Why Study French?
A major in French allows you to become well-versed in language as well as international cinema and literature while learning to analyze and interpret communication with a thorough understanding of cultural differences. We provide students with real communication skills that are in-demand in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. Our students graduate not just with French language skills but also with an understanding of cultural differences and the ability to analyze different types of communication.
You’ll enjoy small classes that allow you to get to know your classmates, as well as our French faculty, who are dedicated to undergraduate education. And French majors also have the opportunity to participate in Temple University’s summer study program in Paris and can apply for a generous, merit-based scholarship to help cover the costs. The French major is an excellent and dynamic path for students who are interested in the wider world. Immerse yourself in the study of the language while also learning about French and Francophone cultures — from historical time periods to the present day.
The French major helps students develop skills in reading, writing and oral communication while providing them with a rich understanding of the literature, cinema and traditions of one or more Francophone cultures. As they improve their linguistic skills and study various forms of cultural production, French majors also strengthen their ability to analyze and interpret in a way that enhances their overall education. French majors complete the program with an ability to communicate, a grounding in literary tradition and an awareness of cultural differences that has become increasingly important in today’sworld. Majors acquire the knowledge and intellectual skills needed to participate fully in French speech communities as well as an understanding of the multicultural realities of those communities.
The French program offers a full array of courses ranging from introductory language courses to advanced-level literature, film and culture courses taught in French.
Join a Community That Cares
Our French bachelor’s degree helps students acquire a deep understanding of the French language as well as the literature, cinema, history and traditions of one or more Francophone cultures. Students perfect their linguistic skills and study various forms of cultural production from other nations. They strengthen their ability to analyze and interpret the language and culture—and gain insight into their own identities and assumptions.
French students are part of a small and dynamic learning community within the larger university, which means you can benefit from one-on-one time with faculty while establishing close bonds with your peers. Because the French program is devoted solely to undergraduate education, students have our faculty’s full attention.
Students also have the opportunity to engage with French-speaking communities in Greater Philadelphia and participate in activities promoted by French- related institutions like the Alliance Française, the French-American Chamber of Commerce, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Washington, DC.
A World Language
More than 200 million people speak French on five continents. La Francophonie, the international organization of French-speaking countries, comprises 68 states and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the ninth most widely spoken language in the world. French and English are also the only languages taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for more than 750,000 learners.
A Language for the Job Market
An ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and North and sub-Saharan Africa). As the world’s fifth-biggest economy and number-three destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner.
The Language of Culture
French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theater, visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature, films and songs in their original language. French is also a language for travel: France is the world’s number-one tourist destination and attracts more than 70 million visitors per year. A little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all France’s regions, offering insights into French culture, mentality and way of life. French also comes in handy when traveling to places like Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco and the Seychelles.
The other language of international relations: French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg. It’s a language that opens up the world: after English and German, French is the third-most-used language on the internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and news from the leading French-language international media.
A language for learning other languages: French is a good base for learning other languages, especially Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) as well as English since 50% of current English vocabulary is derived from French. The language of love and reason: Learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.