Why Study French?
- For students interested in International relations, many of the world's international organizations operate in French speaking cities. United Nations, WTO, Red Cross (Geneva), UNESCO (Paris)
- For students interested in European Studies, the European Union main offices are located in Brussels and the European Parliament is in Strasbourg, France.
- Today, the majority of French speaking people live outside of France, from Dakar to Montréal, making French one of the most common second languages after English.
- As in all programs offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, French majors and minors will have the opportunity to attend small size classes, meet their instructors on a regular basis. Since we get to know so well, when the time will be right to move to graduate school or to look for a job, we'll be there to provide the necessary letters of recommendations
- For students interested in History, Philosophy, Political Sciences, Pyschology and Art History, many of the greatest thinkers are to be found in the French tradition.
- Students who study French at the University of Rochester can join the extended French and Francophone local community at cultural events, film screenings, conversation hour, and gastronomic adventures!!
- Former French majors and minors have gone on to Dental School, Medical School, Law School, Advanced Degrees in Education, Graduate School in Humanities and Sciences. Many of them attribute their competitive edge to proficiency in a second language an exposure to other cultures.
- French majors and minors are eligible for a variety of academic awards and prices.
Majors are required to take the following courses:
- Four core courses: FR 153, FR 200, FR 202, FR 204
- The elective core: Six other courses above the 205 level in French. In order to achieve a historical and cultural balance to the major, students must complete at least one course in literature prior to the nineteenth century, and one course in francophone literature. With the approval of the undergraduate advisor, up to two electives may be fulfilled by advanced-level courses taken in another department, in comparative literature, or by French 153 taken at the UR. All courses you intend to count toward the major must be approved by the undergraduate advisor.
- MLC 1: Introduction to Language, Literature, and Culture. A primary examination of the ideas of culture, language and literature which are at the foundation of the MLC program. This requirement may be fulfilled by any section of CLT 101, or by another CLT course chosen in consultation with the student's undergraduate advisor. This component should be taken by the fall of the junior year and may be taken concurrently with 200-level courses in the major.
- MLC 2: Major Seminar: A department-wide seminar conducted around a central topic such as "the representation of gender," "postmodernism" etc. (Because the material in the Major Seminar applies to advanced work in the major, students are encouraged to enroll in the Major Seminar (CLT 389) in their junior year if at all possible.)
- French Course Descriptions
Majors are expected to consult with the French undergraduate advisor before registering for courses.
Majors are urged to consider studying in a French-speaking country for a year, a semester, or in a UR-sponsored summer study program. The University is affiliated with the Institute of European Studies program at Paris and Nantes, and the Educational Programs Abroad internship in the French National Assembly, and the Paris Film Program. Work done in an approved study abroad program may be given concentration credit up to a maximum of four courses.
Majors intending to teach French at the secondary level or to do graduate work in French are advised to acquire a reasonable facility in another foreign language.
The minor in French requires five courses beyond first-year French. These will normally include FR 153 (Intermediate French), FR 200 (Advanced French), FR 202 (Introduction to French Literature), FR 204 (Contemporary France), and FR 157 and FR 207 (Summer Program in Rennes), or another 200-level course. With permission of the undergraduate advisor, another 200-level course may be substituted for one of the above. All courses you intend to count toward the minor must be approved by the undergraduate advisor.
- Textual Analysis of Literature in French (H1FR002)
- Studies in Francophone Cultures (H1FR004)
- Introduction to French Language and Culture (H1FR005)
- Advanced French Language and Cultural Studies (H1FR007)
- Modern French Thought (H1FR010)
- Intermediate French Language and Culture (H1FR011)
More information about the French clusters is available via the University's Cluster Search Engine, which can be found here.
When determining the right course level for you, department advisors rely on:
- The results of the placement exams administered by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures;
- Any College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examination scores or International Baccalaureate (IB) rankings that you have submitted; and
- Information on how you learned the language(s) that you know (e.g., setting and duration of study).
For students with previous experience in French, the first step is to take the online placement exam. On the basis of the exam and any other information you may have provided about previous study, the French Program will determine your appropriate level of French study.
For more information on the online placement test, and instructions for how to login, please click here.
Please note that any semester placement you may receive with your online numerical test scores are not University of Rochester placement rubrics. Students will receive a “Course planning, placement, and recommendations” sheet with their language placement information from Academic Advising during Orientation and via email.
- FR 101: Elementary French I
- FR 102: Elementary French II
- FR 111: French in Focus: Intensive Elementary French (Summer)
- FR 153: Intermediate French
- FR 154: French in Screen Shorts: Intensive Intermediate French (Summer)
- FR 155: French Conversation and Composition
- FR 157: French in France (Summer Study Abroad)
- FR 160: The New Europe
- FR 161: Europe Today
- FR 200: Advanced French
- FR 202: Introduction to Literature in French
- FR 204: Contemporary French Culture
- FR 207: French in France (Summer Study Abroad)
- FR 211: Aspects of French Grammar
- FR 212: French Literature in Translation
- FR 230: French Social Thought
- FR 232: Hugo's Les Misérables
- FR 233: Realists and Romantics
- FR 235: Texts Beyond Borders
- FR 239: Representing African-Americans in the African Imagination
- FR 241: Le Nouveau Roman
- FR 242: Théâtre Français
- FR 243: Mutilated Bodies, Mutilated Discourse
- FR 245: Revolution and Romanticism
- FR 247: Black Paris
- FR 252: Modern France
- FR 254: Camus and Sartre
- FR 255: Sartre and Heidegger
- FR 262: French Philosophy Since 1960
- FR 265: Aesthetics
- FR 266: Balzac and Baudelaire in Paris
- FR 270: Women Writing in French
- FR 272: Madness and Postcolonial Literature
- FR 274: Caribbean Novel and Theory
- FR 279: Immigration in French Literature and Film
- FR 280: French Film: The New Wave
- FR 281: French Cinema: 1930–1960
- FR 282: The Films of Jean-Luc Godard
- FR 283: Contemporary French Film
- FR 285: Classical Film Theory
- FR 286: Growing Up in French
- FR 287: Feminist Film Theory
- FR 288: French in Film: Africa, Caribbean, Québec
- FR 289: Philosophy of Art
Prizes for Excellence in French
The Sophomore Book Award
Awarded annually to one or more sopho-mores who show particular excellence and promise in the study of the French language, and French and Francophone literature and culture.
The Rennes Exchange
Each year, the French program of the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures sends a graduating senior to teach at the Université de Rennes 2 (Haute Bretagne). Students teach English for the full academic year and are paid a salary that allows them to live comfortably and profit from the many activities in and around Rennes. Furthermore, they may enroll, free of charge, in academic programs and earn the Maîtrise degree.
The Neil C. Arvin Prize for Excellence in French
Awarded annually to the graduating senior who has excelled in the study of French. The Arvin Prize carries with it a handsome cash award, and in some cases it may be divided between or among deserving students.
(Ph.D., Stanford University), Associate Professor of French
(Ph.D., The Ohio State University), FDI Curriculum Director, Professor of French and Francophone Studies
(Ph.D., University of Rochester), Senior Lecturer in French