Major or Minor in French

Why Major in French?

France is a major economic and political force in Europe and the world; it holds one of five permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Over 67 million people around the world speak French as their first language, and French is one of the UN's five official languages. It is the official language or one of the official languages in 29 countries and is spoken in much of Africa, Canada, Louisiana, the Caribbean, Asia, the Near East, and the Pacific Rim.

While a number of our majors choose to enter education as a career, a larger percentage of majors in French combine their language specialization with other studies and pursue careers in business, computer programming and web design, law, public relations, journalism, telecommunications, arts administration, publishing, library science, politics, or public and environmental affairs to name but a few. Some students also use their language skills in order to enter government employment, the military, or organizations such as the Peace Corps. In all cases, students report back to us that their training in French enhanced their professional and academic opportunities.

French Major Requirements


The B.A. Major in French provides comprehensive training in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in French—one of the fastest-growing languages in the world—as well as exploring the literature and culture of France and the French-speaking world. After the basic language sequence, students take courses from a wide range of offerings in French and Francophone literature, civilization, cinema, media studies, contemporary culture, advanced grammar and writing practice, and French linguistics. For students with an interest in international business, the Department offers a course in Business French. For study abroad opportunities, see below.


Students must complete 30 credit hours in French courses above F100-F150, including at least 27 credit hours from courses taught in French. A maximum of 3 credit hours may be earned by completing courses taught in English offered through the French program (FRIT-F courses). Coursework must include:

  1. F300 and F313.
  2. 6 credit hours from F222, F225, F226, F227, F305, F306, F310, F311, F361, F362, F363, F375. At least 3 of these credit hours must be earned in courses taught in French.
  3. 12 or more additional credit hours with at least 11 credit hours in fourth-year courses, including at least two 3 credit hour FRIT-F 400-level courses taught in Bloomington. X490, F496, and F499 do not count as courses taught in Bloomington.

Students should also note:

  • F499 may count for up to 3 (non-Bloomington) credit hours toward the French major, and X490 may count for up to 2 (non-Bloomington) credit hours toward the French major. However, F399 and F496 may not count toward the 30 credit hours required.
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of course work for the major must be completed on the Bloomington campus or on an IU-administered or IU Co-Sponsored French-language Study Abroad Program
  • F399, X490, F496, and F499 do not count as courses in residence at IUB
  • If your first IU French course is F250 or a 300 level course, you may be eligible for Special Credit. Check our "Placement and Permissions" page for details.

The departmental course offerings permit French majors to focus their study on French language and linguistics (F313-F314, F315-F316, F401, F402, F474, F475), French literature (F305, F306, F375, F410 through F459), Francophone civilization (F310, F311, F361, F362, F363, F460 through F467), or any combination of the above.

The above requirements are for freshmen entering IU in 2018-2019. Students must complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences for the year you started at IU shown below.

Declaring a French Major, Minor or Certificate

Students wishing to declare a major or minor in French or a Certificate in Global French are required to meet with our Director of Undergraduate Studies in French.

Photo of Barbara Vance

Professor Barbara Vance

Director of Undergraduate Studies in French | (812) 855-1952 | GA 3171

Office Hours:
Wednesdays drop in advising: 12-2pm (undergrad.)
2-4pm (course advising)
Friday 9:15-12:00 by appt. only
sign up sheet outside of 3171 or
Email to make an appt.

Contact Prof. Vance for advice on French courses, declaring a major or minor, Certificate in Global French and transferring French credits from study abroad or from another university.

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