French Major


In a complex, increasingly interdependent world community, the French program helps students become articulate, knowledgeable and culturally aware global citizens in accordance with the values and traditions of Saint Joseph’s University and of the Society of Jesus. We actively pursue this mission by:

  • Fostering proficiency in French
  • Promoting an appreciation for the richness and complexity of language in general
  • Deepening students’ understanding of cultural diversity
  • Encouraging student engagement in active, collaborative and critical learning in the French-language classroom
  • Emphasizing learner-centered pedagogy and care for the individual

Goal 1: Effective communication in the target language (TL)

Outcome 1.1: Students will narrate and describe in the TL in spoken form in all major time frames using connected discourse of paragraph length with general clarity of lexicon and a moderate level of detail.

Outcome 1.2: Students will compose written texts in the TL that summarize, evaluate or describe concrete or abstract items, notions, events or persons, in major time frames in paragraph length discourse, with a lexicon relevant to the topic.

Goal 2: Critical and interpretive thinking in the target language (TL)

Outcome 2.1: Students will interpret and analyze the main ideas, relevant facts and details about works of literary, cinematic and/or artistic expression in the target language (TL).

Outcome 2.2: Students will be able to pursue research, gather data, do analysis and report results by using TL as a tool of investigation and as a means of communication.

Goal 3: Knowledge of the target language (TL) culture(s)

Outcome 3.1: Students will be able to describe accurately in the TL with moderate detail some aspect of the TL cultures (perspectives, products, and/or practices)

Outcome 3.2: Students will compare and contrast in the target language similarities and differences between the students’ own cultures and those of the target language (TL).

Goal 4: Inclusion and diversity

Outcome 4.1: Students will engage respectfully, in a local and global context, with diverse human beliefs, abilities, experiences, identities, or cultures.

The traditional undergraduate programs includes a minimum of 120 credits distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas1:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive
  3. Writing Intensive, and
  4. Diversity

Overlay requirements are part of the 120 credit requirements

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

GEP Electives

A varying number of courses, typically nine to twelve.

Major Requirements

The French major emphasizes the acquisition of competence in spoken and written French, a sound understanding of the structures of modern French, and the ability to understand and analyze literary texts and cultural notions from a variety of periods. All courses are offered in French.

Course requirements for the major in French are as follows:

  • Three courses numbered 202 to 320
  • Seven courses numbered 321 or higher

Students in French are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program such as those in Paris, France.  Please see Study Abroad. Courses from other institutions must be pre-approved by the appropriate Associate Dean in consultation with Dr. Burr, the study abroad coordinator in French.

Study Abroad Courses

For study in Francophone countries, including semester-long programs in Paris, France, see Study Abroad.

French Honor Society

The department has an active chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. A yearly initiation ceremony is held during the spring semester. Qualified students are encouraged to apply; please contact the French faculty for more information.