Frequently Asked Questions

French FAQ

What class should I register for?

If you have studied French for three or four years in high school, you should sign up for French 201 and French 201L. If you believe you have a very solid grasp of all major grammatical concepts (including the subjunctive and relative pronouns), please contact either Christine Renaudin (Stevenson 3016D) or Suzanne Toczyski (Stevenson 3016G) to verify your placement. If you have taken the AP French exam, see credit for high school French.

Note: At the Junior College, French 1 is equal to our French 101; French 2 is equal to our French 102; French 3 is equal to our French 201; and French 4 is equal to our French 202.

Can I get university credit for any of my high school French?

If you took the AP French Language exam and scored a 3, credit is given for FR 101, FR 102, & FR 201 for a total of 12 units.

If you scored 4 or 5, credit is given for FR 101, FR 102, FR 201 & FR 202 for a total of 16 units.

If you took the AP French Literature exam and scored a 3, 4 or 5, credit is given for GE C2 FL 214 at 4 units, plus 2 elective units for a total of 6 units.

Do French classes count for GE credit?

Yes! French courses satisfy the requirements for the C3 General Education category. Remember that upper-division French classes count for GE credit only when students have successfully completed 60 units at Sonoma State and thus have junior-level status. French 314 (French Caribbean Literatures in English) counts for Area C2 and may be taken after a student has reached junior status for upper-division GE credit.

Which are the lower-division courses and which are the upper-division courses?

Lower division courses are numbered 100-299 and upper-division courses are numbered 300-499.

Note that French 202, Oral French, is a lower-division course which is required for the major.

Can I take a lower-division class without taking the lab, or a lab without the class?

First, Second and Third Semester French all require concurrent enrollment in both the class and the lab. Oral French (FR202) has no lab requirement. The 1-unit lab courses may not be taken alone.

Can I challenge a French class?

You may earn unit credit for any upper-division French class or for French 202 by successfully completing the instructor's challenge exam. However, you may only challenge courses which are listed in the catalogue and which are offered during the semester you wish to challenge the class. Only students in residence may challenge a course. Your application for credit-by-challenge must be signed by the department chair. When you pass the exam, a CR will be recorded on your permanent record, but will not be posted to your record until 30 units have been earned in residence. No resident credit is earned, and the CR units do not affect the grade point average.

Which courses do I need for a minor in French?

The French minor presupposes a minimum of completed units, all or part of which may have been complete elsewhere. Please refer to the French Minor page for details.

Are all French classes offered every semester?

No, so plan carefully. In general, the following rotation is offered:

Course Rotation by Term
Semester Year Course Number & Description
A Fall 2013 FR101 - Beginning French
FR201 - Third-Semester French
FR300 - Introduction to Literary Analysis & Critical Writing
FR320 -France Yesterday
B Spring 2014 FR102 - Second-Semester French
FR202 -Oral French
FR410 - French Literature
FR475 - Senior Seminar
C Fall 2014 FR101 - Beginning French
FR201 - Third-Semester French
FR300 - Introduction to Literary Analysis & Critical Writing
FR321 - France Today
D Spring 2015 FR102 - Second-Semester French
FR202 -Oral French
FR411 - French Literature
FR415 - Special Topics in French Culture

Can I start in French 101 as a freshman and still do a French major?

Yes! In order to finish in four years, a student should do the first two years of French according to the schedule. In the junior and senior years, students should take all upper division courses offered every semester so that they are not lacking at the end of their senior year. Study abroad is strongly encouraged!

Can I take Business French at Sonoma State University?

No, Business French is not currently offered at SSU.

I'm interested in French literature, but I don't speak French. Can I take an upper-division French class?

Almost all French courses at Sonoma State University are offered in French only. You might be interested in taking FL 214 (Literature and Cinema) or FR314 (French Literatures in English) when these courses are taught by faculty from the French Program. Watch the SSU Course Schedule to see when these are offered. Both of these classes count for GE Area C2 credit.

If I want to study abroad, what are my options?

Sonoma State University offers established Study Abroad opportunities in France (Paris and Aix-en-Provence), and in Montréal, Québec. Most of these programs are full-year programs run by the California State University International Programs office. Students interested in studying business in France have a special option and should see Christine Renaudin for details. San Diego State University also offers a spring-semester program in Paris. Anyone wishing to study abroad should begin by speaking with International Services.

Where can I learn more about opportunities for using my French in the Bay Area?

Suzanne Toczyski, one of the French faculty at Sonoma State, publishes a weekly Francophile List which gives ample information on conversation groups, theater, cinema, art exhibits, local French classes, etc. in the Bay Area. To subscribe to this list, send Suzanne an e-mail or visit the list on-line.

Whom should I contact if I have other questions?

You can send Christine Renaudin an email or call her at (707) 664-3159. You may also send Suzanne Toczyski an email or call her at (707) 664-4177.

 

German FAQ

What class should I register for?

As a general rule of thumb, one year of language in high school is roughly equivalent to one semester of college language study. So, if you've studied German for one year in high school, you should sign up for German 102.

Can I get university credit for any of my high school German?

If a student scores a 3 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 12 units

If a student scores a 4 or 5 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), GER 200 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 16 units

See Michaela Grobbel (Stevenson 3016E) if you have any questions about your placement.

Are first and second semester German classes offered every semester?

Yes, we offer German 101 and German 102 every semester.

Do German classes count for GE credit?

Yes! Intermediate (200 level) German courses count for General Education credit if you took German in high school. German 101 and 102 apply to the C4 General Education category as long as you used a different language to satisfy your CSU language entrance requirement.

If I want to study abroad, what are my options?

Sonoma State University offers established Study Abroad opportunities in German-speaking counties. Most of these programs are full-year programs run by the California State University International Programs office. Anyone wishing to study abroad should begin by speaking with International Services.

Where can I get to know other people who are interested in German?

Join us for our weekly "Kaffeestunde" or informal lunch hour in the University Commons Cafeteria. Please check flyers outside 3016E Stevenson for the specific day and meeting times. This is a great opportunity to practice and keep up your German skills even if you do not take German. Keep your eyes open for activities and events organized by the German Club "Gemütlichkeit." For example, you may be interested in the German Film Series on campus. Watch for flyers and other announcements on the club's bulletin board outside the Department. Feel free to talk to the German instructor for more information.

Can I take a German class without taking the lab, or a lab without the class?

No, German courses require concurrent enrollment in both the class and the lab.

Can I complete a German minor or major program at SSU?

German courses offered at SSU may be counted towards a minor in German. Other minor requirements may be completed abroad, or at another American university. SSU does not offer a German major.

Whom should I contact if I have other questions?

Contact Michaela Grobbel (michaela.grobbel@sonoma.edu, 664-2637) with any other questions.

 

Spanish FAQ

What class should I register for?

If you had any Spanish in high school, you probably do not belong in Spanish 101. The general tendency is that each year of language in high school is equal to one semester at the University; i.e. if you took two years in high school, you are ready for Spanish 201.

NOTE: At Santa Rosa Junior College, Spanish 1 is the same as our Spanish 101, Spanish 2, our Spanish 102; Spanish 3, our Spanish 201; Spanish 4, our Spanish 202.

What is the Spanish Program Credit and Placement policy for the AP Spanish Language Exam?

Score of 1 or 2: No credit or placement. Take SSU placement test and/or meet with an advisor
Score of 3: Credit for 101, 102, 201 (12 units);  Placement in SPAN 202
Score of 4: Credit for 101, 102, 201, 202 (16 units);  Placement in SPAN 300
Score of 5: Credit for 101, 102, 201, 202, 300 (20 units);  Placement in SPAN 301

How can I be sure that I am registering for the class which most accurately measures my level of proficiency?
It is a good idea to take the Spanish Placement Test to help you identify the level where you will be the most comfortable. The Spanish Placement Test is administered by the Lab Director, Dr. Robert Train. You may make an appointment by contacting him at robert.train@sonoma.edu.  NOTE: If you place into a higher-level Spanish course, you move ahead faster so that you can do a major or minor (which are all upper-division classes, i.e. they are at the 300-level).

What is the difference between lower-division and upper-division classes?

The courses numbered from 100-299 are lower division; courses numbered from 300-499 are upper-division.

Do Spanish classes count for GE?

Yes! Spanish classes satisfy requirements for the C4 General Education category. However, if Spanish was the language you studied in high school, only a Spanish class at the 200-level will count in the C4 area of G.E. Any Spanish classes taken in the 100-level would go to electives only.

Which classes should I take first in the major or minor?

For major or minor, students should always enroll in Spanish 300 first, as soon as 202 (or equivalent) is completed. If more than two classes can be taken, then Spanish 301, 304, and/or 305 are recommended depending on the semester. These classes will help with grammar, writing, and reading comprehension before taking such classes as Spanish 306, Spanish 307 and the 400 level classes. NOTE: No 400-level classes should be attempted before completing most of the 300-level classes.

Can I take a lower-division class without taking the lab, or a lab without the class?

No, this is not possible. The labs are created to accompany each lower-division class, and are graded by the same instructor of the class one is taking.

How does one sign up for Independent Study?

Independent Study (Spanish 495) or Internship class (Spanish 499) are individually prepared, depending on the student's interests and needs. This option is open only during the senior year. Students should consult their Spanish advisor one year or one semester ahead to plan for such a class, which can count 3 or 4 units.

Whom should I contact if I have other questions?

Contact, Jeffrey Reeder at 664-4268 (jeffrey.reeder@sonoma.edu), Robert Train at 664-2014 (robert.train@sonoma.edu), or Parissa Tadrissi at 664-3163 (parissa.tadrissi@sonoma.edu).