BA in French Language, Literature, and Culture

The French major offers a rigorous course of study that builds analytical, writing, and linguistic skills. Our program centers on the discipline of literature as a gateway to culture – it is a vehicle for the exploration of complex ideas in ways that develop and hone understanding of French and Francophone culture and French language.

The French major focuses on three main objectives:

  1.     Students acquire a thorough knowledge of the French literary tradition.
  2.     Students strengthen their analytical and writing skills at each course level.
  3.     Students are exposed to the multiplicity of cultural and linguistic perspectives in the French and Francophone world.

The BA in French Language, Literature and Culture consists of at least 30 credit hours (or 10 courses) including:

  •     FREN 2006 (Language, Culture and Society II)
  •     FREN 3100 (Introduction to French Literature)
  •     At least four 3000-level courses in addition to FREN 3100 (12 credit hours)
  •     At least two 4000-level courses (3 credit hours)
  •     Proseminar (6 credit hours) In their senior year, students must complete the Proseminar course (FREN 4910 in the fall and FREN 4920W in the spring), culminating in a senior essay of approximately 20 pages.
  •     Up to two courses in a related field may be taken from other departments in consultation with an advisor (i.e. in History, Art History, Political Science, International Relations, English, etc.)
  •     In addition to FREN 3100 and FREN 4910/FREN 4920W, four courses must be in French literature and culture
  •     At least four courses counted towards the major must be taken at GW
  •     Columbian College Requirements:

Students must complete all major requirements for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Depending on the student's year, these will either be the General Curriculum Requirements (GCRs) or General Education: Perspective, Analysis, and Communication (G-PACs). Please consult with your advisor to confirm whether you must satisfy the GCR or G-PAC requirements.

  • Note: 3000-level courses are designed to introduce students to literary analysis and major trends in French literary history. 4000-level courses are advanced in-depth explorations of specific topics and build upon prior coursework. It is strongly recommended that students take 3000-level courses before continuing on to the 4000 level. 

French Major Advising

Masha Belenky

“I think the French major is a gem in a sea of overly-perused concentrations at GW. Besides its many strengths, it becomes extremely personalized when there are only 7 of you in a 2500-person class. The Proseminar was the only course I looked forward to attending every week and its intimacy made each and every one of us feel special. I'm not exaggerating when I say I learned the most about a subject I was passionate about from that class."

Annabel de Braganca, Class of 2011