Tufts in Paris

Location: Paris, France
Program options: Fall Semester, Spring Semester, or Academic Year
Language of instruction: French


The Tufts-in-Paris program offers a few different tracks, tailored to students with varying academic goals and needs. Students participating in all tracks will have the support of dedicated Tufts-in-Paris on-site staff and will have access to the rich variety of program excursions and outings that are offered. Weekly balades introduce students to Paris and its diverse and historic neighborhoods.

Primary Track

The primary track of the program is comprised of a combination of Tufts in-house courses taught by French professors and courses taken in French institutions of higher education in Paris, specifically Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) and Université Paris Cité (Paris VII). Students on this track enroll in at least two in-house courses, including a mandatory French language course equivalent to French 121/122, and two courses at Paris III or Paris VII. Both institutions are located within easy distance of the program center located in the historic Bastille area and students select one of the two institutions as their ‘home’ institution. This track is offered solely in French and requires that students have completed through French 22 (or equivalent) prior to participation.

Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) has a brand-new campus on the Rive Droite, in the 12th arrondissement. Their new academic facilities house a variety of academic subjects, including Cinema, Comparative Literature, European Studies, French Language and Literature, and Theater Studies.

Université Paris Cité is located on the Rive Gauche, in the 13th arrondissement. Surrounded by more contemporary buildings and close to the Seine, the university offers coursework in a variety of subjects, with the following being most popular with our students: Chemistry, Cinema, Computer Science, Economics and Society, Geography, History, Life Sciences, Literature, Linguistics, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and Sociology.

Full-year students on the primary track of the program have the opportunity to be part-time interns for two months in the spring semester. Placements are varied and include small French companies, art galleries, and NGOs. Volunteer activities are also possible for both semester and full-year students. Full-year students may also take the TCF (test de connaissance du français), which is recognized worldwide as validation of their level of French; test results are valid for two years.

Note: French institutions may limit enrollments, and priority may be given to students either enrolling for the full year or taking a course toward their major.

Sciences Po Paris Track

Another program track exists for a small cohort of qualified students to apply for the full-year certificate program in Social Sciences and Humanities at the prestigious Sciences Po Paris (in which case they would take the entirety of their coursework at Sciences Po). Sciences Po is located on the Rive Gauche, in the 6th arrondissement, and is world-renowned for its research and coursework in Politics and International Studies. This track is offered solely in French and requires that students have completed through French 22 (or equivalent) prior to participation. Applicants will further undergo a qualifying examination following application to determine their ultimate eligibility for the program; students who do not pass the Sciences Po examination are still eligible for the main track of the Tufts-in-Paris program.

Sciences Po students may take the TCF (test de connaissance du français), which is recognized worldwide as validation of their level of French; test results are valid for two years.

Paris College of Art Track

A select cohort of SMFA students may take studio courses taught in English at our new partner, Paris College of Art (PCA), either in the fall semester or for the full academic year. PCA is located on the Rive Droite, in the 10th arrondissement close to both Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est. Studio courses are available in the following subject areas: Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Interior Design, Photography, and Liberal Studies. While coursework is taught entirely in English, students must have completed French 1 prior to participation in the program and are highly encouraged to take additional French language while at PCA. Following notification of nomination by Tufts Programs Abroad, applicants will be expected to submit a portfolio of their work and have a formal interview with the PCA Admissions team.

Beaux-Arts de Paris Track

One select SMFA student with more experience in French may be nominated to undertake a spring semester (only) of studio-based study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts (Beaux-Arts de Paris), where all courses are taught in French. Beaux-Arts is located on the Rive Gauche, in the 7th arrondissement, in a neighborhood full of art galleries and high-end fashion shops. Instruction revolves around the notion of the workshop (“atelier”) and, as such, exchange students select a specific workshop to join during their studies. Coursework is comprised of practice in the studio, at least one technical course, and French language study. As instruction takes place solely in French, students are expected to have completed through at least French 2 prior to participation, but additional French language is highly encouraged. Following notification of nomination by Tufts Programs Abroad, applicants will be expected to submit a portfolio of their work and a letter of motivation specifying their workshop of interest.

Centrale Supélec Track

A small cohort of well-qualified Engineering students in specific tracks may study for the spring semester at Centrale Supélec, one of France’s top science and engineering institutions Located an hour or so away from Paris by train, Centrale Supélec’s Saclay campus was designed by Rem Koolhass and is home to its international exchange program. Coursework is taught in modules and is complemented by a team-based technical project. Students in Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering who have a 3.5 GPA and have completed Math 51 and French 1 are eligible to apply (additional Math courses are highly recommended). While all coursework is taught in English, there is a mandatory intensive French language course at the beginning of the semester.

Program Staff

Director: Jeanne Fourneyron, Licence d'Histoire, University of Paris I Sorbonne; DEA, French Literature, University of Paris 7; PhD, French Literature, Emory University.


Well-prepared undergraduates (normally juniors, but occasionally sophomores or seniors) who meet the general eligibility requirements and have a demonstrated interest in France and French-speaking cultures and have completed French 21 and 22 (Composition and Conversation) or the equivalent to six semesters of college-level French may apply to the program. At least one third-year level course, such as French 31 or 32 (Masterpieces of French Literature) or French 121 or 122, is highly recommended. A grade point average of 3.0 in all French courses is required. Regardless of language level or previous instruction, students are strongly advised to take a course in French language or literature in the semester preceding the semester or year in Paris. Majors from the following departments have participated in the program in recent years: art history, economics, English, French, history, international relations, political science, psychology, and sociology. All majors are encouraged to apply, but preference will be given to students with solid French language skills and a strong commitment to the cultural, academic, and linguistic goals of the program. 

Sciences Po Paris: All students applying to Sciences Po Paris must do so for the full year and pass a preliminary test administered on the Tufts campus in the spring semester. A cumulative GPA of 3.5 is recommended for application. Sciences Po makes the final decision with regard to admission. 

Paris College of Art: Applicants must be SMFA students who meet all general eligibility requirements, but need only have completed through French 1. 

Beaux Arts: Applicants must be SMFA students who meet all general eligibility requirements and have completed through French 2. 

Centrale Supélec: Students must be studying CS (A&S or E), ECE, or BME, have a GPA of at least 3.5, and have completed both Math 51 and FR 1 prior to participation (with additional Math courses strongly recommended).


$41,001 for a semester, $82,002 for the academic year includes:

  • Orientation program
  • Three program courses in the fall and four in the spring, as described under "Academics" (not for Sciences Po, PCA, or Beaux Arts students)
  • Full tuition and fees at Sorbonne Nouvelle, Université Paris Cité, Sciences Po Paris, PCA, or Beaux Arts
  • Room, breakfast, and five dinners per week with a French homestay (winter and spring vacations excluded); or housing in Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (CIUP) with a stipend for meals
  • Lunch allowance (winter and spring vacations excluded)
  • Transportation passes
  • A weekend group excursion and day trips each semester
  • Cultural events in Paris including theater, concerts, dance, and opera
  • TCF (test de connaissance du français) for full-year students
  • Internship opportunities for full-year students in the spring
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Please note that airfare and certain other travel costs (visas, etc.) are not included; student is responsible for these charges.


Primary Tufts-in-Paris track: All students are expected to enroll in a minimum of four courses (or equivalent full-time load at the host institution) each semester. Students must take at least one course each semester in the French university system. Three in-house courses are offered by Tufts in Paris during the fall semester, and a fourth in-house course on French and the European Union is offered in the spring. Full-year students majoring in French are required to take either the in-house French language or French literature course each semester unless exempted by French faculty or the program director. Semester students must take at least two in-house courses, including French language, but students who have completed 100-level French courses at Tufts are strongly encouraged to take no more than two in-house courses and enroll in at least two regular French university courses. The art history course meets twice a week, mainly in museums, whereas all other Tufts courses meet twice a week. Regular French university courses meet once or twice a week, depending on the course and institution.

Other program tracks: Students at Sciences Po, Beaux Arts, PCA, or Centrale Supélec must take all their courses through the host institution and are ineligible for the Tufts-in-Paris in-house courses. 

The Tufts-in-Paris in-house courses (for primary track students only):

Advanced French Language (FR 121 in fall; FR 122 in spring)
Written and oral expression, with an emphasis on contemporary usage and culture, current events, and French academic writing skills and methodology. (This course may be taken in addition to FR 121-122 in Medford.) Offered fall and spring semesters.

French Society in French Literature: The Art of Love, Middle Ages to 18th Century (fall: French P 31/191)
French Society in French Literature: Paris in Literature, 19th to 21st Century (spring: French P 32/192)
Study of important French authors and texts analyzed in their socio-historical context. Texts and themes vary from year to year, but have included works by Melle de Scudéry, Molière, Racine, Voltaire, Louise Labé, Musset, Baudelaire, Balzac, Zola, Camus, Marguerite Duras, and Jacques Réda. Students who have already completed FR 31 or 32 (or both) in Medford must do extra work to receive 100-level credit towards the French major. In that case, the course will appear as FR P 191 (fall) and FR P 192 (spring) on the Tufts transcript.

France and the European Union from 1945 to Present (spring only: PS or HIST 340)
An overview of key historical and political events from WWII and leading up to the creation and ongoing expansion of the EU. Specific topics may vary but generally include domestic politics since World War II, France’s role in the creation of Europe, its current role within the EU and relations with other EU countries, French perspectives on globalization, major historical events and social movements in France, and current events in France and Europe.

History of French Art: Middle Ages to 20th Century (fall or spring: FAH 340)
Chronological survey of French art and architecture from the Middle Ages to the present, with an emphasis on works and monuments in Paris. Classes and lectures take place mainly in the museums of Paris, Louvre, Orsay, Picasso, Marmottan, Montmartre Museums and are complemented by field trips outside of Paris each semester to places such as Vincennes, Giverny, and St Denis Basilica. Fall semester covers the Middle Ages to the early nineteenth century; spring semester focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists and movements.

You can take no more than three in-house courses each semester and must select remaining courses from among the offerings at Tufts’ partner institutions in Paris: Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Paris VII (Université Paris Cité). Students who have completed 100-level French courses at Tufts are strongly encouraged to take no more than two in-house courses and enroll in at least two regular French university courses. Prerequisites may apply in certain courses; all advising and final course selection occurs in Paris and must be approved by the resident director. Course offerings for the current year may be viewed on the websites below.


Partner University Courses

For current course listings, please check our partners' websites:

Partners on the primary track of Tufts in Paris:
Sorbonne Nouvelle
Université de Paris - Paris Diderot

Please consult the list of courses taken through our partner institutions through the years.

Note: The list is not exhaustive and course themes and availability vary from year to year.

    The following are the most popular/relevant subjects available to visiting students at our French university partners listed above.

    Sorbonne Nouvelle

    • CAV: Cinéma et audiovisuel
    • ICM : Institut des communications et médias
    • IEE: Institut d'études européennes
    • IET: Institut d’études théâtrales
    • ILPGA : Institut de linguistique et phonétique générales et comparées
    • LGC: Littérature générale et comparée
    • LLFL : Littérature et linguistique françaises et latines
    • MC: Département de médiation culturelle

    Université de Paris - Paris Diderot

    • Chimie
    • GHES : Géographie, histoire, économie et sociétés 
    • IHSS : Institut Humanités, Sciences et Sociétés: Etudes psychanalytiques; Histoire; Philosophie des sciences; Sciences sociales
    • Informatique
    • LAC : Lettres, arts et cinéma: Parcours études cinématographiques; Parcours lettres; Parcours lettres et sciences humaines
    • LSH : Lettres et Sciences Humaines: Arts du spectacle; Géographie; Histoire; Histoire-Géographie; Lettres et arts; Lettres sciences humaines; Lettres-Histoire; Lettres-Sciences du langage; Sciences économiques et sociales; Sociologie
    • Mathématiques
    • Physique
    • SDV: Sciences du vivant
    • UFRL: Linguistique

    Partners on the specialized tracks of Tufts in Paris:

    Sciences Po (full year only)

    • Economics
    • History 
    • Humanities
    • International Relations
    • Law
    • Political Science
    • Sociology

    Beaux Arts (spring only)

    • Studio Art

    Paris College of Art (fall or full year only)

    • Fine Art
    • Communication Design
    • Fashion Design
    • Photography
    • Interior Design
    • Note: Art History is not available to our students

    Centrale Supélec (spring only)

    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Electrical Engineering



    Full-year students on the primary track of Tufts in Paris may apply in the fall for a non-credit internship, beginning in early February and consisting of two full days per week (for 8 weeks). If you are interested, you must attend an informational meeting in October and submit your résumé in French to the internship coordinator by November 1. Previous Tufts-in-Paris students have undertaken internships primarily in French or international non-profit organizations, but also in art galleries. You may need advanced French skills for certain types of internships. Interviews are conducted in French, and the organization offering the internship makes the final decision. All interns complete 110-120 hours of service and must submit a final internship report and do an exit interview in French to receive transcript notation.

    Program Details

    Accommodations and Meals

    You will live individually either in a student residence or in a French homestay to foster language acquisition and experience French family life firsthand (homestays are only available for students who have completed through FR 22 and students at Centrale Supélec will live in student housing regardless of language level). All French hosts are carefully selected, and many have hosted previous Tufts students. You will have your own room, and meals include breakfast and five evening meals per week with your hosts. In addition, you will receive a monthly meal stipend to eat lunch in university cafeterias (or equivalent) and cover other evening meals. All arrangements for room and board are made for the year or semester, whichever applies. Changes may be made as appropriate after consultation with program staff.

    Full-year students receive an annual transportation pass (metro and bus) at the beginning of the year. Semester students receive a transportation stipend every month to purchase a monthly pass.

    The program also provides students with a railway discount pass that allows you to purchase reduced-fare train tickets for travel within France.


    All program tracks begin with a mandatory orientation period which includes information sessions on cross-cultural issues, the French university system and course registration, safety and security, banking and finances, walking tours in Paris, and diverse activities designed to acquaint students with life in Paris and France. In some cases, the orientation will be complemented by sessions provided by your specific host institution.

    Student Activities

    The Tufts-in-Paris program includes day trips and one weekend trip each semester to sites of historical and architectural interest. These excursions are available to students on all tracks of the program. Past excursions have included Fontainebleau, Giverny, Versailles, Chartres, the Loire Valley, Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy, and Alsace. In addition, an individual cultural stipend each semester allows you to be reimbursed for cultural activities of your choosing, such as museum exhibits, tickets to French plays or movies, dance lessons, partial membership fees for a gym or French student association, concerts, or sports events.

    As full-time students in France, you will also benefit from the same advantages as French students: low-priced meals in university restaurants throughout Paris; reduced-price entry fees at cinemas, concert halls, theaters, and museums; and even free events for students.

    Program Dates

    (Please note that dates are approximate and subject to change)

    The fall-semester program runs from early September (late August for Sciences Po and PCA) to mid-December; the spring-semester program runs from early January to mid-May or mid-June (Centrale Supélec).

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