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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


The Major in French

The Major in French


Program Requirements

The French Major Curriculum

The major integrates language skills with cultural content across the curriculum to ensure that students will, by the time of graduation:

  1. understand French as spoken by a proficient speaker at normal tempo on non-technical general topics;
  2. speak French at a level corresponding to the Intermediate High Level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines;
  3. read and comprehend non-technical materials in French;
  4. write French with grammatical accuracy and clarity;
  5. demonstrate knowledge of the geography, history, socio-political structure, and artistic and intellectual contributions of the societies in which French is a native or official language;
  6. understand and interpret contemporary lifestyles, customs, and cultural patterns of societies in which French is a native or official language.

French majors may begin their course work at USC at the beginning, intermediate, or advanced level. Initial placement depends on the results of the placement test required of all students prior to their enrollment in French courses. (Students transferring intermediate-level course work from another university should take a placement test to determine the best course in which to begin.) In their senior year all graduating French majors must take the Senior French Major Exit Exam, which will evaluate their reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability, as well as their knowledge of Francophone cultures.

The major curriculum consists of a minimum of 27 hours of course work at the 300-level and above.

I. Required Core (9 hrs)
FREN 309 - Reading French Texts (3 hrs)
FREN 310 - Advanced Oral Communication (3 hrs)
FREN 311 - French Composition and Grammar (3 hrs)

II. Electives (18 hrs), chosen with approval of undergraduate advisor:
FREN 300 - Phonetics (3 hrs)
FREN 316 - Introduction to Business French (3 hrs) 
FREN 330 - The French Theatre Experience (3 hrs)
FREN 350 - Summer Study in France (3-6 hrs)
FREN 397 - The French Film Experience (3 hrs)
FREN 398 - Selected Topics in French (3 hrs)
FREN 400 - French Cultural History (3 hrs)
FREN 416 - Advanced Business French (3 hrs)
FREN 450 - Selected Topics in French Literature (3 hrs)
FREN 451 - French Literature and Culture Before 1800 (3 hrs)
FREN 452 - French Literature and Culture Since 1800 (3 hrs)
FREN 453 - Francophone Literatures and Cultures (3 hrs)
FREN 501 - La France Contemporaine
FREN 510 - L’Actualité française (3 hrs)
FREN 515 - Advanced French Stylistics (3 hrs)
FREN 516 - French Phonology (3 hrs)
FREN 517 - Introduction to French Linguistics (3 hrs)
FREN 595 - Selected Topics in French (3 hrs)

Students may complete up to half (14 hours) of course work toward the major through study abroad. A study abroad experience, whether a summer, a semester or a year, is strongly recommended. USC sponsors programs in Tours (1 month in summer) and Arras (semester or year). Other options are available through the Study Abroad Office.

For information on General Education Requirements, Cognates and Electives in the College of Arts and Sciences, see French, B.A. , in University Bulletin.

EXIT EXAM: All graduating French majors must take an exam during their senior year to test their ability to read and write French. In addition, students must obtain during their senior year a proficiency rating of their spoken French.

SENIOR CHECK: Each student must have a senior check done in the associate dean's office after completing 90 hours of coursework. Obtain a major card from the adviser before making an appointment for senior check.