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French

Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Learning French means learning to communicate in French in a variety of social and professional settings. Students learn about the culture, language, history, literature and media of the 35 French-speaking countries that make up the Francophone world. Students develop their language proficiency—listening, speaking, reading and writing skills—in interactive classroom settings, in our individualized instruction program, and in study abroad settings in France, Canada and Senegal. 

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in French within the College of Arts and Sciences. Interested students should contact the undergraduate advisor in the Department of French and Italian and in Arts and Sciences Advising.

The more high school French taken the better, because students will take a placement test in French once admitted to the university. Students who place above the 1000-level French courses save themselves time and money.

Courses throughout the undergraduate curriculum are enriched by the use of media and Internet resources such as online newspapers, magazines, YouTube, music CDs and videos, television programs, and through videoconferencing with French speakers around the world. As students progress, they choose from a variety of intermediate- and advanced-level language, culture, literature and film courses. A major in French consists of no fewer than 30 hours of French courses at the 3000 level and above. 

French major options 

Students must complete a prerequisite French sequence (French 1101, 1102, 1103 and 2101) before enrolling in the major. A major in French consists of no fewer than 30 hours of French courses at the 3000 level and above. No more than half of the required hours can be transferred to Ohio State from another institution or earned through credit by examination. 

Course work requirements include:

  • French 3101
  • French 4100 or 5101
  • Additional French courses at the 3000 level or above

Find more information on degree requirements on the Department of French and Italian's website. Students can select from a wide variety of courses to tailor the French major to their individual interests. Examples include:

  • Students interested in using French in a professional context might consider French 3103 (Conversation); French 3401 and 3402 (French and Francophone Cultures); French 3501 (French for the Professions); and French 5102 (Translation).
  • Students seeking careers as educators will benefit from French 3301 (Discovering Second Language Acquisition).
  • Students interested in the international Francophone world should take a look at French 3202 (Introduction to Francophone Literatures); French 3402 (Introduction to Francophone Cultures); French 5205 (Black Africa and Diaspora: Texts and Contexts); French 5206 (North Africa: Texts and Contexts); and French 5207 (Quebec: Texts and Contexts).
  • Students interested in cinema or the visual arts may enjoy French 2801 (French and Francophone Cinema); French 4053 (French and Italian Cinema); French 5701 (Topics in French and Francophone Cinema); and French 5702 (Studies in Contemporary French Cinema).

French minor options 

Students interested in a minor in French should contact the Department of French and Italian's minor advisor to discuss their career or personal goals and to select the courses that best suit these goals.

A minor in French consists of 12 credit hours, including French 3101 and three additional courses taught in French at the 3000 level or above (at least one of which must be at the 4000 level or above). No more than half of the required hours can be transferred to Ohio State from another institution or earned through credit by examination. 

Students must complete a prerequisite French sequence (French 1101, 1102, 1103 and 2101) before enrolling in the minor. 

Students are encouraged to study abroad—either for the summer, a semester or an academic year—and should begin considering and planning for a study abroad program as soon as they have decided to major in French. Programs are offered in France (e.g., Montpellier, Nantes, Paris) or in Quebec (Université Laval, Quebec City) and Dakar, Senegal.

Students interested in studying abroad during their junior or senior year can obtain specific information about various programs from the Office of International Affairs

Students are encouraged to work with the Department of French and Italian and the Office of International Affairs to set up service or business internships either here or abroad.

Honors students in the French major are encouraged to write their Honors research thesis with a professor specializing in their area of interest.

Learn more about the Honors and Scholars Programs at honors-scholars.osu.edu.

Ohio State offers many opportunities for students to use their French outside of the classroom. At Ohio State, students can participate in Café +, a French conversation table in Hagerty Hall’s Crane Café, and they can join in the activities of the French Club.

French is applicable in a variety of settings in the United States and abroad. Mastery of French allows students to consider careers in education, government, business, print and electronic media, scientific and medical research, and trade and tourism industries. Many employers are eager to hire graduates who are fluent in French because their businesses involve French speakers.

Careers where French is the primary emphasis include teaching French at all levels; interpreting and translating for the United Nations, government, or for private and public organizations; and a variety of positions in the travel and tourism industry at home or abroad such as flight attendant, travel agent and tour guide. Careers where proficiency in French is a good secondary tool include banking and finance, business, sales, export purchasing, foreign market analysis, journalism, foreign correspondence, science and research, library science, hotel management, publishing, radio broadcasting, or teaching English in a French-speaking country to employees in corporations abroad.

Ohio State graduates with French degrees have chosen jobs such as international desk associate at Bank One, buyer for Unishops Inc., trade specialist for the Ohio Department of Development, French teacher in Columbus Public Schools and director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.