French and Italian

Academic Program in French and Italian

Program Requirements

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Study of French is built on four integrated objectives: mastery of spoken and written French; acquisition of critical appreciation of literature written in French, and of French-speaking cinema; the study of culture through cultural analysis; and awareness of the life-changing experiences entailed in the intellectual and personal challenges of learning a different way of being.

We encourage French majors to live in La Maison Francophone (Bailey House) residence hall on campus, where they may immerse themselves in the target language and culture in daily contact with native speakers.

In addition to beginning and intermediate language courses in French, we offer advanced courses in writing and stylistics. The broad intellectual and literary currents of French and Francophone literature, culture, and film are introduced in intermediate courses, and more specialized courses at the advanced level take up specific authors, works, periods, trends, themes, or approaches.

First-Year Seminars provides incoming students with the opportunity to explore specific topics in a small-class environment. At the advanced level, faculty work individually with students in private readings and on senior honors projects. We may offer advanced courses in alternate years or they may vary from year to year, reflecting faculty research interests and topics of current interest to students.

The French major is interdisciplinary, allowing students in other majors to combine their interests in music, history, art history, comparative literature, cinema studies, Middle Eastern and North African studies, economics, politics, and other subject areas with a major or minor in French.

Majors may integrate classroom learning with study abroad programs in French-speaking countries, on-campus activities at La Maison Francophone residence hall, and opportunities to serve the community both at home and abroad.


Students may enroll in first- and second-year Italian. Courses are designed to develop the ability to use Italian as a means of oral and written communication and to increase your understanding of Italian culture.

We supplement class instruction by such extracurricular activities as an Italian Movie Night and La Tavola Italiana, where students discuss current events, in Italian, over lunch.

Other resources include the Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center, a state-of-the art learning center and language lab specializing in technology-assisted world language education.

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