For current offerings, please see the department’s listings on the Student Information Services (SIS) website.
Undergraduate coursework in French falls under two main areas that each provide necessary training for the major and minor in French.
- The sequence in French Language (210 prefix) aims to bring students to advanced proficiency in reading, writing, understanding, and speaking French as well as an awareness of the history and sociology of the French language.
- Students acquire fundamentals of spoken exchange and written composition and become familiar with the various registers of French, from streetwise slang to the highly codified discourses used in international relations, science, or medicine, among others.
- The sequence culminates in the capstone course Eloquent French, required of French majors and minors.
- Also featured are themed courses on the presence of French around the globe and on the sounds of the French language.
- Courses in French Literary and Cultural Studies (212 prefix) focus on the interpretation and analysis of texts from a rich variety of genres and modes of writing in French (e.g., the novel, poetry, short fiction, autobiography, the essay, memoirs, digital writing).
- Coursework in literary studies introduces students to techniques of close reading (explication de texte), linguistic analysis, historical and cultural contextualization, and theoretical questions about the nature, purposes, and history of literature and its institutions.
- Courses in cultural studies push students to engage critically with a wide range of documents past and present, from speeches and illustrations to films, news clips, and current events, and to develop sensitivity to social and historical context. These courses present techniques for situated analysis in a French and Francophone context.
- On occasion the French section offers special topics courses taught in English (211 prefix). These courses are also open to students with limited or no prior exposure to French.
Motivated students are encouraged to pursue study of another romance language or of German. Students majoring in French who are interested in the Renaissance or Middle Ages are advised to acquire reading knowledge of Latin.
Majors and minors are encouraged to spend a semester at one of the JHU-approved study abroad programs, preferably during the spring of the junior year, both to perfect their command of the French language and to gain exposure to the methods and culture of research in the higher education system in the French-speaking world.