Academics at Reid Hall

Depending on your French proficiency at the start of the program, you will be required to take either one or two language courses in addition to three to four electives. Those electives include:

  • Specially-developed courses, taught exclusively for the program, that draw on the rich urban fabric of the city.
  • The opportunity to conduct a Directed Research project based on your personal specialization and interests, under the guidance of leading thinkers and scholars in your discipline.
  • Columbia Global Core courses.
  • Students can take courses at Reid Hall as well as local universities.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as may become necessary.

Reid Hall Curriculum

French is the main language of interaction at Reid Hall and engagement with the language is a foundation of the program. You will receive robust support as you develop your linguistic abilities through specialized instruction, individual tutoring, and connections to outside resources.

Based on the results of a language assessment during the orientation, you will take part in either one or two language courses. Both courses are designed to help you succeed in your academic work in French.

Academic Writing. (3 points)

This intensive course is mandatory for every student as it introduces them to some of the major differences between French and American ways of approaching academic analysis and production. Course content varies with the level.

Language Practicum. (3 points)

This course, taken by students who place into Level I or II, is a language course at the intermediate and upper intermediate level. Its aims is to sharpen students’ linguistic skills to prepare them for their life in France as a student. It meets twice a week for five hours over 12 weeks and finishes before final work for other classes becomes due. Course content varies in each level.

Test de Connaissance du Francais (TCF)

At the end of their language curriculum, students take a standardized French Language exam called Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF). This test, similar to TOEFL, and recognized in 39 countries, enables students interested in returning to France for post-graduate work (professional or academic) to demonstrate their French language ability.

Please see below for a list of courses previously offered as part of the French Immersion Program. Please note that course offerings for your selected semester may be different from the courses listed here.

  • AHIS OC3682. Issues in 19th Century Art

  • CLFR OC3821. City Diplomacy (Global Core)

  • FREN OC3036. The Age of Enlightenment

  • FRST OC3991. Joint Seminar with NCEP: Globalization and Inequality

  • FRST OC3994. Paris and France in American and French Cinema. A Cross-Cultural Perspective

  • FRST OC3994. Urban History

  • WMST OC3550. Women & Society – The Sex-Trade economy

Click here for a list of course descriptions.

Academic Regulations

As a participant in a study abroad program administered by Columbia University, you are considered a member of the Columbia community and are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, civility, and respect. Students are therefore expected to conduct themselves in an honest, civil, and respectful manner in all aspects of their lives. Students who violate these standards of behavior interfere with their ability and the ability of others, to take advantage of the full complement of university life and are subject to disciplinary measures. For more details of what is expected of you during your stay, please review the program participation agreement you signed before leaving.

  • Attendance and participation are mandatory
  • Each student is allowed one unjustified absence for the entire length of the course, with the exception of religious holidays. Faculty members and the program Director must be informed of these absences in advance. 
  • Medical absences must be justified by a dated medical certificate from a French doctor.
  • Each absence beyond the authorized threshold will lower the final grade by 1 point (i.e.: with one unjustified absence a 16 becomes a 15, etc.)
  • In addition to attendance students should plan on being punctual. Please note that 3 tardies (10 minutes late or more) are equivalent to 1 full absence
  • Assignments handed in late without the authorization of the instructor will be penalized
  • In addition to punctuality and motivation, students should do their best to be engaged critics and scholars, by participating actively in class, producing original work, and having pleasure in reading, writing and thinking
  • No eating in class
  • No cell phones in class
  • No laptops or other electronic devices (unless ODS accommodation has been authorized)
  • Leaving the classroom once class has begun is considered very impolite in France

The intellectual venture in which we are all engaged requires of faculty and students alike the highest level of personal and academic integrity. As members of an academic community, each one of us bears the responsibility to participate in scholarly discourse and research in a manner characterized by intellectual honesty and scholarly integrity. Scholarship, by its very nature, is an iterative process, with ideas and insights building one upon the other. Collaborative scholarship requires the study of other scholars’ work, the free discussion of such work, and the explicit acknowledgement of those ideas in any work that inform our own. This exchange of ideas relies upon a mutual trust that sources, opinions, facts, and insights will be properly noted and carefully credited. In practical terms, this means that, as students,

  • you must be responsible for the full citations of others’ ideas in your research papers/ projects
  • you must be scrupulously honest when taking your examinations
  • you must always submit your own work and not that of another student, scholar, or internet agent

Students needing academic adjustments or accommodations because of a documented disability should contact the program Director before the start of classes.


  • Students enrolled at a local university are strongly encouraged to register for methodological tutoring sessions (4 hours per course on average)
  • Introductory sessions on these methodological tutorials are organized at the beginning of the semester
  • This tutoring concerns only the methodological aspect of the courses taken at the French university
  • Every student receives linguistic support for all courses (Reid Hall and French university combined), with the exception of Academic Writing and French Language Practicum.
  • The linguistic tutor will help you work on your written assignments for all your courses, with the exception of Academic Writing and French Language Practicum.