French Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 30 (27 for second majors)

Required Courses

French 307DCultural Expression3
French 321 or 322One "In-Perspective" course3
Topics I: In Persepctive
Topics II
French 360 or 361One "Thinking-It-Through" course3
Thinking-It-Through II
French 370s-390sOne "In-Depth" course3
French 4xxTwo 400-level seminars6

Students pursuing the major earn the remainder of their credits by taking our rich 300- and 400-level elective offerings in French and Francophone literature, language, culture, and related disciplines in the arts and sciences. Majors may count one course taken abroad toward the satisfaction of their Thinking-It-Through or In-Depth requirement. Students also may count as elective credit toward the major one 3-credit course that is taught in English by a member of the French faculty, either within or beyond the department at Washington University. This course must be at the 300 level or above and does not replace any specifically required course.

Additional Information

Courses taken Pass/Fail do not count toward the major. Students must maintain an average of B- or higher and are expected to maintain a B average or better in all French courses. Both 400-level courses required for the major must be taken at Washington University. All primary majors must complete a capstone experience by achieving a B+ or better in one of the 400-level seminars.

Study Abroad

We encourage French majors to participate in a study abroad program. Summer programs are available in Paris, Nice, and Senegal, and semester- and year-long programs are available in Toulouse and Paris. Three credits from the Senegal program, and up to 6 credits from each of the others, can count toward the major. Those interested in studying in other historically French-speaking countries should consult the faculty. Students should complete an In-Perspective course prior to attending the Nice, Toulouse, or Paris programs.

Please refer to the French home page for more information about French study abroad programs and for our French for the Medical Professions track.

Writing Intensive (WI) Courses

Students wishing to satisfy the university Writing Intensive requirement within their French major may do so by taking either French 411 Intensive Writing in French: Timely Topics or French 4131 Advanced French and Translation. These Writing Intensive courses are not seminars, are not required for the major, and do not replace the major requirements.

Senior Honors

Students who have maintained at least a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.65 through the end of their junior year are encouraged to work toward Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude). To qualify for Latin honors in the major by thesis, a student must complete special literary research and prepare and orally defend an honors thesis, which is judged by an honors faculty committee. To qualify for Latin honors by course work, a student must complete four literature courses at the 400 level (including two in literature before 1800) and present two critical essays written for those courses to be judged by an honors faculty committee. Recommendations for Honors are based on performance and the quality of the thesis or critical essays in addition to the student's cumulative GPA.

Transfer Credits

21 of the 30 units required for the major must be taken in residence. Courses not taken at Washington University may count toward the major only with departmental permission.

Contact Info