The Department of World Languages and Cultures welcomes students to the study of French. Students may enroll in French language courses to meet program requirements or elect to earn a minor in French. The minor in French requires a minimum of 18 semester hours above the elementary level. The intermediate level of the language is a prerequisite for all upper-level courses leading toward the minor. Proficiency credit may be granted for intermediate courses if a student passes specified departmental exams. Students must attain a grade of C or better in all courses taken for the minor.
Why Study French?
French is one of the most important languages in the world. It is spoken in every continent. For instance, half of African countries (22) speak French. It is one the official languages of the United Nations. French language and culture have "molded the soul" of the world.
The Constitution of The United States draws its inspiration from the French Enlightenment philosophers and their ideology. This ideology had led to the French Revolution of 1789, which yielded a tremendous amount of democratic ideas throughout the world and especially in the United States and other Western countries.
French culture and that of French speaking countries have passed down an exceptional cultural legacy on the whole planet. Great scientists, philosophers, artists were from France and French-speaking countries and did significantly influence the US society, culture and civilization (to mention but one instance among many others, Washington DC was built by Pierre L'Enfant, a French architect). From that particular ground, it can be inferred that French culture (and that of French-speaking countries) is a culture of science, critical thinking, and arts.
In addition, French was initially and unofficially the second language in the US, but it was gradually overtaken by Spanish. Consequently, learning French is unquestionably a fruitful and enriching experience. It enables every sincere and devoted student to build a unique and bona fide lifetime asset.