its members and to function as a credible actor in a multipolar world. A recurring element will be the crisis in the Eurozone, and its consequences on the credibility of the European project, particularly given the recent European Parliament elections.

Fashion in France – 18th to 21st Century (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

This course focuses on the development of costume and fashion in France from the late 17th Century to the present. Topics covered include: the influence of the state in organizing luxury industries (with Louis XIV, Napoleon); the Restoration and the Romantic Era; “Fin de Siècle” and Belle Epoque fashion; the Roaring Twenties; Wartime fashion; Haute couture and “Prêt à Porter”. Class time may be separated into lecture hours and site visits (museum, exhibitions, etc.) where students can see the original documents and/or appreciate the object of study in the wider cultural context of its time.

Great Authors in French Cinema (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

This film course will focus on the history of French cinema, from its scientific beginning at the end of the 19th century, along with the Industrial Revolution, through the diversity of representations in the 20th century until the beginning of the 21st. In order to embody those changes, we will study the important authors whose contribution have made french cinema unique. Historical films will be the main guideline, but in its broadest aspect, from opinion position to historical reenactment and how documentary becomes historical fact. This theme has been fully explored since the beginning of cinema, and that will allow us to question representation and its diverse evolution along with the transformation of society. Leading French filmmakers challenged this rediscovery of the past, guiding us through the analysis of the language of the moving image.

Politics, Economy and Society in France Today (3) – Conducted in English [Syllabus]

The main objective of this course is to give students a basic grounding in how France functions by critically examining the political system, the workings of the economy and pertinent social issues. The prime place given to the Republic and Republican values have colored French institutions and society for more than two centuries but today France is faced with a number of contradictions that challenge many of its founding myths. Through this course, students will gain a better understanding of the peculiarities endogenous to the French Republic and the important debates within politics, economy and society that mark France today.



These elective courses are taught in English through the University of Connecticut. Offerings vary per semester.

Art History I / Cradle of Modernity (3) – Conducted in English – FALL

This course traces the artistic contribution to modernity in 19th -century and the first decades of 20th-century French art, its utopian dimension, its different achievements and its decline. Since the French Revolution, some major works of art, art critics and theories, and artists themselves contributed to change drastically the artist’s role and the role of the arts. In the newly established bourgeois, industrialized and modernized society in France, the co-
existence of opposite art practices and ideologies as well as the quickly following changes and innovations in successive art movements, such as neo-classicism, romanticism, realism, impressionism, postimpressionism, will be analyzed with regard to their respective claim for modernity.

The industrialization of France under Napoleon III, Hausmann’s transformation of Paris, the Parisian World Fairs and mechanical inventions, such as photography, permitting the technical reproduction of the image, marked some of the most important steps towards modern industrial society in 19th century France, had an enormous impact on the artists and their art production and led, in the beginning of the 20th century, to the very specific French phenomena of a so-called “Culture Technique” (technical culture). In this context of a technically influenced or determined culture, industrialists, and utopians, engineers and artists worked on a large program of modernization.

Baudelaire’s artistic manifesto “The Painter of Modern Life”(1863), Rimbaud’s claim for the “absolute modern” (1873) and Walter Benjamin’s work on modernity in 19th century France (“Paris, Capitale du XIXe s. Le livre des passages”) give us extensive theoretical material with which to study and to analyze the artistic contribution to modernity.

Historically, this course will introduce to the first Parisian World Fair of 1855 where the arts and the industrial machines and products were exhibited and where Gustave Courbet provoked French society by showing “The studio of the Painter”1854/55 and the “Burial at Ornans”1849/51 -as an artistic manifesto of realism.

Human Rights in Practice: Amnesty International (3) – Conducted in English – FALL

This course focuses on an important case study on international human rights. The fall 2017 course will focus on Amnesty International. Students will become acquainted with the workings of Amnesty International, work on real-life human rights case studies in order  to understand impact-oriented actions, the notion of 'theory of change', and the steps towards the elaboration of a human rights campaign.

Introduction to Human Rights (3) – Conducted in English – FALL

This course offers an introduction to international human rights law. Each class will be structured around a lecture and a case study with a focus on important human rights issues in France. The last class will be dedicated to a moot court on the issue of freedom of expression in France in the context of counter-terrorism

Universalism in Crisis (3) – Conducted in English – FALL

This course provides a cultural history of France from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, using the methods and materials of cultural studies. Not a history course, not an art history course, not a political science course, not a film course, not a sociology course, “Universalism in Crisis” is a comparative “mix” of these disciplines informed by a particular theme: France was a dominant culture and central to what is referred to as “modernity” (mid-nineteenth-century to World War II), a period during which it had the geopolitical power to enforce and export its emblematic and founding characteristic, “universalism”, but emerges from the post-war in a world dominated by superpowers, competing universalisms. The course delineates the shift from a period characterized by dominant universalism and dominant values of modernity to a period when France and universalism are “in crisis.” Some of the themes to be covered: France and the legacy of the Enlightenment; women, feminism and universalism; colonization, and the “civilizing mission:”; immigration and the banlieues; art, literature and the idea of “cultural exception;” France and the USA: friend or foes?”

Art History II / From Paris to the Rest of the World: Modern and Post Modern Art (3) – Conducted in English – SPRING

This course is a comparative analysis of artistic concepts, works and movements, important to the distinction between Modernism and Postmodernism in 20th Century Art. It will also study the geopolitical issues of Art. Through an examination of form and content distinguishable in works of various artistic disciplines (painting, sculpture, architecture, design), students will critically evaluate artistic language and expression that is representative of modern and post-modern ideologies. This course will examine the visual arts and will utilize theoretical texts for supportive analysis.

Translation Through the Press (3) – Conducted in English – SPRING

This translation course focuses, for the most part, on material from the Parisian written press. In addition to familiarizing students with some of the techniques of translation in general, the course constitutes a cultural studies approach to France through the press since translating exercises will be accompanied by presentations of the different materials used (newspapers, television, film) and by discussions of the news itself. In addition to acquiring the basic translation skills, students will acquire a vocabulary particular to the press and current events, improve their French-language skills more generally, and view of France by way of its press and the news at a particular historical, political and cultural “moment.” There is no textbook for the course; instead, students will purchase different newspapers and magazines and be provided with links to particular media sites. Partial list of newspapers and magazines: Le Monde, Le Figaro, L’Humanité, Charlie Hebdo, Paris-Match, Libération, Le Parisien, Le Canard enchaîné


These 300 level (Advanced) courses are taught in French and are offered exclusively to API students. The number of semester credits is indicated in parentheses after the course title.  Students typically take this course in place of a ICP elective. An additional fee may be charged for participation in the API course (whether taken in place of or in addition to a regular elective course). Course subject to minimum enrollment.

History of French Cuisine (3) – Conducted in French – FALL

Who has never dreamt of chocolate mousse, foie gras, or fondue? Why is France so attached to its cuisine and culinary traditions? How did they develop and what role do they play within daily life as well as national identity? How could the French indulge themselves in fastuous and lengthy meals and joyfully continue to speak about food while eating? What does eating mean? This course is designed to understand the role and place of French Cuisine within its society from an historical, ethnological, and sociological point of view, and to put into practice this “savoir vivre français” by cooking some traditional dishes and sharing them together. This is a reading and research class, with a cooking and tasting component.

French Civilization (3) - Conducted in French - SPRING

The post-WWII era was a time of deep transformations in the French way of living, the political structure of the French society, and through cultural and social representations and is strongly represented through the Parisian architecture and the design of the main avenues and boulevards. This course examines French society chronologically from 1945 to today by highlighting the main events of this era and examining the city itself through daily life, buildings, movies, paintings, and theoretical developments.


All students with 4 semesters of college level French (equivalent to the intermediate level) or more are able to participate in the teaching internship for an additional 3 credits. Beginning and intermediate-level students can also do the internship, but are not eligible to earn credit or a grade for the experience. Spaces are limited and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. An additional fee is charged for the internship.

A French Experience: Internship (3)

Students teach English in a French school. This is a unique experience for API students in Paris to get to know Parisians and Parisian life from the inside, not only through the teenagers in the classes students teach, but also from the teachers that students assist.


Students teach English two to three hours a week in a Parisian school. The regular professor asks the student what is to be taught and helps students prepare for class. Students are asked to keep a journal where all course plans and weekly evaluations are registered (one page per class, per course taught). Students also have to write a final internship report (in French) analyzing the French teaching system and their perception of French society through their own teaching experience. Upon successful completion students earn 3 semester credits.

France Paris Eiffel Tower With Blue Sky
France Paris Eiffel Tower Purple Sky
France Paris Eiffel Tower Looking Up
France Paris Metro Station
France Paris Gold Horse Statue
France Paris Louvre Pyramid
France Paris Statue On Opera
France Paris Musee D Orsay Clock
France Paris Metro Sign
France Paris Notre Dame