Major in French


Learning French means learning to communicate in French in a variety of social and professional settings. Students learn about the culture, language, history, literature and media of the 35 French-speaking countries that make up the Francophone world. Students develop their language proficiency—listening, speaking, reading and writing skills—in interactive classroom settings, in our individualized instruction program, and in study abroad settings in France, Canada and Senegal. 


The following courses are prerequisites to the French major: 1101, 1102, 1103, and 2101.

No more than one half of the semester credit hours required on the major can be credit hours transferred to Ohio State from another institution and/or credit by examination. (In other words, at least one half of the major hours must be credit from completed OSU coursework.)

For students whose first semester at the Ohio State University (any campus) was Autumn 2017 or earlier, the following courses are required for the French major:

3101; 4100 (or 5101); and 8 other French courses at the 3000 level and above, at least two of which must be at the 4000 level or above. Students may count one pertinent 3-credit course taught in English, whether offered by this department or another, toward the major with the approval of their faculty advisor. The course in English may replace one 3000-level course in French.

For students whose first semester at Ohio State was Spring 2018 or later, the following courses are required for the French major: 

3101; 4100 (or 5101); and 8 other French courses at the 3000 level and above, at least 2 of which must be at the 4000 level or above, and 1 more of which must be at the 5000 level. In other words, students must complete, at a minimum:

  • 3101 and 4100
  • 5 additional courses at the 3000 level or above (one of these may be replaced by an approved course in English), plus
  • 3 additional courses at the 4000 level or above, at least 1 of which must be at the 5000-level
  • Beginning in 2019, students must participate in the World Language Skills and Competencies Workshop (offered once every semester).

Students can choose from a wide variety of courses to complete their major. Though choosing a track is not required, students can tailor their major to fit their interests, some examples of topics of studies are below.

If you are particularly interested in using your French in a professional context (say you are pairing a minor or major in Business, Engineering, Education, International Studies, or Pre-medicine with a minor or major in French), we suggest you consider the following courses in particular: 3103 Conversation; 3401 and/or 3402, French and Francophone Cultures; 3501 French for the Professions; 3502 French for International Studies; 4690 French for the Professions Internship; and 5102, Translation. Education majors in particular will benefit from 3301, Discovering Second Language Acquisition.

If you'd like to explore especially French-speaking cultures and societies across the globe (perhaps you are double majoring in International Studies, African-American and African Studies, Middle-Eastern Studies, History, or Comparative Studies), take a look at the following courses: 3202, Introduction to Francophone Literatures; 3402, Introduction to Francophone Cultures; 5205, Black Africa; 5206, North Africa; and 5207, Quebec; and 3403 and 4401 (variable topics courses) when they treat a subject that interests you.

If the written word­–whether fiction, autobiography, essay, journalism, or other–is your passion (maybe you are double majoring in Communications, Journalism, English, or World Literatures), consider the 3200 and 5200 series of courses on French and Francophone literatures in their historical contexts from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

If you love cinema or the visual arts in general, perhaps combine Film Studies, Moving-Image Production, Design, Theater, or History of Art with a French major or minor that includes 2801, French and Francophone Cinema; 4053, French and Italian Cinema; 5701, Topics in French and Francophone Cinema; 5702, Studies in Contemporary French Cinema; and/or 4401, a variable topics course that periodically treats cinema and comics.