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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


The French faculty at SCU are committed to exploring the diversity of French and Francophone cultures with our students and preparing them to become competent, broad-minded global citizens and culturally agile professionals. Our programs combine rigorous language training with in-depth cultural analysis to develop the practical skills needed to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and a fast-moving global market. Students learn to engage with different ways of thinking and living; they analyze varied forms of cultural production and reflect on real-world and globally significant issues related to politics, migration, nation, gender, race, identity, the environment, global terrorism, and social justice.

Why Study French?

  • French is a world language spoken on 5 continents: Nearly 80 million people speak French as a native language and more than 200 million speak the language French across the globe.
  • French is the official language of 33 countries and is one of the principal languages of diplomacy.
  • French is ranked in the top-ten critical languages to know (of 6,000 worldwide) for international business.

  • French has a long and rich history as a language of reasoning and debate, of philosophy, and of higher education.

What Can I do with a Degree in French and Francophone Studies?

Students who major or minor in French & Francophone Studies are well-equipped to enter a variety of fields such as international relations, business, international law, journalism, education, and the arts. The French and Francophone Studies Program makes it possible for students to double major and obtain a double degree (BA/BS) with most majors offered on campus. Many of our students combine the study of French and Francophone cultures with majors such as Art History, Political Science, History, Communication, Economics, Business, Biology, and Public Health.

What French classes can I take at SCU?

Sample course list:

FR101: Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis

FR104: Translation and Cultural Interpretation 

FR108: French for a Global Marketplace

FR110: Contemporary France: Society, Culture and Politics

FR111: Introduction to the Francophone World

FR185: Sociolinguistics of the French-speaking World


Core courses:

FR11A/12A: The Francophone World: Policy, Power and Prestige (C&I 1-2)

FR114: Literatures and Cultures of the Maghreb (C&I 3) 

FR117: French Orientalism: Representation of Otherness in Literature, film and visual art (C&I 3)

FR173: Immigration, Race and Identity in contemporary France (Civic Engagement) 

FR197: Transnational Cinema (Cinema pathway)

Undergraduate Bulletin

Where Can I Study Abroad?

Study Abroad is a life-changing experience that allows students to gain a Global perspective while helping them foster their professional and personal goals. Students with a Major or Minor in French & Francophone Studies can choose programs based in France (Paris, Lille, Strasbourg, Nantes), Senegal, Morocco, and Belgium.

Visit the SCU Study Abroad website.

Major/Minor Requirements

Major in French and Francophone Studies

  • FREN 100, 101 (in any order), or department-approved substitutions
  • At least one course in French and Francophone literatures
  • Remaining electives in French and Francophone studies to total 40 quarter upper-division units chosen with the approval of the student's major advisor. At least 20 of these units must be taken at SCU or taught by SCU faculty.

Minor in French and Francophone Studies

  • FREN 100, 101 (in any order), or department-approved substitutions
  • At least one course in French and Francophone literatures
  • Remaining electives to total at least 19 quarter units of upper-division work in French and Francophone Studies. At least 10 of these units must be taken at SCU or taught by SCU faculty.

French Academic Advising

French Major and Minor Advising:
Jimia Boutouba

Catherine Montfort

Elementary & Intermediate French course advising:
Nina Tanti

French and Francophone Studies Honors Program

Program Overview

The French Honors Program would be open to exceptional students majoring in French and would provide a directed and specialized course of study that would (1) enrich the current French major requirements, (2) help to prepare the students for graduate level studies, and (3) increase their participation within the department and the campus community. This program would also help to develop the students’ sense of civic and social responsibility by fostering Santa Clara University’s core values of compassion, competence, and conscience.

Requirements for Admission:

  1. Excel in academics.  A minimum cumulative University GPA of 3.0, and a minimum 3.25 GPA for all French courses.
  2. Declare a French major.
  3. Complete at least two (2) upper division French courses.
  4. Submit a completed Honors Program application (.pdf download).

Requirements within the Program:

In addition to completing all requirements for a French major, students must complete:

  1. Supplemental curriculum requirements
    Complete one of the following:
  • A minor or second major, in any other discipline (including, but not limited to, International Studies or International Business minor)
  • Second foreign language up to the level 22

  1. Peer Educator/Service Learning component
    Complete one of the following:
  • Peer Educator
    Student will aid in a French course to help SCU students learn French for a minimum of one (1) quarter with the permission of the professor.  Student will work with that professor assisting them with conversation groups or in class as deemed feasible at the time.

  • Les Petits Bleus in Sunnyvale
    Student will spend a minimum of one (1) quarter acting as an assistant coach for French speaking soccer players, ages 6 – 10 years old.

  • French-American School of Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale
    Student will spend a minimum of one (1) quarter helping in a bilingual and bicultural classroom teaching younger children basic skills in French.

  • International School of Peninsula in Palo Alto
    Student will spend a minimum of one (1) quarter helping the Parent-Teacher Association organize and support classroom functions as well as other PTA-related events in an immersion environment.

  1. Active Role in the Affairs of the Department
    The student will help to promote the activities of the Modern Language Department as well as increase awareness of the student community of the presence of the French Studies program.  The student will attend and support departmental functions, such as guest lectures, the Major/Minor fair, Open House.  Organization and participation in events related to the French Studies program (e.g., collaboration with Le Club Francophone or artistic displays in Benson Memorial Center) are encouraged as well.

  2. Senior Thesis
    The student will be required to engage in a research or independent study endeavor, lasting a minimum of (1) quarter, no later than Winter quarter of his/her Senior year. The paper will focus on one specific area of study chosen by the student.  The study will be directed by a faculty mentor in conjunction with enrollment by the student in FREN 199.  The paper will be written in French, a minimum of 12 pages, double-spaced, with a complete bibliography (not included in page count).

    The student’s paper will be presented in English before one or more of the following audiences: the French Studies Program faculty, SCU French students, and/or the Modern Language Department faculty.  The audience will be assembled based upon availability and cooperation of the above choices.  In addition, the presentation will be open to the public.  The student should present no later than Spring quarter of his/her Senior year. Presentations will be arranged with guidance of the faculty mentor and/or the Department Chair.

  3. 2 – 3 page Honor Program Activity Summary
    The student will summarize and reflect upon the events and activities in which they participated while a part of the SCU French Honors Program.  He/She could include information about their experiences in peer education or service learning, any additional coursework they completed, the impact and relevance of the program on themselves and on other involved, their future plans, and their overall impression after completing the program. Not only will this paper encourage the students to reflect on what they have learned, but it will also offer an opportunity for the program to reconsider its requirements to better serve the students participating in the program in the following years.

    Please refer all questions to Dr. Catherine Montfort in the Modern Languages & Literatures Department

Student Resources


An excellent source to find out the correct language nuance

About French

Accents, dictionaries, grammar, vocab, etc.

French Resources
Online French language learning

Grammar, pronunciation, vocab

Verbs conjugations

Language Guide
Vocab, grammar, readings

Readings, conjugations, vocab, grammar

Tennessee Bob's Famous French Links
A 10,000-link Globe-Gate Supersite! Literature, arts, history, tourism, media, language, education, francophonie etc.

Etudes Litteraires
Literature, Bac, language, grammar

FranceTV Education
Videos and games for learning French

World news

Jeune Afrique
African news

International francophone TV site

Radio France Internationale, World news

Radio France
French radio

Le Monde
Daily newspaper offering analysis and opinions, founded in 1944

Le Figaro
Daily newspaper founded in 1826, conservative

Daily newspaper founded in 1973 by J.P. Sartre, socialist

Weekly news magazine founded in 1953

Culture et Communications Québec
Ministry of the Culture and Communications of Quebec

Maria Khouri-Haddad

“I was sent to Morocco as a Global Fellow to work with a social enterprise promoting women artistry. I was based in Marrakech at the time and was pleasantly surprised to find that most people there spoke French fluently in addition to Arabic and Berber. I imagine the experience would have been a lot less productive had I not been well-versed in the French language.” -Maria Khouri-Haddad, French major