Scope and Goals of the Major Program
The undergraduate major in French or Italian is designed to maximize the student's ability to understand, speak, read, and write a foreign language and to develop an informed appreciation of its literatures and cultures.
Language is a process that is learned through progressively more advanced training in the several areas it encompasses, including grammar, pronunciation, conversation, composition, and translation. Students in the major program take courses aimed at developing all of these skills in order to achieve a level of proficiency and confidence that will enable them to use the language effectively.
At the same time, a foreign language can only be fully appreciated when one is aware of its literature, history, traditions, and cultural environments. The major program is no less concerned with these aspects, which the student is encouraged to pursue in a variety of literature, culture, and film courses.
Although no program can be more than what each student chooses to make of it, an undergraduate major in French or Italian will be both an intellectual and a practical enterprise. It will provide the learner with insight into his or her own culture as well as into French, Francophone, and/or Italian cultures, and it can also lead to a variety of career opportunities.
Careers for Foreign Language Majors
As a field of humanistic learning, language study serves the larger aims of liberal education by producing well-rounded, informed, and tolerant individuals who can excel in a variety of careers. More and more, employers are choosing liberal arts majors over narrowly trained technical specialists, because their superior communication skills give them a distinct advantage in the business and professional worlds. Increasing competition and the development of a global economy have combined to make the foreign language major more attractive than ever. In addition to business, there are also career opportunities in education, law, government, international relations, and many other fields. The Department encourages students to consider a double major, combining French or Italian with another discipline. The Arts and Sciences Career Services Office, 48 Townsend Hall' distributes an information packet on Careers in Foreign Languages and has qualified personnel who can help in job placement. For more details on this subject, students should also consult the Foreign Language Center in 100 Hagerty Hall, and are encouraged to visit the FLC careers in Foreign Languages website (http://flc.osu.edu/flc_new/index.htm), 292-4361.
For more information, check out the Ohio State University's Career Connection "What can I do with this major?" website.
Beginning a Major
It is not necessary to have made a firm decision to major in French or Italian in order to consider the program and even to enroll provisionally in it. All programs require careful planning, and the sooner students begin to think about one in an organized manner, the more likely they will be to master the subject. For this reason, students interested in a major are encouraged to explore it as early as possible, preferably during the first or second year, but certainly no later than the beginning of the junior year. Any student considering a major in French or Italian and who would like to discuss the major is urged to contact the appropriate Coordinating Adviser (French or Italian), a faculty member charged with overall responsibility for the operation of the program. The names, e-mail addresses, and office numbers of the current Coordinating Advisers are listed on the third page of the Undergraduate Handbook (Undergraduate Directory).
Entry into the Department of French and Italian in the Colleges of the Arts and Sciences (ASC) can be through direct enrollment for any new first semester freshman whose primary interest is in French or Italian or by transfer from another college. Although it is possible to delay entry up to 60 hours, no student should wait beyond 50 hours of earned credit. Once a student is enrolled through ASC as a French or Italian major, the department will assign a departmental adviser to that student, in addition to the student’s ASC adviser. The student can find out from the Undergraduate Program Coordinator (Jodi Obert) in 200 Hagerty Hall who his or her adviser is and should schedule an appointment with that adviser to discuss curriculum and goals.
Students transferring from University College, Continuing Education, or a degree-granting unit must complete an Arts and Sciences Transfer Information form, a Declaration of Major card, and an Intra-University Transfer form at the Records Desk in the west lobby of Denney Hall (9 Denney Hall for honors students). By declaring French or Italian on the Declaration of Major card, they will fulfill their obligation to ASC, but it is extremely important that all students report their declaration of major to the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Department of French and Italian (Jodi Obert, 200F Hagerty Hall) in order to be enrolled on the departmental list and have a major adviser assigned to them. Double majors should also inform the UG Coordinator of their second major at that time. Students who do not appear in person in the department to fill out the necessary forms and receive a major adviser will not be officially registered as majors. It should be noted that the major adviser is charged with the major program only. Students with questions concerning other degree requirements should consult an ASC adviser.
The major program is a list of all the courses that constitute the student's major field of study and is a final contract of graduation. It is entered on a Major Program Form that is filled out in consultation with the major adviser and filed with ASC. As soon as a student's major program can be determined, and certainly no later than the junior year, a Major Program Form should be completed and filed. Any subsequent changes in the program should be discussed with the major adviser and indicated on a Revision of Major Form.
It is important for students to stay in touch with their major adviser through regular consultations, preferably once every quarter, but at least once a year. Changes of address, especially e-mail addresses, should be reported to the Language Secretary so that students may receive mailings about courses and special events of interest to them. The Language Secretary should also be informed if a student decides to discontinue his or her major or minor in French or Italian.
A course in which a student receives a grade of D+ or lower cannot be counted toward the major. A student who receives such a grade must notify his or her major adviser in order to determine whether to repeat the course or choose a substitute. If a course in which a student earned a D or D+ is repeated, the additional hours earned will be added to the minimum 124 necessary for graduation.
Placement Testing and Transfer/Deferred Credit
All students whose last course in French was in junior high or senior high school are required to take a placement test. See the section in the Undergraduate Handbook on "Foreign Language Placement Testing" for instructions. If your last course in Italian was in high school, please contact the Italian Language Director for placement information, Janice Aski . If you have credits in either French or Italian to transfer from another college or university, please see the section on "Transfer/Deferred Credit Procedures."