Curriculum Overview 

The study of French opens the door to diverse cultures around the globe, from France itself to other French-speaking countries and regions in Europe, North and West Africa, Quebec, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans. French provides useful links to many parts of the world and to many areas of the liberal arts curriculum. Students interested in the arts, in government and business, in public health, environmental studies and international studies across the disciplines, benefit from the practical skills, the cultural knowledge and awareness and the intellectual connections that studying French can provide.

The Department of French and Francophone Studies offers language courses for beginners and for those who want to build on their knowledge of French. The introductory-level courses stress communicative competency and the acquisition of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The intermediate courses reinforce and extend those skills through an interactive exploration of contemporary French and Francophone culture using a variety of authentic print and electronic sources.

The French major provides a cohesive, integrated experience which gives students a solid background in language, literature and culture. Introductions, the three core courses required for the major, serve as a gateway to the major and a bridge from the intermediate to advanced levels of our program. These courses provide students with the tools to describe, debate, analyze and critique French literary and cultural texts, films, documents and other cultural phenomena, both orally and in writing. In the Développement stage of the French major, students choose from advanced courses in the following categories: Racines (historical, literary, or cultural ideas, movements and icons across time); Hors Hexagone (literature, ideas, and concepts from several regions of the French speaking world); Monde Contemporain (literature, ideas, or figures associated with France during the last one hundred years); and Perfectionnement et Pratique (development of written and/or oral skills at an advanced level). In the final year of the major, students will take one Approfondissement course, an advanced level seminar which is an in-depth study of an author, genre, era, or phenomenon.

A major in French consists of a minimum of 10 courses. Majors normally complete three Introduction courses: FRN 241, FRN 242, FRN 261; 6 Développement courses (300-level) in three of four categories, Racines, Monde Contemporain, Hors Hexagone, Perfectionnement; and one Approfondissement course (400-level). All majors, in consultation with their adviser, will also create and present a portfolio of their work in French. This presentation will take place during the student’s final semester, before a group of department members and other French majors.

All French majors work closely with a departmental adviser to ensure the coherence and integrity of their major course of study.

In consultation with their advisors, French majors may take one cognate course outside of the department for credit in the major. These courses are subject to departmental approval. The following courses have been approved as cognates, others are subject to departmental review: LIN101, Introduction to Linguistics; LIN 120 Introduction to Sociolingistics; INT200 Introduction to International Studies; GOV130 International Politics; BOS350 International Business; and HIS241 History of North and West Africa.

Most of our majors and minors spend a semester or year abroad. We strongly recommend this immersion experience to all of our students, believing that travel alone is not enough to learn about other cultures. Only by living, working, relaxing and even dreaming in French will students acquire an advanced command of the language and a fuller appreciation of French and Francophone culture.

Majors and minors in the Department of French and Francophone Studies have studied abroad in the following programs in recent years: Internships in Francophone Europe (IFE); Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence (IAU); American University Center of Provence (AUCP); IES Center and University of Nantes. See the International Programs section of the Catalog for further information.

Students majoring in French who enroll in French courses abroad may transfer up to two courses for credit (per semester).

The writing requirement in the French major is met by completion of FRN 242.

A minor in French consists of six courses numbered 201 or above. French minors must complete at least one 300-level Développement course or the equivalent.

Students minoring in French may transfer a total of two French courses taken abroad for credit towards the French minor.

Courses Offered 
Topics Courses Expected to be Offered in 2014-2015 
  • Life Lessons in Les Misérables.
  • La littérature expérimentale.
  • Français Page to Screen.
  • L’école depuis 1940.