French

PARIS - OCTOBER 9: Louis XIV statue at the Louvre museum on October 9, 2014 in Paris, France. It's one of the world's largest museums and a historic monument and a central landmark of Paris.

French Program Overview

The French major helps students develop skills in reading, writing and oral communication while providing them with a rich understanding of the literature, cinema and traditions of one or more Francophone cultures. As they improve their linguistic skills and study various forms of cultural production, French majors also strengthen their ability to analyze and interpret in a way that enhances their overall education. Majors complete the program with an ability to communicate, a grounding in literary tradition, and an awareness of cultural differences that has become increasingly important in the world today. Majors acquire the knowledge and intellectual skills needed to participate fully in French speech communities as well as an understanding of the multicultural realities of those communities.

  • The French program offers a full array of courses ranging from introductory language courses to advanced-level literature, film and culture courses taught in French.
  • Our courses are often small, allowing students to get to know each other and their professors well.
  • We have a committed and engaging faculty.
  • We prepare our students to be global citizens.
  • We encourage our students to study abroad.
  • We invite our students to participate in the activities of the French Club and benefit from various departmental events such as film festivals.

Degrees and Programs of Study

Major in French
The French major requires 10 courses (30 credits). Three courses are required at the 2000-level, one of which is a writing intensive course. Three courses are required at the 3000-level, one of which is a writing intensive course/the capstone. Two courses are required at the 4000-level. In addition, students take two electives: one 2000-level course or higher and one 3000-level course or higher.

Minor in French
The French minor requires six courses (18-19 credits depending on the student’s starting point). Three courses at the 2000-level and at least one course at the 3000-level are required.

Foreign Language Certificate in French
This option includes the French for Business course. The Foreign Language Certificate in French requires six courses (18-20 credits depending on the student’s starting point). Three courses at the 2000-level are required.

Curriculum

A student majoring in French can expect to take:

  • Courses in reading, composition and conversation (at the 2000-level)
  • Courses in literature, advanced composition, advanced grammar, culture and film (at the 3000-level)
  • Courses in French/Francophone literature, culture and film (at the 4000-level)
  • One 4000-level course is offered each semester:
    (a) a Topics in French Literature and/or and Film course covering subjects including love and marriage in the Old Regime, French and Francophone women’s writing, France and the United States, the Existentialist group focusing on Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus, Créolité and the Caribbean aesthetic, realist literary movements, representations of vampires in literature and film, portraits of childhood and adolescence in literature and film, and social commentary in contemporary French cinema
    (b) a course covering Francophone literatures and cultures

A student minoring in French can expect to take:

  • Courses in language (1000-level)
  • Courses in reading, composition, conversation or business (at the 2000-level)
  • Courses in literature, advanced composition, advanced grammar, culture or film (at the 3000-level)

Careers

The French major is a great preparation for a career that requires analytical thinking and communication skills in general, which includes the domains of education, business, government service, travel, and tourism. It is a good major or a second major for students planning to attend law or medical school. Studies have shown that learning a foreign language helps raise scores on the LSAT, GRE, and MCAT exams. This course of study also proves valuable to anyone who plans to work for a multinational corporation.

The program helps prepare students enrolled in the School of Education for careers teaching French and provides the opportunity to students enrolled in the Fox School of Business to acquire a certificate in French with a special course on French in the business world.

Recent graduates with the French major also majored in Education, Business, Political Science and History to pursue careers in the fields of education, business, law, government, social media and journalism.

Recent Temple graduates include students pursuing graduate degrees in French, High School and Middle School French teachers, numerous teaching assistants in France (in cities such as Montpellier, Nancy, Nice and Tours), a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, an executive assistant at Chanel’s American headquarters (Manhattan), a Lead Annotator at the Linguistic Data Consortium (University of Pennsylvania), and a food and travel writer who is the recent author of a guide to green spaces (Paris).

Learn more about the Teaching Assistant Program in France by visiting https://www.tapif.org/

Tutoring

The French program nominates qualified advanced students (French majors taking courses at the 3000- or 4000-level) with a strong interest in education to serve as tutors for students in the lower-level courses (1000-level).

Awards/Scholarships

The department of FGIS offers Marthe Lavallée-Williams Study Abroad Scholarships & Grants ranging from $2,000-8,000 to CLA undergraduate students in good academic standing. Assorted awards support language study in France or Italy for 1 semester, 1 academic year or 1 summer.

The French section of the FGIS department offers the following scholarships and prizes:

SENIOR: MARTHE LaVALLÉE-WILLIAMS PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN FRENCH – Established in 2010 by a bequest from Dr. Marthe LaVallée-Williams, a former faculty member, this award is given to a student majoring in French who has excelled in the study of the French language.

SENIOR: ROSEMARY HODGINS PRIZE IN FRENCH – This award is given by the Department of French, German, Italian, Slavic to a member of the graduating class in recognition of excellence in French studies.

JUNIOR: BERNARD J. RADOFF (CLA ’51, ’68) MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP – Established by Annette S. Radoff, in memory of her uncle, Bernard J. Radoff, CLA ’51, ’68, this award is given to the junior majoring in French who has the highest grade point average in his or her major for the preceding three years. The scholarship is to be used in the fourth year.

ANY LEVEL: MARTHE LAVALLÉE-WILLIAMS FRENCH CLUB LEADERSHIP PRIZE -Established by a bequest from Dr. Marthe Lavallée-Williams, a former faculty member, this award is given to a member of the French Club whose record of leadership and service has been exceptional.

The Alliance française de Philadelphie offers the Pierre C. Fraley Scholarship for French majors/summer study abroad.

Temple’s Education Abroad awards the Vira I. Heinz Study Abroad Scholarship for Women for summer study abroad. Learn more.