Apr 12, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
    
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French Major


The major consists of a minimum of 9 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.


arrow View the catalog page for the French and Italian department.  


The major prepares students to be life-long, autonomous learners and users of French, a fast-growing, global language spoken on five continents. Students develop linguistic, cultural, and communicative competence, allowing them not just to hold a conversation in French, but also to begin to think and to view the world through cultural references, attitudes, and traditions that are different from their own. Students complete the major prepared to join an engaged, digitally connected, global community of Francophones, having gained access to the rich traditions of the francophone world and to the challenges facing it today.

Note(s) on Requirements


  • Students who enter the major at a higher level than FREN 206  are still required to complete nine full courses.
  • Any course dealing with the francophone world, taken at Oberlin or abroad, is eligible to count toward the major within the limits detailed in the requirements; two half courses may count as one full course. See French major elective courses.
    • Courses that dedicate at least 30% of the syllabus to French or francophone content may, with the chair’s approval, be counted as partial major credit.
  • At least one 400-level French course must be completed at Oberlin.
  • At least seven of the courses must be taught in French.
    • French-taught Languages across the Curriculum (LxC) sections, which are generally half courses, will count as French-taught credits.
  • FREN 101 , FREN 102 , and FREN 205  are not counted toward the major.

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major


  • Four courses may be counted from approved study abroad programs or an accredited college/university.
  • One 400-level course must be taken in residence.
  • Five courses must be in residence, except in the case of a student who spends an entire year enrolled in a French-speaking university, in which case three courses must be in residence.

Course of Study


Students who are interested in French and francophone studies and are motivated to learn French can, with proper planning, complete a major in French even if they have no previous language preparation.

arrow See the “Curriculum” section of the department’s catalog page for information on initial and advanced placement and course sequence suggestions.  

Honors in French


The Honors Program in French provides qualified majors with the opportunity to complete a special project during their senior year. An honors project entails independent study in French, in consultation with a faculty sponsor, completed over two semesters (FREN 505). Qualified students are invited to apply to the program during the second semester of their junior year. Admission is determined on the basis of faculty evaluation and approval of honors proposals and overall and major GPA.

arrow Find further information about the honors program on the department website.

Detailed Major Requirements


French Major Course Lists


French Major Gateway Courses


Return to the summary of requirements.

FREN 301  is the recommended gateway course for most students, but another of the listed courses may be more appropriate for students entering with advanced prior experience.

French Major Elective Courses


Return to the summary of requirements.