French is the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the lavender fields of Provence, Swiss chalets, Belgian beer, and the crêpes of Bretagne. French is found in the vibrant culture of Senegal and the poetry of Haiti, from the beaches of Côte d'Ivoire to the streets of Montreal and New Orleans. You can travel the world by means of this global language. Fire up your language skills with courses in conversation, grammar, phonetics, or composition and then a whole world of literature, film, and culture will be yours.
Why major in French?
With over 120 million speakers worldwide, French is among the most widely-spoken modern languages. France is a major economic and political force in Europe and the world, holding one of five permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
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. Many different versions of French exist in diverse places such as Benin, Belgium, Louisiana, and Montreal. In addition to gaining a solid language foundation, you will explore these linguistic and cultural variations while examining literature, art, cinema, history, and popular culture.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa, I can't even begin to explain how helpful my French studies at IU were in preparing me to live and work in a francophone country. I'm very grateful for Mme. Gray and all the other professors who helped me in the pursuit of a quality French education.Taitum Caggiano (BA French, 2018)
French can open doors
The Bachelor of Arts 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, our department offers a course in Business French.
See the French B.A. degree requirements here
Preparation for your future
A major in French is great preparation for many different careers. In addition to language proficiency, French majors acquire advanced skills in general communication, analytical reasoning, and multicultural understanding, among others, that are highly valuable in a variety of professions.
While some 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, our students report back to us that their training in French enhanced their professional and academic opportunities.
Studying French at IU encouraged me to be a more open-minded thinker, taking multiple perspectives when reading literature and also when writing about it.Melissa Troyer, B.A. French 2008, B.S. Cognitive Science 2008