Major

The program for Majors in French consists of 14 courses:

Prerequisite: Completion of FRENCH 201 or equivalent proficiency.
  • Up to five 200-level courses taught in French including
    • 202
    • 210 or 211
    • At least one, but no more than two of the following: 271, 272, 273
  • At least nine 300-level courses, including:    
    • At least one advanced language course chosen from 301-309, 391, 393. See below for exceptions for native speakers and study abroad students.
    • At least four literature/culture courses, selected from 310 through 390.  At least two must be on the period prior to 1800.  
    • One senior seminar, French 395: Advanced Studies in Culture and Thought, offered annually in winter quarter
  • Up to two courses taught in English at the 300-level may be counted towards the major. One may be a course offered outside the department with at least 50% French content. In this case, the course may not count as one of the above required "core" literature/culture courses, but rather as an elective. See the list below for courses regularly offered outside the department with the requisite French content. Other courses may be approved at the discretion of the DUS.
    • Art History 350-1,2: 19th-Century Art; History 342-1,2: History of Modern France; History 341-0: Paris: World City, 1700 to the Present; Phil 315: Studies in French Philosophy

*No more than one independent study French 399 may be taken as part of the major, unless the student is undertaking an honors thesis.

Exceptions and Waivers

For students who start French studies at Northwestern in the beginning or intermediate series (111, 115 or 121-1), the prerequisite course 201 may be substituted for one elective course at the 200 level.  Students with an AP of 5 or departmental advanced placement who begin work at an advanced level and skip 202 may waive one course at the 200-level. In this case, their total course requirement for the French major will be 13 courses, with a maximum of four 200-level courses and at least 9 300-level courses.

Study Abroad

Students returning from study abroad in French-speaking locations may apply credit to the French major for up to two eligible courses for an intensive summer program, three courses for fall semester, four for winter/spring semester, and seven for a year-long program. Eligible courses are those that are taught in French and pertain to France and the Francophone world. They may be based in the humanities or social sciences, inclusive of topics in French language, literature, culture, art, history, society, philosophy and politics, among others. French majors who study abroad may fulfill the 300-level language course requirement with a language course taken abroad or request a waiver in the event that they have attained a high degree of French proficiency while abroad. Final decisions on course transfer credit for the major are made by the DUS upon review of course syllabi and assignments. Students are advised to discuss the issue of course credit with the DUS before applying to study abroad.

Native Speakers

Students with native or near-native proficiency in French are eligible to waive the two required language classes (French 202 and one 300-level French language class) providing they can demonstrate advanced proficiency in writing. In this case, their total course requirement for the major will be 12 courses. Please see the DUS or Placement Advisor for details.

Residency Requirement

At least two 300-level courses for the major must be completed at Northwestern.