Learning Goals for the French Major and Minor

French Major

With a French Major, students will develop the ability to:

  1. Comprehend and produce a broad range of communicative structures, showing sufficient control and understanding of complex critical and analytical statements in French.
  2. Demonstrate a critical thinking ability required to recognize and address complex textual analysis using appropriate tools.
  3. Recognize and understand literary, linguistic, and cultural texts and apply digital tools across different texts and contexts.
  4. Demonstrate a foundational knowledge of the French language, and Francophone literatures and cultures by locating, evaluating and contextualizing valid and reliable information.
  5. Engage the French-speaking world with empathy and with understanding of the diversity of human experience across Francophone languages and cultures.

Highly motivated students with a GPA of 3.7 or better in courses for their major may also carry out an individual project based on research or community involvement in French.

French Minor

With a French Minor, students will develop the ability to: 

  1. Express basic linguistic and intercultural proficiency
  2. Engage in everyday conversation with native speakers of French
  3. Explore the underlying values involved in cross-cultural exchanges
  4. Analyze authentic documents from French-speaking societies
  5. Produce texts and media in French 

French Major

The French major consists of a minimum of 36 credits in French, of which at least 24 must be in courses numbered 200 or higher. Majors in French are strongly encouraged to include study abroad as part of their program.

Courses above the intermediate level are offered on a rotating basis. Students should consult their advisers about planning their programs.

French Requirements

A French major consists of a minimum of 36 credits of French courses, including at least 24 credits in courses 200-level or higher.

Recommended Course Sequence

Your level entry depends on your previous studies of the language. Students who place into 200-level courses or above are eligible for a Fast Track major requiring only 30 credits.

  • Elementary French 101 and 102 (eight credits)
  • Intermediate French 131 and 132 (six credits)
  • French 200-level courses chosen from (six credits)
    201-202 Modern Readings in French (I-II)
    203-204 French Composition & Conversation (I-II)
    210 French Conversation
  • French 300-level courses chosen from (nine credits)
    315-316 Introduction to French Civilization (I-II)
    310 Introduction to Francophone Cultures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       321 Advanced Grammar and Stylistics
    322 Advanced Composition & Conversation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   336 The Modern French Novel                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       360 French Civilization 
  • Balance of courses at a 300- or 400-level (three credits each)

Additional Information

Students may earn a maximum of six credits for the French major from cultural courses pertaining to French Literatures and Civilization taught in English, including:

  • French 240, 241, 243 or 245
  • French 305, 306, 391 or 392

Please note that other courses in English may be designated as acceptable by an advisor only under the following conditions:

  • The student must have completed French 132 or the equivalent
  • A substantial part of the coursework must be completed in French
  • The instructor and advisor must give permission in advance

It is advised that majors in French take at least 12 credits of a second foreign language, particularly if graduate study is foreseen. Those planning to earn teaching certification are strongly urged to consider a double major or a minor in a second foreign language.


  • Study of Spanish or German
  • Study Abroad in Nice or Tours (France)   
  • International Study Tours in Paris, the Loire Valley and Montreal

French Minor

A minor in French consists of a minimum of 18 credits in French beyond the elementary level (420:101, 102 or 420:108, 109), including at least 12 credits in courses numbered 200 or higher.

French Requirements

Students must complete 18 credits above the elementary level, of which 12 credits must be at the 200 level or higher.

A maximum of 6 credits in French Cultures and Civilization courses taught in English may be earned for credit toward the French minor. These courses must be taken under the same conditions as those stipulated for the French major.

Suggested Course Sequence

A student’s entry level depends on previous studies of the language.

  • Intermediate French 131 or 132 (three credits)
  • 200-level courses chosen from (six credits)
    201-202 Modern Readings in French (I-II)
    203-204 French Composition & Conversation (I-II)
    210 French Conversation
  • French 300- or 400-level courses (nine credits)


  • The French Minor strongly complements majors in Spanish, German, International Politics, European History, Africana Studies, Business (Finance, Human Resources, Entrepreneurship, etc.), Pre-Law and Pre-Med.
  • Most graduate programs in the Humanities or Social Sciences will require students to study at least one foreign language up through the advanced level.
  • International Study Tours in Paris, the Loire Valley or Montreal

Electives for to the French Major & Minor

Courses in European history, Art history, music, philosophy, International Studies, business, history, religion, and other foreign literatures are recommended as electives. Outside the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, recommended courses with significant Francophone content or relevance to the French-speaking world include:

Global Perspectives

  • 50:516:265: Imperialism
  • 50:163:370: Children & Migration
  • 50:163:371: Global Childhoods
  • 50:070:380: Food & Culture
  • 50:698:205: Introduction to Museum Studies
  • 50:350:354: Postcolonial Literature (G)
  • 50:350:371: Literature of Travel
  • 50:350:245: Folklore (D)
  • 50:730:256: Philosophy of Literature

Performing Arts

  • 50:700:412: History of Jazz (D)
  • 50:700:413: World Music (G)
  • 50:965:310: Experimental Theater


  • 50:510:372: Modern Jewish History
  • 50:350:384: Literature of the Islamic World (G)


  • 50:516:241: Pre-colonial Africa
  • 50:516:242: Africa since 1800
  • 50:082:285: Art of Africa
  • 50:730:216: Africana Philosophy

North America

  • 50:516:350: The Caribbean
  • 50:516:380: Caribbean History
  • 50:070:338: North American Indians
  • 50:352:351: The Harlem Renaissance (D)


  • 50:510:321: Absolutism and Enlightenment in France & Europe (G)
  • 50:510:322: The Era of the French Revolution and Napoleon (G)
  • 50:082:351: European Art 1780 to 1880
  • 50:082:352: European Painting 1880 to 1940
  • 50:510:370: Women in Modern Europe (G)