Course Directory

Our students choose any two courses, in English or French, from the following lists, one as a morning MAJOR course and one as an afternoon MINOR course. Major courses meet six mornings a week and, depending on the nature of the course, include in-class time for fieldwork, labs, workshops, guest speakers, group discussions, and one-on-one instruction. They also include homework and require some project and preparation time outside of class. Minor courses meet three afternoons a week, with no homework and all work contained within the class session. A Minor course offers a sample of a different subject than the Major, and most students find their Minor a welcome opportunity to try a new subject for the first time.

There is no final application deadline. We accept applications on a rolling basis until a program is full, but we do have Course Guarantee Dates. Students who apply to L'Académie de Paris on or before January 27, 2017 and are accepted to the program have their first choice of courses guaranteed, subject to enrollment minima. This date is not a final application deadline.

Choosing a French Course

Besides offering courses in English, this program is designed to accommodate students with all levels of language need and ability, including beginners.

Complete beginners and students who are in their first or second year of French in school should enroll in French Language: Conversation and Composition. They will be evaluated on the first day of class and placed in a group with students at a similar language level. All language classes are taught entirely in French so as to create an immersion environment and optimize students’ language learning.

Students who wish to study French and have been taking French for three or more years or who are preparing for AP/IB exams should enroll in one of the immersion courses listed below. These courses approach French learning through the exploration of a specific cultural theme – literature, philosophy, or art history – allowing students to gain in-depth knowledge in this one topic while at the same time perfecting their French. The focus is on advanced writing techniques as well as discussion and debate using more complex grammatical skills. Students wishing to enroll in an immersion course must provide a writing sample in French and a completed teacher recommendation form which they will receive upon applying.



  • This course introduces students to Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, Romantic, Realist, Impressionist, and Modernist art. Working in museums, students learn how to read masterpieces by Michelangelo, da Vinci, David, Delacroix, Manet, Rodin, and Monet, as well as important works by prominent Surrealist, Cubist, and Pop artists. They take regular advantage of the city’s remarkable resources, including the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, and Musée d’Orsay.

  • This course covers the major political and social movements that have shaped European history. Using Paris as their monumental archive, students unravel the forces that spawned the continent’s Roman, Medieval, Revolutionary, and Napoleonic moments. They move on to assess the twentieth century and the development of the European Union. Daily readings and debates held at historic sites bring the past to life. 

  • Students enhance their own expatriate experience by dialoging with the great writers, artists, and musicians who once traveled great distances to call Paris home. Focusing on the twentieth century, this course traces the Parisian terrain of expats such as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Julia Child, and David Sedaris, exploring how and why Paris proved such a fertile breeding ground for their diverse forms of creativity. The most important “textbook” is Paris itself, which is studied via visits to the museums, cafés, markets, and bookstores that inspired these illustrious emigrés.

  • Students use France’s rich and varied cinematographic heritage as a window into the nation’s cultural soul. They are introduced to France and the French as they are laughed at, and cried over, by the world’s oldest cinematographic industry, from the Frères Lumière to Mathieu Kassovitz, via the Poetic Realism of the 1920s, Vichy’s dark cinema, and the Nouvelle Vague. Students compare and contrast France’s versions of itself with those produced by Hollywood.

Sciences & Social Sciences

  • An emerging field, Animal Studies draws from a wide range of academic disciplines including philosophy, history, visual arts, law, biology, and environmental science. It focuses on the relationship between humans and animals through cultures and time, and addresses the representation of those relationships, their implications in terms of ethics and politics, as well as the interdependency between species at a time of environmental collapse. Students on this course examine everything from the history of blood sports to the development of lab-grown burgers in order to address the shifting place of animals in the 21st-century conscience.

  • What is the French touch? Why are French companies leaders in so many sectors? With LVMH, Atos, AXA, and BNP Paribas as case studies, students learn the fundamentals of business operations. Accounting, management, human resources, organization, strategy, and development are some of the topics addressed. Students also investigate the new start-up ventures coming out of Paris, visit the Bourse and business schools.

  • In a course that mixes classwork and practice, students are introduced to the theories that govern economic thought. They are also introduced to the history of economics, the fundamentals of economic modeling, and game theory. They go on to test their knowledge against current issues. 

  • Working in the country that, for centuries, lent its language to diplomacy, and in the city that has hosted more famous treaty negotiations than any other, students address International Relations both through its theoretical bases and by focusing on key issues of the day. Subjects covered include globalization and its political, economic, and social effects; environmental challenges; new forms of war and peace; the changing nature of security challenges; peacekeeping operations; the regional complexities of areas like the Middle East, Africa, and South-East Asia; and the relationships and rivalries that define global order today.

  • Through a series of interactive classes, debates, and seminars, students examine the evolving relationship between the Law and Human Rights, with a particular focus on some of the major rights issues that confront the world today – not least the freedom of movement, immigration, genocide, terrorism, global health inequalities, and information technology. Students examine the roles played in these areas by the United Nations and its agencies, the European Union, and various NGOs. They complete the course by framing their own legislative proposals to put Human Rights on a 21st-century footing.

  • This hands-on course introduces students to key aspects of medical science and modern medical practice. Combining specialist lectures with experiments and class discussions, students learn the main principles of human anatomy and physiology, the pathology and significance of certain diseases, the main challenges that medical science faces today, and are introduced to the wide and growing range of possible careers in medicine.

  • Students investigate a wide range of case histories, touching on dreams, memory, anxiety, body language, gender, and sexuality. At the same time, they conduct experiments and examine their findings under the guidance of practicing clinicians. They pay special attention to the evolution of psychology in Europe, tracing it back to Rousseau’s concept of stages of development and to Freud’s time in Paris.

Production & Workshop

  • Architecture is all around us - a fascinating subject encompassing art, design, history, math, and social sciences. This course offers students the chance to explore a unique discipline, which can open up many diverse career avenues. Paris is the perfect classroom to learn about two thousand years of architectural history, and the way in which successive generations have responded to the changing needs of the city, its buildings, and parks. On-site workshops, combined with sketching and design exercises, discussions and written projects, familiarize students with the main schools of architecture and urban design, helping them to understand the contexts and challenges that defined them, and their impact on our daily lives. Through sketches, collages, models, and maps, students will develop invaluable new skills and ways of thinking, working towards an impressive final exhibition of their practical, contemporary designs for a site in Paris. Equipment fee of $175 US for Majors; $75 US for Minors.

  • Students focus on Paris as a city full of stories and characters. Through images, short readings, and exercises, they draw inspiration from the city in order to hone and broaden their writings kills. Led by professional writers and guest speakers, the emphasis is to stimulate and inspire new writing as well as polish writing skills. Students visit evocative settings, such as Hemingway’s favorite café, Beckett’s tomb, or St. Genevieve’s statue in the Luxembourg Gardens, and attend readings by established poets and writers, in order to spur creativity. They edit and publish their best work in the program’s literary magazine.

  • Students discover French cuisine from the evolution of regional dishes and the invention of the café and restaurant to the development of the modern food industry. Classroom sessions are enhanced by restaurant visits and tastings as well as practical cooking sessions, during which students try their hand at French gastronomy. Lab fee of $300 US for Majors; $250 US for Minors.

  • Using the city’s extraordinary fashion resources, students will be introduced to the history and modern processes of haute couture. They will become acquainted with the main aspects of the business - from factory floor to shop floor- will visit some of the most famous houses as well as their artisanal suppliers, and will come to grips with the basics of clothes and accessory design. The course will culminate in a fashion-show in which the students will display their creations. Equipment fee of $100 US for Majors; $50 US for Minors.

  • Beginners as well as more advanced students are guided by a professional photographer as they transform the city into their private studio. They hone their skills on assignments that cover art, photography, essay, landscape, photojournalism, portraiture, and learn to develop their own photos in the school’s darkroom. Students build up a portfolio and their best work is displayed at the final exhibition. They need a 35mm reflex camera. Film is supplied. Lab fee of $300 US for Majors, $150 US for Minors. 

  • This course uses art as the medium for imaginative engagement with the city. Students receive formal instruction in oils, watercolor, pastel, pencil, and charcoal, and spend their time capturing sights such as Notre Dame, imitating masterpieces at the Musée Rodin, or sketching a street scene in Montmartre. Their best work is exhibited at the end of the program. Materials fee of $250 US for Majors; $150 US for Minors.

Courses Taught in French

  • Using innovative and interactive teaching methods, this course offers a review of tenses and structures, as well as vocabulary-building exercises with a strong focus on conversational proficiency. Language learning is approached through a variety of activities, such as storytelling and role playing, and short thematic units that take advantage of the city and bring students into contact with local native speakers. Students work on pronunciation and intonation, and also practice structures learned in class. They are evaluated on the first day and placed in a group with others of a similar level.

  • Les élèves apprennent à lire, décrire et évaluer une oeuvre d’art, par une approche multidisciplinaire indispensable à une compréhension de sa valeur significative et existentielle. La démarche permettra à l’étudiant de décoder le processus créateur de l’artiste ainsi que les réactions souvent violentes que l’oeuvre peut avoir suscitées. Le cours couvre tous les grands mouvements artistiques.

    Art History. Students learn to read, describe and evaluate a work of art through a multidisciplinary approach and an understanding of its value both existentially and historically. This approach permits students to decode the creative process of the artist, as well as the often violent reactions that the work provokes.  This course covers the major artistic movements.

  • A travers séminaires et visites, ce cours vise à dévoiler les recoins cachés de Paris afin d’en révéler l’histoire secrète allant de la tribu des Parisii à la révolution culturelle de 1968, en passant par les étapes clefs telles que la Grande Révolution, Napoléon, la Commune, et la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, qui, notamment, en opposant résistants et collaborateurs, a contribué à désunir un peuple en marquant à jamais son identité nationale.

    Paris Through the Ages. Via seminars and visits, this course aims to reveal the hidden mysteries of Paris in order to expose its secret history, from the Parisii tribe all the way to the cultural revolution, including many key moments in between: the Revolution, Napoleon, the Commune, and the Second World War which, by opposing Resistants and collaborators, tore a people apart and inexorably altered the French national identity. 

  • Paris a inspiré les plus célèbres artistes, cinéastes, écrivains, et créateurs. Parfois la ville lumière joue un rôle principal dans leur œuvre, parfois elle n’est que son inspiration. A travers ce cours pluridisciplinaire -- qui allie promenades en ville, visites des musées, films, lectures, et exercices d’écriture -- les étudiants découvrent comment Paris a été imaginé et représenté par différents artistes, tout en travaillant leurs propres créations multimédia.

    Paris: City of Imagination. Paris has inspired the world’s most famous artists, filmmakers, writers, designers, and performers. Sometimes the city of lights has featured as the star of their work, and at other times it has simply been the inspiration behind it. In this interdisciplinary course that combines walking tours, museum visits, film screenings, readings, and writing exercises, students discover and analyze the various ways in which Paris has been depicted and brought to life in artists’ work while simultaneously creating their own multimedia Paris portfolios.

  • Ce cours avancé d’expression orale et écrite s’adresse aux étudiants qui veulent enrichir leur vocabulaire et approfondir leur connaissance de la grammaire française et de ses complexités tels que l’emploi du subjonctif et du conditionnel, la concordance des temps et le choix des pronoms personnels et relatifs. Les étudiants lisent la presse nationale et regardent des extraits de films contemporains, ils discutent de questions de société et de sujets d’actualité et s’initient à l’art du débat. Ils s’essaient à différents types d’écriture et créent un portfolio qu’ils présentent à la fin du programme. 

    Perfecting the Language. This advanced course focusing on oral and written expression is designed for students who wish to enrich their vocabulary and improve their understanding of French grammar and its complexities, such as the use of the subjunctive and the conditional tenses, verb tense agreement and the choice of personal and relative pronouns. Students read the national press and examine excerpts from contemporary films, they discuss current events and social issues and are introduced to the art of debate. They work on different types of writing and create a portfolio that they present at the end of the program.

  • À une époque où les comportements sociaux deviennent de plus en plus difficiles à comprendre ou à prévoir, ce cours sert d’introduction à la sociologie telle qu’elle est enseignée à l’université. Commençant avec Comte, Durkheim, et Weber, les étudiants découvrent l’histoire de la discipline avant de s’attaquer à la sociologie moderne à travers des études qualitatives et quantitatives.

    Sociology. At a time when social conventions are becoming increasingly difficult to understand and predict, this course provides an introduction to sociology as taught at the university level. Beginning with Comte, Durkheim, and Weber, students discover the history of the subject before tackling modern sociology through qualitative and quantitative analysis.