French Major

French Major checklist

The undergraduate French major brings an explicitly international focus to FAU’s excellence in undergraduate education. French Studies at FAU span the globe, providing students with essential knowledge needed to access not simply the culture of metropolitan France, but also the francophone cultures of the Caribbean, Canada, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. The strong historical focus of the French major provides students with a clear understanding of the role played by French and francophone cultures in the context of the liberal arts and social sciences.

The backbone of the French major is advanced competency in the French language, and all but two of the major courses are taught in lingua. French majors therefore receive thorough grounding in French, initially through courses in advanced language and composition, and then with courses which focus on the culture, literature, and history of metropolitan France, with continuous elective offerings in such areas as "La Femme Médiévale" or "Caribbean Literature."

By completing the BA in French, students develop a significant understanding of the field. This competency allows students to enter a related career or advanced program of study upon graduation. Possible careers involving French include, but are by no means limited to: teaching, publishing, translation, interpreting, law, social work, medicine and business. Students earning a French major can also go on to earn an MA or a PhD in French, Comparative Literature, or a related field.

Students take a minimum of 43 upper-division credits to earn the French major. The credits are divided up as follows: advanced language and composition (6-8 credits), literature and civilization (12 credits), research methods (3 credits), linguistics (6 credits), culture (3 credits), the Senior Seminar (3 credits), and three “elective” courses relating to French and Francophone Studies (9 credits).

The large number of electives relating to French Studies enables students to branch out into three different specializations or tracks within the major.

  • Commercial French (for students planning careers in business and government) entails a core of two electives in "Le Français commercial" (FRE 3440/3442), culminating in the Commercial French examination offered by the Paris Chambre de Commerce each April. Non-native speakers are eligible to take this competitive exam; upon passing, they receive official certification of their French business skills. Additional electives include "The European Union: History, Culture, Institutions" (FOT 3511).
  • Teaching (for students planning to teach K-12 in the public schools) combines the French major with courses in the College of Education, leading to certification to teach French in Florida at grades K-12. Majors concentrating on Teaching are encouraged to use their elective hours to acquire another foreign language. Seniors holding a B average may take FLE 5223 Electronic Media and Foreign Language Pedagogy by previous arrangement with the instructor.
  • Pre-Professional (for students intending to go on to the M.A. degree or other graduate school curricula in higher education, law, medicine) entails focus on culture and literature. Pre-professional majors who are in their last year, and have a B average, are eligible to take introductory graduate seminars, such as French Critical Theory (FRT 6826), History & Dialectology of French (FRE 5835), Intro to Comparative Literature (LIT 6066), and other selected seminars in graduate-level French Studies.

New students who would like more information on these options should contact Professor Munson: (561) 297-2118 / / GS 216 (Boca campus).

All majors must have a faculty advisor and discuss their course selections each semester during Advanced Registration (November; April) in order to ensure timely progress toward the BA degree.

Double Major: Increasingly, many students are combining French with another field in a double major, such as Business-French, Biology-French, Communication-French, in order to open international possibilities in the student's primary field. To graduate with a double major, students must meet all the requirements for both majors, file a "Double Major" form at the Registrar's office, and be sure that a faculty advisor in both departments is monitoring course work and progress toward the degree. For more information about double-majoring, please contact Professor Munson: (561) 297-2118 / / GS 216 (Boca campus).