French Major (B.A.)

The undergraduate major in French offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures is centered on the study of the French language and the literatures and cultures of France and the French-speaking world. Students who complete the requirements for the major can expect to become proficient in French at a level that would allow them to communicate with native speakers, to develop an in-depth critical appreciation of French and Francophone cultures and literatures, and to be culturally sensitive members of society.

The program offers courses devoted to authors, works, and literary and cultural movements that span ten centuries and four continents. The curriculum also includes interdisciplinary courses on relations between literature and other areas of study such as history, law, religion, politics and the arts. All courses are conducted in French, and majors are expected to write papers and examinations in that language.

French can be taken either as a primary major or as one of two majors, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. Appropriate majors to combine with French might include, but are not limited to, international affairs, political science, English, education, film and media studies, history, music, philosophy, theater studies, women’s studies, business and communication.

The French major may interest students desiring a general humanistic education based on the language and literature of the French-speaking world; students planning to teach French at the elementary or secondary level; students who intend to pursue graduate work in preparation for teaching and research at the college level; and students preparing for careers in such areas as international law, business, journalism, international organizations, and public or government service, which require both training in a major foreign language and/or a general background in a humanistic discipline.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

All students must complete at least 10 classes (40 credits).  All coursework required for the French major must be completed with a grade of C or better. Specific course requirements are:

Language courses 1
Students entering major at a higher language level will replace the language courses with additional electives
Intermediate French I
Intermediate French II
Advanced French: Reading and Writing
Advanced French: Listening and Speaking
Electives 2
Select a minimum of five courses from the following Culture, Linguistics, and Literature category
A Road Trip Through France: Baguette, Brie, Bordeaux, and Beyond
Love, War, and Power in French Literature
French Practicum
Greatest Hits of French
Topics in Francophone Culture
Rebellion and Upheaval in 18th-Century Literature and Culture
Les Mis and their World
Special Studies in French Language and Literature
Film History
Comparative Literature: Masterpieces of World Literature II
Language Practicum
Methods of Foreign Language Teaching
Capstone 3
World Languages Capstone
Study Abroad
An approved foreign study experience in a French-speaking country is required, although an approved equivalent high-impact experience may be substituted for study abroad with a compelling justification

While the major may start counting as early as the Intermediate I level (FREN 503), those who enter the major at a higher level (FREN 504, FREN 631, or FREN 632) will replace the courses they skip from the four in the intermediate and advanced language category with additional electives in the Culture, Linguistics, and Literature category. 


More electives required if fewer language credits were completed due to proficiency level and placement.
No limit on the number of classes in English allowed. Students taking no classes in the target language in a given semester will be strongly encouraged to enroll in one credit of conversation hour to maintain their language skills, and many of the courses taught in English will allow students the option to (or even require students to) do some work in the target language. 


Or approved equivalent 700-level course taken at UNH, approved study abroad equivalent, or approved high-impact experience (such as internship with a robust target language/culture component). 


Transfer students must earn a minimum of 12 major credits at the Durham campus.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

French majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements.

Upon completion of the French Major, our students are expected to master:

  • SLO 1: Communicative Proficiency Students communicate in the target language, having mastered the four basic communicative skills at the advanced level according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. They are able to narrate and describe in past, present and future time, use a variety of communication strategies (such as circumlocution, paraphrasing), support their opinions and hypothesize. They can be understood without difficulty by a native interlocutor and carry conversations on a wide variety of topics. They are able to understand native speakers in a variety of situations (academic, everyday life, radio, television).
  • SLO 2: Intercultural Competence During and after their experiences abroad, students are led to reflect on cultural differences and develop cross-cultural competencies. They develop awareness of what it means to interact appropriately and effectively within diverse social and cultural contexts.
  • SLO 3: Knowledge and Understanding Students grasp complex or unfamiliar texts (literary, journalistic, etc.), have an awareness of the esthetic properties of language and literary style, and have developed tools to asses and analyze different linguistic registers. They are able to contextualize and have knowledge of a representative selection of figures, works, and tendencies in the literature and other cultural productions from the Francophone world.
  • SLO 4: Critical Thinking Students are able to critically analyze texts and other cultural artifacts from various areas of the Francophone world, are able to define a position about them, and to substantiate it using research. They are able to establish connections between different areas of knowledge, and are able to collaborate to answer questions and solve problems through task-based activities.