View of Paris.We live in a global and multicultural world that has increasing need of citizens who can communicate successfully beyond their native language and culture.

The program in French enables you to develop language and interpersonal skills while acquiring a broad knowledge of literature and culture through study, practice and experience.

Through language courses that are at once traditional and innovative you will come to speak, read, comprehend, and write in a foreign language with facility and accuracy. Advanced courses in literature and culture will deepen your appreciation of the distinctiveness of the many countries and peoples you study. Opportunities to use your language skills are offered through Bridging Cultures courses, study abroad programs, internships and co-ops.

As a French student, you will study French language, literature, and civilizations in France, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Québec.

A unique feature of the curriculum is the seminar Mediterranean Studies, which brings together advanced language majors and some minors in a capstone experience.

The course explores through language, literature, and art the interactions between the societies and cultures in North Africa, west Asia, the Middle East, and southern Europe, from late prehistory to the present.

Are you wondering what you can do with a concentration in languages? Well, practically anything you want to! Over 100 years of our graduates have used their language proficiency in careers outside the home that cover the entire spectrum of the fields of learning, from the humanities to the social sciences to math and the natural sciences.

In a world increasingly oriented toward science and technology, why study French?

  • The study of French is first about communication. It is to be able to reach across cultures to share feelings and opinions with people who do not speak your native language.
  • Learning the structure of French, one can better understand the workings of one's own language.
  • Using the strategies offered by Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory in learning French develops the mind and allows students to improve achievement in any discipline.
  • French permits access to the great writers and intellectuals of France and the francophone world: their literature, history, art, film, and philosophy.
  • Studying the literature and art of these countries allows one entry into their remarkable cultures: different ways of living, different ways of thinking. Students begin to reshape their view of the world as well as to see their own country through others' eyes. As one comes to know, understand, and appreciate "the other", one is better equipped to participate more fully in a diverse world.
  • French is among the most frequently studied second languages in the world. It is second to English as the international diplomatic language, a global lingua franca.

Required Courses

The major in French consists of 36 credits earned in courses taken beyond the elementary level. FRN 101-FRN 102 do not count toward the major. Students who elect to take French as part of a double major may work out a special program in consultation with the program director.

  • FRN 210 - French Phonetics and Speech 3 cr.
  • FRN 301 - Contemporary French Readings 3 cr.
  • FRN 302 - Advanced French Conversation 3 cr.
  • FRN 307 - Modern France 3 cr. (Culture)
  • FRN 308 - The Modern French-Speaking World 3 cr.
  • FRN 404 - Advanced Composition & Style
  • FRN 415 - French Novel and Society 3 cr.
  • FRN 413 - Development of the French Theater: Middle Ages through the 19th Century 3 cr. OR FRN 419 - Contemporary French Literature: A Seminar 3 cr.
  • FRN 490 - Capstone Seminar: Mediterranean Studies 3 cr.
  • Senior Thesis for students wishing to graduate with departmental honors
  • Remaining 12 credits (4 classes) are electives

Minor - 18 credits

  • FRN 209 - Intermediate French Conversation 3 cr.
  • FRN 301 - Contemporary French Readings 3 cr.
  • FRN 304 - French Stylistics and Composition 3 cr.
  • Remaining 9 credits (3 classes) are electives

For course descriptions, visit the catalog.

Students in a marketStudents are encouraged through advisement and college grants to take a semester or summer abroad in order to experience the living culture of the language and to communicate with native speakers in both academic and social settings.

Our language students have engaged in university study in Alicante and Granada in Spain; Rome; and Paris and Tours, in France — sites chosen by their faculty mentors for the quality of the programs and living-learning arrangements. Our students profit from our affiliation with the American Institute for Foreign Study and our participation in a regional college consortium for study abroad.

Scholarships that fund half the cost of a semester or summer abroad are available from the Russel and Deborah Taylor Foundation for Semester Abroad Study. Awards are granted each year; any student in the School of Arts & Sciences or School of Nursing with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher may apply.

Students can also take Bridging Cultures courses, which are classroom-based sessions during the academic semester, followed by a trip to a selected country, lasting seven to 10 days. Recent courses have taken groups of students to Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, Spain, and Quebec.

Bridging Cultures

Students in Segovia.Bridging Cultures courses include classroom-based sessions during the academic semester followed by a 7- to 10-day trip to a selected country. Courses have focused on Oaxaca, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Québec and Paris.

Accompanied by CNR faculty, students reside in hotels, guest houses, or college residences. They visit sites of historical and cultural interest, sample local foods, attend lectures and performances, and give on-site presentations. They also participate in service learning experiences, such as educational programs for children, community activities for people with special needs and interview local politicians. Each student carries out a self designed project in her major field of study.

In Spring 2013, 11 students in the School of Arts & Sciences got an overview of the history, culture, and current issues of Spain direct from the source, traveling to the country over spring break via the Bridging Cultures program.

Led by Dr. Anne McKernan, professor of history, and Dr. Nereida Segura-Rico, professor of Spanish, the group visited the cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo.

Students actually took on the role of tour guides as they visited museums, places of worship, and other sites of interest, performing research beforehand. They also led discussions of their readings at the relevant sites.

Students with knowledge of Spanish were encouraged to use and hone their language skills.

Highlights of the trip included La Boqueria, a large public market, and Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic church that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Barcelona. In Madrid, the students toured the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, and watched a flamenco performance. Day trips to Segovia and Toledo featured visits to cathedrals and synagogues.

Students kept a daily log of their activities and reflections, which they used as the basis of their presentations a week after returning home.