French & Francophone Studies Major

Students majoring in French will acquire a considerable degree of competency in the written and spoken language as well as knowledge of the literature and culture of France and the French-speaking world. The Department offers a wide array of courses in language, literature, and culture, and strongly encourages interdisciplinary work in French through courses emphasizing the relation between literature, the arts, history, and society. A major in French is an excellent portal to a variety of careers in the humanities, the economic world, government, and science, and to a lifetime of global awareness and cultural reflection. An honors thesis option is available, including the possibility for these interweaving two fields for students pursuing double or second majors.

Major Requirements: 10 Courses

At least 8 of the 10 courses must be taken at the 300 level or above and taught in French. At least 3 courses must be taken at the 400 level or higher (students are encouraged to take 500-600 level courses, which are constructed with the undergraduate experience in mind), or complete an honors thesis. If you begin studies at the elementary or intermediate language level (language proficiency below the 300 course level), the following courses below the 300 level may count:

  • FRENCH 203 - Intermediate French Language and Culture
  • FRENCH 204 - Advanced Intermediate French Language and Culture

If you begin studies at the advanced language level (language proficiency at or above the 300 course level), all 10 of your courses will be at the 300 level or above.

French majors are encouraged to write a senior thesis, and to consider interdisciplinary topics capable of linking French studies to their additional fields of academic interest.

Study Abroad

Students are strongly urged to study abroad since this is the best way to achieve language proficiency and to acquire knowledge of a country’s culture. Courses taken abroad count toward the core and/or related courses as follows:

Department-Administered Programs

  • Duke-in-France. All courses may be counted toward the major, as long as the courses are approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Courses may cover a variety of topics related to Francophone or Romance Studies. Courses with unrelated content, such as biology or math taught in French, will not be granted. 

Duke-Administered Summer Programs (Office of Study Abroad)

  • Duke-in-Aix-en-Provence. French 212A Intensive Intermediate French Language and Culture counts as two courses toward the major.
  • Duke-in-Paris. Two courses may be counted toward the major. 
  • Duke-in-Provence. One course may be counted toward the major.

Non-Duke Administered Semester Programs

  • A maximum of two courses per semester may be counted toward the major. 

Non-Duke-Administered Summer Programs

  • One course may be counted toward the core-course requirement for the major.