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Program of Study (CAS Bulletin)

Major in French

The prerequisite for admission to the program is a satisfactory knowledge of the French language. This is normally interpreted as the satisfactory completion of Conversation and Composition (FREN-UA 30) with the grade of B- or better (or an equivalent course or exam). No grade lower than C may be counted toward the major. The overall GPA in French courses must be 2.0 or above.

The major consists of nine 4-point courses (36 points), distributed as follows:

  • Written Contemporary French (FREN-UA 105). Advanced Composition (FREN-UA 9106, taught in Paris) may be substituted.
  • Three core courses. Every major must take at least one course in the two-course sequence Readings in French Literature I: From the Middle Ages to the French Revolution (FREN-UA 120) and Readings in French Literature II: From 1800 to the Present (FREN-UA 121). The other core courses to choose from are: Approaches to Francophone Literature (FREN-UA 145), French Society and Culture from the Middle Ages to 1900 (FREN-UA 163), and Contemporary France (FREN-UA 164).
  • Four electives. Up to two electives may be advanced language courses chosen from: Phonetics (FREN-UA 103), Translation (FREN-UA 107), Advanced Techniques of Translation (FREN-UA 108), Acting French (FREN-UA 109), and Business French (FREN-UA 110). The other electives must revolve around French and Francophone literature and civilization. With permission of the adviser, students may take some electives at the same time as core courses. With permission, students may also substitute additional core courses, or a graduate course, for electives. Approved courses taken in French universities may count as electives.
  • A Senior Seminar. The Senior Seminar (FREN-UA 991, 992) is typically taken in the fall or spring of senior year.

At least one of the courses completed in fulfillment of the major (either a core course or an elective) must focus on the period preceding 1800. Majors may count one of the department's English-language courses toward the major, but only if they do the written work in French.

Transfer students must complete at least five courses (20 points) of the nine courses required for the French major at the College of Arts and Science or at NYU Paris.

A student who fulfills the requirements above may thereby fulfill the state minimum of 24 credits required for certification to teach French in New York State junior or senior high schools. For information on minors in education, please see the section Cross-School Minors in this Bulletin.

Major in Romance Languages

See the Romance Languages section of this Bulletin for details and requirements.

Major in French and Linguistics

This joint major requires a total of nine 4-point courses (36 points).

The French part of this major is satisfied by taking four 4-point courses (16 points) as follows:

  • One advanced language course chosen from the following:
    • Phonetics (FREN-UA 103)
    • Translation (FREN-UA 107)
    • Acting French (FREN-UA 109)
    • Business French (FREN-UA 110)
  • One course in advanced written French (usually Written Contemporary French, FREN-UA 105)
  • Two courses in French literature (in French), to be determined in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies

The linguistics part of this major is satisfied by taking the following five courses (20 points):

  • One introductory course: Language (LING-UA 1) or Language and Mind (LING-UA 28)
  • Sound and Language (LING-UA 11)
  • Grammatical Analysis (LING-UA 13)
  • A total of two additional courses from two different fields of linguistics, chosen from the following (please see Linguistics in this Bulletin for course titles and descriptions):
    • Historical linguistics (LING-UA 14, LING-UA 17, LING-UA 76)
    • Sociolinguistics (LING-UA 15, LING-UA 18, LING-UA 30, LING-UA 38)
    • Phonology (LING-UA 12)
    • Syntax and Semantics (LING-UA 4)
    • Computational linguistics (LING-UA 3, LING-UA 24)
    • Psycholinguistics (LING-UA 5, LING-UA 43, LING-UA 54)
Minors in French

All students who wish to minor in the Department of French must declare with the department and consult a departmental adviser prior to any registration.

Students may choose one of four programs of study. They may minor in French studies, French literature in translation, literature in translation, or Francophone studies.

French Studies

Four courses (16 points) conducted in French. This minor normally consists of four courses above the intermediate level, to be determined in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. No grade lower than C counts toward this minor.

French Literature in Translation

Four courses (16 points) in French literature in translation offered by the department, to be determined in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. Not open to French majors. No grade lower than C counts toward this minor.

Literature in Translation

See the section Literature in Translation in this Bulletin.

Francophone Studies

Four courses (16 points) in Francophone studies, to be determined in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies. No grade lower than C counts toward this minor.

Honors in French


A student must spend a minimum of three full semesters in residence at the College of Arts and Science. Attendance at NYU Paris counts toward such residence. The student must maintain a general GPA of at least 3.65 and a major average of 3.65 or higher. Students who wish to pursue honors should apply to the departmental director of honors during their junior year.

Requirements for Honors:

  • Completion of all major requirements (above).
  • In addition to enrollment in a Senior Seminar (FREN-UA 991, 992), candidates for French honors must enroll in Honors Thesis (FREN-UA 995), a 4-point course taken over both semesters of the senior year (2 points in the fall, 2 points in the spring). This Honors Thesis course sequence cannot count toward completion of the credit requirements for the French major.
  • The honors thesis should be a work of scholarship and/or criticism in the field of French literature, culture, or Francophonie. The thesis is ordinarily written in French (25 pages minimum); exceptionally, students may petition to write it in English (40 to 60 pages). The seminar professor and the thesis adviser determine based on this work and an oral defense whether to recommend the student for an honors degree. A grade of at least A- is required for the award of honors in French.


In addition to the basic requirements for the major, students also have the opportunity to participate in internships sponsored by the Department of French. Recent internships have been completed at the French cultural services office, the French music office, and the French film office. For more information, please contact the undergraduate administrative aide. Internships and independent studies do not count toward the French major, except with special permission of the department.

Accelerated B.A./M.A. Program in French or French Studies

The Department of French and the Institute of French Studies offer qualified students the opportunity to earn the B.A. and M.A. degrees in a shortened period of study. While still undergraduates, students enrolled in the program may earn up to 12 points toward the M.A. by completing three graduate courses in the Department of French or at the Institute of French Studies. To earn advanced standing, these points may not be counted toward an undergraduate degree, but must be in excess of the 128 points required for the B.A.

Under normal circumstances, this can be achieved by students who register for the maximum allowable number of points in their senior year. Earned in this manner, advanced standing has the additional advantage of enabling qualified students to start graduate work at an earlier stage and in the most cost-efficient way.

Admission to the program is open to students who have completed between 48 and 96 credits with a GPA of at least 3.5 and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major. Application to the program can be made through the director of undergraduate studies in French. Final acceptance into the graduate sequence of the program is contingent on successful completion of the B.A., formal admission into the Graduate School of Arts and Science, and acceptance of the student's application. For more information on the B.A./M.A. in French studies, please consult


The University has two special facilities for students of French.

La Maison Française

This attractive house in the old and picturesque Washington Mews is open to students of French. It has a comfortable lounge, a small reading room opening onto a terrace, and a soundproof music room. Programs of lectures and recreational activities free to all students interested in French are given here.

Institute of French Studies

Adjacent to La Maison Française in Washington Mews, the institute offers graduate courses in contemporary French society and culture that are open to undergraduates with special permission. The institute has a large newspaper and periodical collection and a wide range of videotapes; it also organizes frequent lectures and seminars by visiting scholars, political personalities, and business and administrative leaders from France.

NYU Paris

For NYU Paris, see information under the Study Away section in this Bulletin.