Become a truly global citizen with a major in French, the official language of 30 countries worldwide and one of two working languages used by the United Nations.
Hone your French-language skills, then dive into courses in Francophone literature, film and culture. You’ll have the chance to study abroad at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest, our partner school in Angers, France, located in the stunning Loire Valley. Or study in another French-speaking country and use your language skills as a bridge to a different culture.
When you graduate, you’ll be ready to make a difference globally. You’ll be able to work in key French-speaking cities in the European Union, like Brussels, Paris and Geneva, or apply your skills as a teacher or editor. Work for the State Department or a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Africa or the Caribbean. Or use your language skills in a career in international business, based in the U.S. or abroad.
What do our graduates do?
French majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Teacher at the YEL World School in Perpignan, France
- Program manager for France, Belgium and Greece at International Studies Abroad
- Guest services representative for the Walt Disney Company
- Chat sales specialist for Francophone Canada at Apple
- Master’s student at the Paris School of International Affairs
Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Use the French Major Guide to find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
54 Alumni Who Inspire
St. Edward’s University counts more than 25,000 alumni around the globe. Some are making their mark in the job they started right after graduation. Others have excelled in multiple careers. Read about how they’re all building on the education they received at St. Edward’s.
The Classroom and Beyond
French is spoken all over the world, and being bilingual will enhance your job prospects, your appreciation of arts and culture, and your ability to help people who need a translator. At St. Edward’s you can practice your language skills and learn about the cultures of the French-speaking world through clubs, volunteer and internship experiences, and studying abroad.
Studying abroad is the perfect way to immerse yourself in a French-speaking environment, learn about another culture and understand how people in another country view the United States. You can spend a semester or year abroad at one of St. Edward’s partner universities in France: L’Institut Supérieur de Gestion (ISG) in Paris or Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO) in Angers, a small city 90 minutes southwest of Paris. Or study in another French-speaking setting such as Cameroon, Senegal, Madagascar, Rwanda or Geneva, Switzerland.
As a member of the French Club, you’ll be part of weekly conversation meetups to practice language skills and intercultural communication.
Major Requirements: The Bachelor of Arts in French requires 33 hours of French major courses, which include a combination of courses in language, grammar, history, etc. Of those 33 hours, 15 hours are of Required courses (Advanced students may be exempt; see the area coordinator), 6 hours from a set list of courses, and 15 from another set list of courses. See degree plan.
Electives: Students will choose 15 hours from the following courses to complete the 36 hours required for the major. A maximum of six hours can be taken through FREN 3331 with different topics. A maximum of 9 hours can be taken through FREN 3337 or FREN 3339 with different topics.
View and download the full degree plan for our French major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Introduction to the Culture of France – This serves as an introduction to the contemporary culture of France and the historical development of cultural norms, customs and popular and fine arts of the French people.
- Francophone Africa – Students in this class study literary and cinematic representations of identity, gender, family dynamics, education, and social (in)justice as they impact (post)-colonial Francophone Africa.
- Immigration and Identity in Francophone Cinema – This course explores the challenges associated with immigration and identity in cinematic productions from France, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon and Quebec.
Volunteering or interning allows you to practice your French skills in a real-world setting. French majors have applied their education at organizations including these:
- France Austin Business Council
- Lifeworks Next Step program of summer classes for elementary-age youth
- Posada Esperanza, a family shelter for immigrant mothers and children
- City of Austin Sister Cities Program
- French majors also have helped judge the Texas French Symposium, an annual competition for high school students who are non-native speakers of French.
My research interests encompass Enlightenment French literature, contemporary French culture and film, and teaching French at all levels in a communicative environment that is designed to prepare students for immersion experiences via study abroad.
– Philippe Seminet, Chair of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Associate Professor of French
Students will complete 18 hours of French courses. At least six hours towards the minor must be taken in residence at St. Edward’s University. An additional six hours must be taken at St. Edward’s or in approved study-abroad programs. At least nine of the hours taken abroad or in residence must be upper-division or represent courses in the language beyond the intermediate level.
- FREN 2311 French III
- FREN 2312 French IV
- FREN 2325 Reading and Listening Comprehension OR FREN 2326 Practical Conversation
- FREN 3335 Advanced Composition and Conversation I
Advanced students may be exempt; see the area coordinator.
Choose six hours from the following courses:
- CULF 3331 Contemporary World Issues (approved topic)
- HIST 3320 European History: Reformation Through 1900
- FREN 3331 Topics in French Literature and Film
- FREN 3332 Survey of French History
- FREN 3334 Business French
- FREN 3337 Topics in French Cultural Studies
- FREN 3339 Topics in French Language and Linguistics
- FREN 4350 Internship