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.


Total Credits

The major consists of 30 credit hours. No more than half of the credit hours may come from credit by examination (EM) and/or transfer credit.


French 1101, 1102, 1103, and 2101.

Prerequisites do not count towards the 30 credit hours required for the major.

Core Requirements

If you declared the major in Spring 2018 or later

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). Information about the time and place of the workshop each semester will be circulated in advance.


List of courses that count towards the major.


If you declared the major in Autumn 2017 or earlier

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.

    Tailoring the Major to your Interests

    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.

    French for the Professions

    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 FRIT 3301, Discovering Second Language Acquisition.

    French and Francophone Cultures

    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.

    Cinema and Visual Arts

    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.

    Literature and Writing

    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.

    Ready to declare or have some questions?

    Reach out to the French major advisor Andy Spencer.

    Any variation from the program requires the approval of the major advisor.

    For general information regarding completing a major at the Department of French and Italian, visit Undergraduate Majors.

    Note on New GE Requirements (Beginning Autumn 2022)

    French 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 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 French major (students may count up to one course taught in English toward their French major).
    • To fulfill the Technology literacy, French majors are encouraged to consider LING3802, Language and Computers, which may also be the one course taught in English students may count toward the French major.