French Studies

The Department of French Studies offers three standard concentration tracks. Please note that the following apply to the French Civilization, French Literature and French Language tracks:

1. French 600 or equivalent is a prerequisite.

2. The overall requirement is for a minimum of nine courses (ten for Honors).

3. Up to four courses taken abroad may count for concentration credit.

4. The senior seminar (FREN 1900) must be taken during the senior year. (Requirement for Civilization and Literature concentrations only).


I. French Civilization Track

The concentration in civilization enables students to develop a multifaceted understanding of French and Francophone cultures, histories and contemporary issues. While based in French Studies, the program is interdisciplinary, calling for the integration of elective courses in departments such as History, Africana Studies, History of Art, International Relations, Political Science, etc. A minimum of seven courses are to be taken in French Studies.

Required courses: one upper-level language course (FREN 1510 or 1610), FREN 0750, and FREN 1900.

Elective courses: six courses, including at least four in French Studies (numbered FREN 0760, FREN 1000 and higher; FREN 1410 is highly encouraged) and a maximum of two courses (1000-level or higher) in other departments. A non-exhaustive list of extra-departmental electives is posted on the department's web site.

II. French Literature Track

The literature concentration provides a comprehensive view of French and Francophone literature and various types of literary analysis. Introductory courses acquaint students with methods of intellectual inquiry and basic critical approaches. Upper-level courses explore a particular author, literary genre, period, or special topic. Students learn how to use diverse analytical approaches, including semiotic, philosophical, psychological, feminist, and reader-oriented methods of criticism.

Required courses: one upper-level language course (FREN 1510 or 1610), FREN 0760, FREN 1000, and FREN 1900.

Elective courses: five courses numbered 0750, FREN 1010 and higher.

III. French Language Track

The concentration in language combines advanced linguistic proficiency with the study of language as a human phenomenon. It combines course work in French Studies with disciplines that analyze the functioning of language (Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences), use linguistic models to study other fields of human behavior (Anthropology), or provide other specialized insight (e.g., Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Modern Communication and Media).

Required courses: FREN 1510, FREN 1610 and FREN 1020 (History of the French Language); two other courses in French Studies (numbered FREN 0750 and higher); and one final independent study course to provide a synthesis of the knowledge acquired in various areas of study.

Elective courses: three 1000- or 2000- level courses in other departments. A non-exhaustive list of extra-departmental electives is posted on the department's web site.

The Honors Program

Candidacy for honors in French Studies presupposes an outstanding academic record, particularly in the major field. Any of the programs may be expanded into an Honors Concentration with these differences: the student will take a minimum of ten courses and write an Honors Thesis. While normally taken only in the seventh semester, students may opt to re-enroll in FREN 1990 (Senior Thesis) during the last semester, in which case eleven courses are required.

Further information on French Concentration Tracks and the Honors Programs is available on the department's web site or from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.




Page last updated in February, 2012.

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