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 26, 2018 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.



  • With the Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, and Pompidou collections all within reach, 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. 

  • Students enhance their own expatriate experience by dialoguing 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

  • 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 stock exchange and business schools.

  • Brexit, the future of the Euro - in this course students discover the economic institutions that affect all our lives, learn how they have changed over time, and the consequences of these changes. They develop a comprehensive grasp of contemporary economic and social institutions ("capitalism", "globalization", "the market") and their potential futures, not least by exploring their historical development. They address the foundational concepts, principles, and assumptions of the dominant neoclassical economic theory (micro and macro), and 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 today’s major Rights issues – not least freedom of movement, immigration, genocide, terrorism, global health inequalities, and information technology. Students examine the roles played by the United Nations and its agencies, the European Union, and 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, discover the main challenges that medical science faces today, and examine 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 ways 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 writing skills. Led by professional writers and guest speakers, the goal 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. 

  • “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” Students discover French cuisine from the evolution of regional dishes and the invention of the café to the development of the modern food industry. Classroom sessions are enhanced by tastings in some of Paris’ most beloved bakeries and shops, 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 fashion resources, students are introduced to the history and modern processes of haute-couture. They become acquainted with the main facets of the business - from factory floor to shop floor to boutique - visit some of the most famous houses as well as their artisanal suppliers, and learn the basics of clothes and accessory design.  The course culminates in a fashion show in which the students première their creations. Materials fee of $100 US for Majors; $50 US for Minors.

  • From the top of Montmartre to the winding Canal Saint Martin, 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 the Major; $150 US for the Minor.

  • In this course, students spend their time capturing sights such as Notre Dame, masterpieces at the Musée Rodin, or a street scene in Montmartre. They hone their technique in a variety of media including watercolor, pastel, pencil, and charcoal. 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

  • Taking full advantage of the city of Paris, and 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 integrate museums and cultural sites, and bring students into contact with local native speakers. Students work on pronunciation, intonation, and public speaking. They are evaluated on the first day and placed in a group with others of a similar level.

  • S’appuyant sur les grandes collections parisiennes - le Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, Pompidou - les élèves apprennent à lire, décrire et évaluer une oeuvre d’art, leur permettant de comprendre 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. Taking full advantage of the world-famous Parisian art collections - the Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, Pompidou, and more - students learn to read, describe and evaluate a work of art through a multidisciplinary approach and gain an understanding of its value both existentially and historically. This approach permits students to uncover the creative process of the artist, as well as the often violent reactions the work provoked when it first appeared. This course covers all of the major artistic movements.

  • Pour tenter de comprendre la France contemporaine, les étudiants se tournent vers la vieille France. A travers un mélange de visites, de séminaires, et d’études de textes et d’objets d’art, ils découvrent les origines des succès et des problèmes auxquels la France se confronte au début du 21eme siècle. En étudiant la Révolution, le colonialisme, les guerres mondiales, la Guerre d’Algérie, l’immigration, et mai ‘68, ils transforment l’histoire en laboratoire analytique et critique et se mettent au centre de la problématique de la France et de l’Europe.   

  • 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 de 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 portefeuille 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.