Major in French and Francophone Studies


About the Major

The French and Francophone Studies Major allows students to gain expertise in the French language and in a number of the myriad cultures in which it is spoken. Compared to the French major, for which at least 27 of the required 30 credit hours must be from courses taught in French, this option allows students to count toward the major up to 12 credits hours of courses taught in English, 9 of which can be in other departments.

It should be especially appealing to students who: would like to attain more language proficiency than a French minor can provide but who would like to count up to three courses for this major toward a second major and/or GE requirements; want to explore French and Francophone Studies in a highly interdisciplinary manner, through courses taught in departments such as History, History of Art, International Studies, and Political Science, among others; are deeply interested in French and Francophone Studies but who may find the number of advanced-level language courses required for the French major daunting; and semi-native and native French speakers, for whom many of our language courses are too elementary and who would therefore like a wider range of course options. 

If you have already declared a French minor or French major but would like to switch to the French and Francophone Studies major, you can ask our advisor, Dr. Andy Spencer (spencer.4), to make this change. Students majoring in French or French and Francophone Studies will easily be able to make the change from one to the other depending on the types of courses they end up taking by the end of their undergraduate studies.

Major Requirements


French 1101, 1102, 1103, and 2101; or equivalent by examination and/or transfer credit; or permission of the Chair of Undergraduate Studies in French in the cases of semi-native and native French speakers.

Core Requirements (30 hours)

French 3101, Grammar Review (3 hours)

Courses taught at the Department of French and Italian

Three French courses taught in French at the 3000-level or above (9 hours)

  • Native and semi-native speakers will replace some or all 3000-level courses in French with more advanced courses in French and/or courses taught in English after consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in French)

Two French courses taught in French at the 4000-level or above (6 hours)

One FRIT course taught in English at the 2000 level or above (3 hours)

Students must participate in the World Language Skills and Competencies Workshop (offered once every semester).

Courses taught outside of the department (9 hours)

Three additional courses taught in English from within the department and/or from the list of extra-departmental courses below. At least one of these courses must be at the 4000- or 5000-level.

Students may petition to substitute a course that is not on this list by bringing a course description and syllabus to their French faculty advisor.

Students may always replace a course taught in English with a course taught in French at the 3000 level or above.

Note about New GE (beginning Autumn 2022)

French and Francophone Studies majors who will be completing the new GE requirements (implemented in AU22) are encouraged to consider fulfilling the three required embedded literacies in the following ways:

  • The Advanced Writing literacy will be embedded in all iterations of FR4401, Topics in French and Francophone Studies. The course is offered every semester on a different topic and is repeatable up to three times
  • The Data Analytics literacy will be embedded in FRIT3301, Discovering Second Language Acquisition. This course, taught in English, counts toward the French and Francophone Studies major and is offered once per year. Students who cannot or choose not to take this course are encouraged to consider LING2015, The Sounds of Language, which may also count toward the major
  • To fulfill the Technology literacy, French and Francophone Studies majors are encouraged to consider LING3802, Language and Computers, which may also count toward the major.

Sample four-year plan (122 credit hours) for a student double majoring in French and Francophone Studies and History. Prerequisites for the FFS major are in italics, courses that count toward the FFS major are in bold.

Year 1


ASC 1100.xx, 1

English 1110 (GE writing), 3             

GE Math and Log Anal, 3

GE Natural Sciences (lab), 4

French 1101 (GE lang), 4

Total = 15 credit hours



GE Data Analysis, 3

French 1102 (GE lang), 4

History 2800, 3

History 2610 (GE Hist Studies and Soc Div in US), 3                    

Elective, 3

Total = 16 credit hours


Year 2


GE Nat Sciences (Biological), 3

French 1103 (GE lang), 4

GE Writing Level II, 3

History 2081, 3

History 3310 (GE Vis Perf Art), 3                 

Total = 16 credit hours



GE Nat Sciences (Physical), 3

French 2101, 3

French 3101, 3

History 3304, 3

GE Lit, 3

Total = 15 credit hours


Year 3


French 3401, 3

French 3801, 3                       

History 3263, 3

History 3254 (GE Glob Stud), 3                     

GE Soc Sciences, 3       

Total = 15 credit hours



French 3103, 3

History 3301, 3

History 3404 (GE Glob Stud)3                  

GE Soc Sciences, 3

Elective, 3     

Total = 15 credit hours


Year 4


French 3403, 3

French 4401, 3

History 4255, 3

GE Cult and Ideas, 3  

Elective, 3

Total = 15 credit hours



French 5403, 3

History 4675, 3    

Elective, 3

Elective, 3

Elective, 3

Total = 15 credit hours


Below is a list of extra-departmental courses that can count toward the French and Francophone Studies major, organized by department.

Comparative Studies

2301 - Introduction to World Literature (when taught by Armstrong or Pérez) (GE Diversity: Global Studies)

Analysis of oral and written literatures of diverse cultures and historical periods.

3360- Introduction to Globalization and Culture (when taught by Armstrong)

History and contemporary dimensions of globalization, focusing on period preceding European hegemony, era of European colonialism, period of decolonization, and contemporary contexts.

5957.02 Folklore in Circulation topic: Cultures of Waste and Recycling

Study of transmission of culture.  Topics vary, e.g., tourists, travelers, tricksters; cultures of waste and recycling; orality and literacy.

Film Studies

3660 - Documentary Film Studies (when taught by Flinn)

An upper-level course in documentary geared toward film studies majors.

4640 - Studies in Cinema History (when it includes substantial French and/or Francophone material)

An upper-level course on aspects of film history geared toward film studies majors.

4650 - Studies in Regional Cinema (when it includes substantial French and/or Francophone content)

An upper-level course on topics in a (sub-)national, geographic, or cultural region's cinema conducted in English and geared toward film studies majors.

4895 – Advanced Seminar: Topics in Film Studies (when taught by Flinn)

Selected problems (themes, movements, theories, genres, styles, etc.) in film studies; topics vary per semester.


5601 – Foucault, Power, Governance           

Governance and society from a geographic perspective using Foucault's governmentality framework.


2203 - Introduction to Early Modern Europe. GE

A survey of European history from the Black Death to the Congress of Vienna. This course examines social, cultural, religious, political and economic developments from the mid fourteenth to the early nineteenth century. Sometimes taught at distance.

2302 - History of Modern Africa, 1800 - 1960s. GE

Thematic survey of African history from 1800 to the 1960s.

2303 - History of Contemporary Africa, 1960 – present. GE           

Africa from independence to the present. Contemporary African societies, cultures, economics, and politics from independence to the present.

2500 – 20th Century International History 

Examines international political, economic, and military relations from the origins of World War I through the break up of the Soviet Union.

3249 – Early Modern Europe, 1560-1778. GE

A survey of Europe from the late-sixteenth-century wars of religion to the more secular political conflicts on the eve of the French Revolution.

3250 Revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe, 1750-1815. GE

A survey of European but especially French history from the crisis of the Old Regime to the end of the wars of the French Revolution.

3263 - France in the 20th Century

Study of the major political, economic, social, and cultural transformations between the Dreyfus Affair and the postcolonial present.

3270 - History of World War I. GE

Origins, conduct, and consequences of the First World War in global context.

3301 - History of Modern West Africa, post 1800. GE

History of Modern West Africa since 1800; examines West African history from the era of European conquests to the present. Sometimes this course is offered in a distance-only format.

3304 - History of Islam in Africa. GE

Africa from the emergence of Islam in the 600s to the Present. African contributions to Islam and the impact of Islam on African societies. Sometimes this course is offered in a distance-only format.

3306 - History of African Christianity. GE

The development of Christianity in Africa from antiquity to the present; Christianity's interaction with Islam and indigenous religions; Mission Christianity and its aftermath. Sometimes this course is offered in a distance-only format.

3308 - History of US - Africa Relations, 1900 – Present. GE

History of the United States' relations with Africa since World War I. Sometimes this course is offered in a distance-only format.

3552 - War in World History, 1900 – Present. GE

Study of the causes, conduct, and consequences of warfare around the world, 1900-present.

3798.06 - Between France and Morocco: Inclusivity and Diversity in the Francophone World. GE

This is a Study Abroad course offered in the 4-Week May Session that traces the evolution of plural (cultural, religious, political, and national) identities in France and North Africa, focusing on shared histories and tensions between the two countries.

History of Art 

2002 –Western Art II: The Renaissance to the Present. GE

Examination of the history of art in Europe and the United States, from 1400 to the present. 

3611 - Impressionism, Then and Now

An examination of the emergence and evolution of French Impressionism and its impact on subsequent artistic production from the early 20th century to the present.

4050 - Art of Paris     

Study of the painting, sculpture, buildings, and public and private spaces created in and for the people of Paris.

4421 - Medieval Art

Art and architecture of Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean from the 5th to the 15th centuries; focuses on visual culture of monasteries, cathedrals, and castles.

4550 - Eighteenth-Century European Art

Artistic trends in eighteenth century Venice, Rome, Paris and London.

5001 - Post-Impressionisms: Art and Culture in fin-de-siècle Paris (1880-1900)

Topics: Western Art: Topics to be announced.

5611 - European Art in the Age of Revolution, 1774-1851

Survey of major trends in European art from the French Revolution until the middle of the 19th Century.

5612 - European Art in the Age of Empire, 1852-1900

Survey of major trends in European art from 1852 until the end of the 19th Century.

5621 - Post-Impressionism to Dada

Survey of major trends in European art from circa 1880 to the aftermath of World War I.

International Studies

2000 - Introduction to Africa. GE

Interdepartmental survey of the land, people, history, politics, social institutions, economic development, literature and the arts.

3350 - Introduction to Western Europe. GE

Presents an introductory overview of the historical background to modern Western Europe. It surveys the development of society & politics, as well as the evolution of art, architecture & music.

4195 - Selected Program in International Studies: Belonging Europe

This course introduces you to the everyday habits and everyday contradictions of life in Europe. We will be thinking about the big political and existential issues--identity, coexistence, migration, attachment to place, coping with change--not through the operations of institutions, but as lived on the ground and considered in culture.

4515 - Ethnicity, Development, and the State in Sub-Saharan Africa

Takes a theoretical and comparative historical approach to analyzing problems of development and ethnic conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.

INTSTDS/ AEDECON 4534 Comparative Challenges to Economic Development: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and China

An introductory survey course of issues shaping economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and China, such as: population growth, agricultural development, industrialization, trade, structural adjustment, and environmental issues.

4800 – Cultural Diplomacy (when taught be Noyes)          

Cultural Diplomacy is the exchange of information, ideas and values among nations and peoples. Public and private mechanisms for these exchanges are explored.

Medieval and Renaissance Studies

2215 - Gothic Paris: 1100-1300 (GE Culture and Ideas and Diversity-Global Studies Course)

The arts, architecture, poetry, history, music, theology, food, and fashion of Paris in 1100-1300, the age of Gothic cathedrals and the birth of the university.


Linguistics 2051 - Analyzing the sounds of Language. GE Data Analytics embedded literacy.

The sounds that languages use are examined. Quantitative analytical tools used in phonetic science are introduced. Small experiments are conducted to introduce students to research.

Linguistics 3802 - Language and Computers. GE Technology embedded literacy.

Introduction to human language technology, explaining the computational and linguistic principles behind such familiar technologies as web search, machine translation, and spelling correction.

Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Arabic 2241 – Contemporary Arab Cultures. GE

This course explores the intersecting political, artistic, and intellectual currents and practices that have shaped contemporary Arab cultures. It is organized as a survey of different cultural phenomena in Arab societies and diasporas including: the Arabic language and its varieties, music, poetry, law, television & cinema, and more.

Arabic 2702 - Modern Arabic Literature in Translation. GE

Reading and analysis of representative works of the 19th and 20th centuries; by contemporary women authors.

NELC 3201 - Muslims in America and Europe: Migration and Living Between Worlds. GE

What does it mean to live as modern Muslims in western societies? How do they cope with prejudice, Islamophobia, traditions, integration, war, migration, and new opportunities? We explore the experiences of religious minorities in the U.S. and Europe for Muslims whose families are originally from the Arab world, Iran, South Asia, Turkey, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

3501 - Introduction to Islam. GE

Examination of Islam as a world religion, enabling an understanding of its major tenets and beliefs as they are envisioned by insiders and outsiders.

Arabic 3702 - Place, Space, and Migration in Modern Arabic Literature and Film, GE

Examines how literature and film in a variety of Arabic-speaking regions and diasporas explore different modes of mobility and belonging.


3230 - History of 17th-Century Philosophy. GE

Major figures in European philosophy in the 17th century.

3261 - Fundamental Concepts of Existentialism. GE

Key concepts of the movement: commitment, absurdity, freedom, and death, as expressed in the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, Kierkegaard, and others.

5261 - Phenomenology and Existentialism

Early existentialist ideas of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; Husserl's phenomenological method and critical analysis of works of philosophers such as Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre, Beauvoir, and others.

Political Science

3290 - Comparative Public Policy

This course serves as an introduction to public policy in comparative perspective; its focus is on wealthy democracies. The first part of the course explores broad theories about how and why public policy differs so dramatically across countries. The second part of the course focuses on cross-national differences across specific policy domains.

3596 - Nationalism and Ethnicity. GE          

Explores socio-political identities, especially ethnicity and nationality, from a comparative perspective. Drawing upon theories from political science, psychology, anthropology, sociology, and economics, we will study the origins and characteristics of these identities, as well as their consequences for democracy, economic development, and violent conflict.

3910 - Identity Politics

Explores who controls the meaning of identity in society; examining identity from the perspective of liberal, sociological, and social psychological, structuralist, and institutionalist theories.

4200 - Politics of Modern Democracies

A survey of the basic institutions and politics of modern democracies, with emphasis on representativeness and democratic stability.

4210 - Politics of European Integration

A survey of the politics of European integration since the Second World War; topics include theories of political integration, institutions of the EU, its policies and decision making, common currency, and internal and external relations.

4250 - African Politics

An introductory survey of Sub-Saharan African politics from the pre-colonial period to the contemporary era. It will examine the common themes, issues, and trends that shape politics and development across forty-nine countries. Students will gain an understanding of how context shapes political behavior and how historical and political forces have influenced African politics. 

4270 - The Canadian Political System

The Canadian political system, including institutional, behavioral, socio-economic, cultural, and ideological components, often in comparison with the United States' political system.

4285 - Comparative Politics of the Welfare State

Analyzes different kinds of welfare capitalism including social, economic, and political considerations shaping welfare policy; and contemporary welfare reform as an exercise in reallocation, reorganization, and budget-cutting.

4332 - Politics of Globalization

Examines globalization's origins, impacts on human welfare, and political conflicts that arise from it, including actions of governments, multinational corporations, and the anti-globalization movement.