May 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalogue 
2020-2021 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French and Francophone Studies, B.A.

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Laura Burch, Chair
Marion Duval
Harry Gamble


The Department of French and Francophone Studies offers a program of courses, opportunities, and mentoring with four broad objectives: (1) to develop high proficiency in the French language; (2) to promote knowledge and appreciation of the histories, literatures, and cultures of French-speaking countries; (3) to develop critical thinking and analytical skills; (4) and to prepare students for success in a diverse world marked increasingly by globalization. The Department of French and Francophone Studies actively embraces interdisciplinarity. Majors and minors regularly go on to complete graduate programs in a broad range of fields. Many graduates pursue careers in areas such as teaching, public service, diplomacy, international development, international healthcare, publishing, translation, interpreting, the travel industry, business, banking, and law. 

Major in French and Francophone Studies

Majors take a minimum of eleven courses beyond the introductory level.  Students chart somewhat different routes through the major depending on their interests and initial placement.  Common core courses include:

Special Notes

Special Notes: general

  • La Maison française: Students with a strong interest in French and Francophone Studies are encouraged to apply to live in the Maison française, located in Luce Hall. The Maison française offers a convivial, stimulating atmosphere. Weekly cultural and social events allow students to improve their French and broaden their knowledge of the Francophone world. A language assistant from a Francophone country lives on campus and helps organize daily conversations and weekly events. Applications are normally due in late February.
  • Advanced Placement: Students who receive a score of 4 or 5 on the CEEB Advanced Placement Examination may count this credit toward a major or minor in French and Francophone Studies. Students who have taken the Advanced Placement Examination are still required, regardless of the score received, to take the French placement exam at the College to determine the next appropriate course.

Special Notes: majors

  • Majors may place out of FREN 20100  , FREN 20300  , and FREN 21600  , depending on their high school preparation in French.  In addition, appropriate courses taken as part of study abroad may replace core courses (contingent upon approval by department).
  • The department actively supports double majors and will work closely with students to design an appropriate program of study. Students in recent years have combined their French and Francophone Studies major with majors in Art and Art History, Chemistry, English, Economics, Global and International Studies, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, and Spanish.
  • Study Abroad is strongly recommended, without being a formal requirement for the major.  Students are encouraged to discuss study abroad opportunities early on with departmental faculty members and with the Global Engagement Office.  Students completing a semester in France or another French-speaking country may count up to four courses taken abroad toward the major.  When registering for courses abroad, students are strongly encouraged to select courses taught in French (and not in English).  Please refer to the list of College-endorsed study abroad programs.  In particular situations, students may request permission to participate in a non-endorsed program.
  • To provide continuity, at least one course in French ad Francophone Studies should normally be taken each semester of the junior year (for students on campus) and the senior year, in addition to Independent Study.
  • No more than one French and Francophone Studies course taught in English may count toward the major.
  • Majors are not permitted to take courses in the department on an S/NC (pass/fail) basis.
  • Only grades of C- or better are accepted for the major.
  • Majors interested in French and Francophone Studies as preparation for a career in international business or finance should consider the Interdisciplinary Minor in International Business Economics (see full description under Business Economics ).

Special Notes: the College’s foreign language requirement

  • Students who wish to meet the College’s foreign language requirement in French by taking summer school courses or by participating in an off-campus program whose courses are fewer than four semester-hours are required to consult the chairperson of the Department of French and Francophone Studies prior to such study. Students who complete such courses may subsequently be required to take the departmental placement exam to demonstrate proficiency through the FREN 10100  or FREN 10200  level.
  • If a student registers for and completes a course in French below the level at which they were placed by the French placement exam, that student will not receive credit toward graduation for that course, unless special permission was obtained from the instructor of the course and the Department Chair. 

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