What can I do with a major in French Studies?

The French major is ideal for those who love to read, write, and learn about other cultures. Through the integrated study of literature, cultures, and the arts of the French-speaking world, our students acquire deep knowledge about centuries of artistic expression from diverse perspectives in the French-speaking world. We offer a variety of courses on literature, artistic avant-gardes, contemporary French thought, film, and graphic novels. Our majors develop valuable skills in effective communication, global perspectives, problem-solving, and thinking creatively and analytically which are assets in a competitive global job marketplace. A French major provides training that support careers in medicine and the health sciences, business, law, politics, the arts, international non-profits, teaching, and many others options. 

Students interested in conducting independent research and an added challenge may wish to learn more about our French honors track and/or our combined BA/MA degree program.

What courses would I take?

Our 33 credit-hour major is designed to develop communication skills and foundational knowledge about French-speaking cultures through a graduated sequence of courses. Students begin with FRE 131, Masterpieces of French Literature in Translation and FRE 301, Culture and Interpretation where they deepen their knowledge of French and Francophone cultural production and refine communication skills in French through the practice of close reading and the analysis of literary texts. Through the integration of advanced language review in all of our literature courses, students receive support throughout their studies to help develop their skills in critical interpretation and effective written and oral communication skills in French as they advance through our 302-303-310 sequence. After this step, majors select from among a broad array of courses to fulfill their remaining requirements and may choose to explore topics like Modern and Contemporary French Society (FRE 411), Medieval French Literature (FRE 443), Rebellions, Revolutions, and Avant-Gardes (FRE 451), and Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity (FRE 440).

Majors often study abroad for a semester-long program in France or French-speaking countries, or they may choose to participate in our summer workshop in Dijon, France where they earn 9 credit hours which count toward the major. We also offer a faculty-led program in Paris, France in winter term where students may earn up to 3 credit hours toward the major.

We actively support to our students with advising in career planning as well as study abroad.

For more information, please email the French Program Director, Dr. Mark McKinney.