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Program Locations


Academic Program



Language Prerequisites



NOTE: With few exceptions, all courses offered through the Paris program are taught in French. Preference will be given to students with additional language study.

All students, including native speakers, are expected to demonstrate their level of language ability (writing, verbal and reading) by providing results of a recent language placement test or previous coursework. Please set up an appointment to speak with Pat de Castries at the Stanford Language Center.


While studying in Paris, you are expected to further develop your French language. This expectation can be fulfilled by:

  • enrolling in a French language class (grading basis is Letter Grade Only) OR
  • enrolling in a content course conducted in French either through the program or at the Sorbonne University-Paris IV - if, and only if, you are at an advanced level of French

The Paris program provides a language-resource person to help students in writing their course assignments and essays in French. In addition, the program offers a language-partner program, in which you are paired with your French peers, giving you the chance to improve your language skills while interacting socially.

All students must enroll in a one-unit course entitled "Introduction to French Society", which offers meetings, events, visits, and activities throughout the quarter. This course will enable students to understand the many aspects of the country they have come to explore.

If you have completed two years of college-level French and stay for at least two quarters, you may attend classes at a limited number of locations within the Paris University system (see “Local Coursework ” below). Selected internships are available to students who have strong language skills as well as other relevant qualifications.

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Directed Reading or Independent Studies

Students studying in Paris can arrange a directed reading guided by a mentor who is either a local Paris faculty member (in this case, the course is called an independent study) or a Stanford faculty member.

Those interested in pursuing independent study should work closely with their academic advisor and the Paris Program Director in developing these projects. Students planning to work with a Stanford faculty member should consult with that mentor. A Directed Reading Proposal (downloadable form) must be submitted to the Overseas Studies office at least one month prior to the quarter of intended study. A directed reading or independent study may be taken only in addition to twelve units of regular coursework offered directly by the center.

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Course Credit

The Paris Program offers courses that provide credit toward Stanford graduation and most classes also count toward an undergraduate major. Students must enroll in a minimum of twelve units from the courses offered through the program. For a list of all classes and information on which ones earn departmental credit or fulfill General Education Requirements, students should consult the BOSP course database or Axess.

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Local Coursework

A number of possibilities exist to attend courses, lectures and seminars outside the Stanford program, as listed below. The scope of these arrangements is limited and you should not rely on this as part of your regular academic program in Paris.


Quarter Eligibility Institution Courses Structure
Autumn or Winter One quarter stay ISEP (the program’s host school) Though an engineering institution, ISEP offers a limited number of courses, for example in:
  • poetry
  • politics
  • religion
  • literature
  • art
  • Courses last 6 weeks each quarter and can be taken for 1-2 units of credit.
  • Assignments will be corrected by course instructor.
Autumn, Winter, or Spring
  • One quarter stay
  • Priority given to art and art history major
  • Good proficiency in French
Ecole d'arts plastiques (EAP)- School for Studio Art
  • painting
  • perspective
  • design
  • graphic arts
  • art history
Some courses are accredited by the Department of Art and grades will be given by the course instructors
Autumn & Winter OR Winter & Spring
  • Two quarter stay
  • Strong language skills (generally 2 years of college-level French)
The Sorbonne
  • art history
  • sociology
  • philosophy
  • geography
  • history
  • literature
  • musicology
  • 1st Semester- early-Oct to mid-January
  • 2nd Semester- late-February to early June
  • Final grade determined by tutor
  • Students assigned a tutor for weekly discussion sessions
Autumn & Winter OR Winter & Spring
  • Two quarter stay
  • Strong language skills
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - graduate school for social sciences

Seminars offered on wide variety of social science topics

See website for more details:

Auditors accepted

Seminar instructors NOT responsible for assigning grades



For most arrangements with a local institution, the Director of the Paris program should be informed at least a month before the quarter you are attending if you are interested in this option.

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Each quarter a workshop based on collective Stanford student collaboration will explore French language or culture in a unique way. These opportunities may include music, photo or performing workshops, for example. See courses for details.

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Cultural Events and Trips

You will encounter French culture through field trips, classes, and other events that make use of the rich resources of Paris and the surrounding area.

You will experience on-site study at some of the city's most famed monuments, including:

  • Basilique de Saint-Denis
  • Notre Dame de Paris
  • Sainte-Chapelle de Paris
  • The Louvre
  • Musée d’Orsay

As a group, students enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the restaurants, performing arts, and cultural riches of Paris, and make excursions to other parts of France, such as the Dordogne or Normandy.

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