The Department of French and Italian offers five undergraduate majors, two minors, and a combined BA/MA program. Students gain proficiency in a second language, discover the appreciation of other cultures, and learn to think critically. There is a lot more to earning an undergraduate degree at FRIT than learning a world language. Our goal is to develop students’ intercultural competency and guide them to understand the skills that they develop so that they can express to future employers what they have to offer as multilingual, culturally and interculturally competent job candidates. Students work towards the degrees with classes, one-on-one interaction with faculty, study abroad experiences, conversation groups and clubs, and scholarly events.
Learn more about our programs
Why Study French, Italian, or Romance Studies?
As our society and community rapidly changes and becomes more connected, diverse and multilingual, familiarity with a second language and other cultures has become essential for the well-rounded and well-educated citizen. Global awareness and intercutural connectedness encourages students to form different perspectives, make informed decisions, and acquire transferable life-long skills.
Together, French and Italian have 144 million native speakers, over 300 million total speakers, and are official languages of 35 countries. Learning a foreign language like French or Italian offers you much more than the ability to ask for directions or order at a restaurant. It enables you to communicate with and learn from people across the globe. The language classroom teaches students to stop being afraid of make mistakes and develops a passion for learning.
CLLC, "Why Study a Language?"
Global Citizen, "7 Benefits of Learning Another Langauge"
Humanities majors are competitive on the job market, strong earners, and global thinkers. Many CEOs are hiring more liberal arts majors because of their sense of empathy, creativeness and their capacity to quickly adapt to their new work environment. Learning French or Italian offers endless career opportunities. The Humanities do not simply offer intrinsic intellectual satisfactions, they also have direct professional applicability. Students with language and cultural competency are highly sought in fields including Education, Business, Government, Law, Social Services, and Travel. Even technical jobs often seek applicants with the multidisciplinary skill set that is provided by a Humanities BA degree.
The New York Times, “Six Myths About Choosing a College Major”
Fast Company, "Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees With Liberal Arts Degrees"
Huffington Post, "A Surprising Success Story: Jobs and the Arts and Humanities"
There is more to studying the Humanities than simply making students workforce ready; students develop that aspect of their being which gives meaning to their lives. Liberal arts education prepares students to be good citizens, teaches critical thinking, and encourages innovative ideas. According to The Hechinger Report, "A liberal-arts education is the best preparation a young person can have for success in life."
The Hechinger Report, "The enduring relevance of a liberal-arts education"
American Enterprise Institute, "Are we creating a STEM dead end?"
Today’s students often combine majors and minors with a second major or minor. Students in French and Italian also major or minor in subjects as varied as Arabic, Architecture, Art History, Biology, Biomedical Science, Business, Communications, Comparative Studies, Computer Systems Engineering, English, Exercise Science, Hospitality Management, International Studies, Italian, Japanese, Linguistics, Logistics, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Nursing, Nutrition, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Russian, Spanish and Textiles. A double major in French or Italian provides benefits such as strengthening critical thinking skills and empathy, opening up employment opportunities, and preparing students for the challenges of work, life, and citizenship ahead.
The Conversation, "Why double-majors might beat you out of a job"