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French (BA)

French (BA)


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. 

Why choose French?

The Department of French and Italian is an innovative department that strives to offer a variety of courses each semester to fit students' diverse interests and professional goals. While the program is relatively large for a department of French and Italian (around 100 majors and 200 minors), the class sizes are small (18-30 students per class) and the faculty are easily accessible. Unlike in many departments, each majoring student is assigned a faculty advisor who can help them choose courses, identify and fund an appropriate study abroad program, pursue research opportunities and devise a post-graduation plan.

The Department of French and Italian was one of the first departments in the country to offer courses on French-speaking literatures and cultures from outside of France. It currently has several faculty members who teach courses on French-speaking North Africa, West Africa, the Caribbean and Quebec, and on the cultural production of the millions of recent immigrants (and their descendents) in France.

What can you do with this degree?

In browsing the alumni update pages of the bi-annual alumni newsletter, you will find that French majors go on to become doctors, lawyers, professors, teachers, business people and scientists. Most are double majors in another discipline, from international studies to marketing to molecular genetics. There are few things more practical than good writing and communication skills, which language majors possess in abundance. French is an official language in twenty-nine countries around the world and is spoken in yet more, many of which have emerging economies where opportunity abounds. French could be your passport to a career in international business, international law, international aid, diplomacy or tourism.