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Department of French and Italian

The Undergraduate Major in French

The Major in French is intended for students with good knowledge of French who are interested in improving their language skills and learning more about French and Francophone culture. The requirements for the major are flexible, allowing students to choose their courses according to their interests; many students who major in French are double majors. Students who intend to major are encouraged to consider a stay in France, preferably a Junior Year Abroad, though a semester or a summer program are viable options too (see Study Abroad).

The program for majors in French studies consists of 15 units:

  • Courses prior to 202 do not count toward the major.
  • At least 10 of the 15 must be at the 300 level.
  • Depending on his or her background (check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies), a student may count up to five 200-level courses toward the major (202, 203; either 210/211, and at most two from 271/272/273). Please note that 202, 210 or 211 and 271 or 272 are prerequisites for 300-level courses.
  • Of the 15 courses, up to two may be French department courses taught in English at the 300 level.
  • All majors must take 2 courses in the 310, 312, 314, 316 sequence (at least one pre-1800).
  • At least one additional 300-level course must be on literature and culture before 1800.
  • All majors must take 2 units of senior seminar, 396 and 397.
Students returning from a study abroad program in France or any other Francophone country may receive up to seven credits in French (depending on the length of the program). Courses must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies before the program begins.

Courses in other departments: Occasionally, relevant courses in other departments may be used to earn credit towards the major or minor in French. In most cases, some of the reading as well as exams and papers must be done in French in order to earn credit towards the French major or minor.

Current WCAS policy states that courses offered by other institutional participants in the Semester On-Line Program may count as elective credit toward graduation, but that individual departments or programs determine whether these courses count toward majors or minors. The Department of French & Italian will not credit these or any other on line courses toward the major or minor, including as related courses.

Check with the Director of Undergraduate Studies for information on specific courses.