French Language and Literature Major

Program Director: Hervé-Thomas Campangne, Ph.D.

The undergraduate major in French (FREN) is centered on the study of the French language and the literatures and cultures of the French and Francophone people. Our faculty members teach a wide variety of courses in culture, literature, linguistics, stylistics, cinema, civilization, the contemporary French and Francophone world, and women's studies.

Students who complete the requirements for the major can expect to be able to speak, read, write, and understand French at a level that would allow them to communicate with native speakers, to recognize and interpret the diverse cultural perspectives and products of the French-speaking world, and to be culturally sensitive members of society.

Students of French have the option of living in the Language House. University faculty-led programs in Nice (semester or year-long) and Montpellier (summer) are offered by the Department, and all students majoring in French are encouraged to participate in either, or both, of these programs as an integral part of their curriculum. Students may also consider a double major in French and another discipline, such as College of Arts and Humanities majors, Business, International relations, Economics, or Journalism.

Students can satisfy the ARHU Global Engagement Requirement by taking the appropriate French language course sequence (103>203), or by taking a higher level French course.

Students must take language acquisition courses sequentially, i.e., 103, 203, 204, 250, etc. Once credit has been received in a higher-level language acquisition or grammar course, a lower-level course may not be taken for credit. FREN387 must be taken before any 400 level course taught in French.

Advanced students of French may substitute 3xx or 4xx level electives for FREN204, FREN250, or FREN301, in consultation with the Advisor.

Placement in Courses

For information about the World Language Placement, go to:

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the institutions, values, and cultural products of France and/or the francophone countries
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in oral expression in French
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in written expression in French
  4. Demonstrate reading literacy in French
Course Title Credits
College Requirements
FREN204French Grammar and Composition3
FREN250Introduction to Cultural and Textual Analysis3
FREN301Composition and Style3
FREN387Critical Writing on France and the French-Speaking World3
Select two of the following:6
Introduction to Translation
Commercial French I
France Today
(Current Issues in the French-Speaking World)
Directed Study in French
FREN351From Romanticism to the Age of Modernism and Beyond3
FREN352From the Age of Epic and Romance to the Enlightenment3
Select four additional FREN4xx level courses in literature, linguistics, film, and culture, of which only one may be in English. FREN387 must be completed before any FREN4xx level course offered in French.12
Total Credits36

Students must earn a grade of "C-" or higher in each course applied toward a major or minor in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Additionally, an overall GPA of 2.0 in a major or minor is required for graduation.

Click here for roadmaps for graduation plans in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Additional information on developing a graduation plan can be found on the following pages:

Study Abroad

The Maryland-in-Nice program is one of the University of Maryland's oldest study abroad programs. Depending on placement, students studying for a semester in the program Maryland-in-Nice may earn up to 18 credits toward the completion of the major; students studying in Nice for the academic year may earn up to 33 credits. The department also administers a three-week intensive course in Montpellier (France). For information on study abroad programs, please see the program advisor and/or the Education Abroad website:

Language House

The French Cluster at the Language House Immersion Program is a living-learning community that promotes language learning and cultural competency through casual daily communication in French. Guided by a native speaker of French, students make a commitment to speak only in French with their housemates and participate in diverse creative activities. For information on the Language House Immersion Program, please see the program website:

Language Partner Program

SLLC-ISSS Language Partner Program (LPP) offers majors in any SLLC program at UMD the opportunity to meet with international students outside the classroom and practice their target language in an informal yet structured way. Language Partners (LPPs) meet on a regular basis at least once a week for one hour of conversation. For information on the Language Partner Program, please see the program website: