Skip to content

Major in French and Francophone Studies (B.A.)

french teacher talking to class

Request Information


“Dans le monde où je m’achemine, je me crée interminablement.”
Frantz Fanon

Spoken worldwide, French remains important and influential in the 21st century; more so, French and Francophone culture. As a French and Francophone studies major, you will sharpen your linguistic skills, gain cultural competency, and be ready to pursue exciting opportunities around the globe.

While exploring the literature, film, and history of multiple French-speaking societies, you will be challenged by our expert faculty to interrogate language, identity, social status, geography, and power; in addition, you will develop vital skills in textual analysis and socio-cultural criticism. These skills will prepare you for rewarding careers in fields like education, health care, hospitality, and the arts.

Catalog Requirements for:

Why Study French and Francophone Studies at Clark?

  • Explore Rennes, Grenoble, or Dijon, France, or Dakar, Senegal, for an unforgettable semester (or more) through our immersive study abroad requirement.
  • Apply to teach English at the University of Versailles, France, for one year after graduation.
  • Engage with our teaching assistants from France during discussion sessions and social events, and gain individual help with writing assignments at our on-campus French Writing Center.
  • Conduct research using French-language sources and data with faculty through the departments of language, literature, and culturepsychology, or international development, community, and environment.
This is Clark

Our Stories

Dexel Sagoe Moses

Immersing herself fully in French culture

French and Francophone studies major Dexel Sagoe-Moses described her time studying abroad in Rennes, France as one of her best experiences, because she was able to immerse herself fully in the culture she’d been studying for so long. On returning to Clark, she was surprised to discover that one of her favorite parts of French classes was making presentations — in French!

It was like a dream come true, living in France and gradually speaking French like a local. I felt like I had accomplished something; I realized that I’d made so much progress, and I was proud of myself.

The French and Francophone Studies Path

As a French and Francophone studies major, you’ll focus on building the core skills of linguistic and cultural competencies. Eleven courses are required to complete the major, including one course in literary analysis, one course in culture criticism, an advanced topics/capstone seminar, and two courses in a Clark-approved study abroad program. Also required is The National Imagination, which explores and critiques how national languages have been used to build and promote cultural continuity and identity through texts, films, and documentaries.

After you declare a French and Francophone studies major, an adviser will work with you to discuss and approve related courses, as well as to help you identify areas of interest that may lead to an honors project. In the fall of your senior year, a capstone course will bring together all you’ve learned.

Our teaching assistants from France staff the French Writing Center and can provide you with one-on-one guidance on assignments.

Skills you will learn include:

  • Intellectual and Practical Skills — understand and interrogate texts, ideas, and arguments; engage in discussion and debate with classmates; hone your language skills on the level of argumentation and nuanced presentation
  • Personal and Social Responsibility — Question identity, power, history, and social relations across the French-speaking world, and how all of this relates to students and their own lives
  • Ability to Integrate Knowledge, Skills, and Capacities of Effective Practice — Write longer papers, read denser, theoretically challenging texts, and put your skills into practice through a study abroad experience

J. Fannin King Award for Excellence in French
The J. Fannin King Award for Excellence in French is awarded to an outstanding senior majoring in French.

During your junior year, you might be accepted into the French and Francophone studies honors program. Joining the program means you’ll work closely with a professor to create a thesis on a topic of your choice. Examples of recent honors theses include:

  • “Et la santé? Une autre approche pour améliorer la position de la femme ivoirienne dans la société,” (or “And What About Health? Another Approach to Improving the Condition of Women in Ivorian Society”)
  • Confronting the Past? Silences in History and Memory of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Senegal
  • The Ambiguity of Language in Voltaire’s Translation of Shakespeare

Building your foundation

The Clark Experience

The Clark Core allows students to take courses across diverse disciplines, helping them develop critical thinking skills and respect for other cultures and perspectives. You’ll connect classroom learning with action through world and workplace experiences.

Learn More

Faculty and Programs in the Department of Language, Literature, and Culture