French/French Studies

(See also International Studies Major)

The Bachelor of Arts in French Studies offers students a thorough training in the language and culture of the 200 million people who live in France and other francophone areas in the world.

In so doing, it familiarizes them with a vital and influential tradition in literature and the arts which spans twelve centuries and a language of importance in the realms of business, politics, science and technology.

French Studies recognizes the need to provide today's students with a broad education in French. Consequently, it requires concentrators to complete coursework in four general areas: language (including the specialized language of business), culture/civilization, film and literature. For the same reason, French Studies takes as its purview the French-speaking world as a whole. Although it places emphasis on France, the concentration also provides an introduction to the other French-speaking countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and the Caribbean which are playing roles of increasing prominence in global affairs.

UM-Dearborn offers undergraduates two degree programs involving French: International Studies and French Studies. Both are designed to enable majors to take practical advantage of the study of one of the world's leading languages and cultures. As they complete their degree requirements, International and French Studies majors acquire knowledge and skills that prepare them for careers in numerous fields, both in the United States and abroad.

Students who do not major in International Studies or French Studies may wish to choose French as a minor or a concentration in the Integrative Studies major.

Please visit the French Studies webpage for more information.

French Studies Major

As designed, the French Studies Program offers graduates a wide variety of educational and employment possibilities. It prepares them for careers in government service, in print and electronic journalism, and in language-related professions such as translating and interpreting. It also enables them to enter the teaching profession and to pursue advanced study in French at the master's and doctoral level. With supplementary training in areas such as political science, law, and management, graduates of the program could embark on careers in international affairs, law, and business.

Dearborn Discovery Core Requirement

The minimum GPA for the program is 2.0. In addition, the DDC permits any approved course to satisfy up to three credit hours within three different categories. Please see the General Education Program: The Dearborn Discovery Core section for additional information.

Foundational Studies

Written and Oral Communication (GEWO) – 6 Credits

Upper Level Writing Intensive (GEWI) – 3 Credits

Quantitative Thinking and Problem Solving (GEQT) – 3 Credits

Critical and Creative Thinking (GECC) – 3 Credits

Areas of Inquiry

Natural Science (GENS) – 7 Credits

  • Lecture/Lab Science Course
  • Additional Science Course

Social and Behavioral Analysis (GESB) – 9 Credits

Humanities and the Arts (GEHA) – 6 Credits

Intersections (GEIN) – 6 Credits


Capstone (GECE) – 3 Credits

Pre-Major Requirements

Students majoring in French Studies must successfully complete FREN 202 or demonstrate equivalent French language proficiency.

Foreign Language Requirement

Complete a two-semester beginning language sequence.

Ancient Greek I and II MCL 105 and MCL 106
Arabic I and II ARBC 101 and ARBC 102
Armenian I and II MCL 111 and MCL 112
French I and II FREN 101 and FREN 102
German I and II GER 101 and GER 102
Latin I and II LAT 101 and LAT 102
Spanish I and II SPAN 101 and SPAN 102
Chinese I and II CHIN 101 and CHIN 102

Major Requirements

A minimum of 24 credit hours in upper-level French (FREN) classes must be completed as outlined below:

Required Courses
Advanced Conversation and Comp
Advanced Conversation and Comp
Specialized Language Course (CAFS)
Select one of the following:3
Language of Business
Cult Intro to French Business
Advanced Writing
Writing and Translating
Civilization/Culture Course (CAFC)
Select one of the following:3
French Civilization of Past
France in the 20th Century
France of Today
Francophone Lit and Civil
Parisian Itineraries
Socio-Cltrl Iss Contemp France
Film Course
FREN 332French Cinema3
Literature Course (CAFL)
Select one of the following:3
Frnch Lit: Md Ages-18 Century
French Lit: 19th-20th Century
Workshop in French Theater
Francophone Lit and Civil
Parisian Itineraries
Select two additional upper-level French courses6
Select two upper level courses from the following disciplines: AAAS, ANTH, ARBC, ARTH, COMM, COML, ECON, ENGL, ENST, GEOG, GER, GLOC, HIST, HUM, JASS, LIBS (excluding LIBS 395, 396, 397), MCL, PHIL, POL, RELS, SOC, SPAN, WGST.6
Total Credit Hours24

Majors are encouraged to strengthen their knowledge of French language and culture by participating in any of the approved study-abroad programs.


  1. FREN 339 and FREN 375 can be used as a literature or civilization/culture requirement, but not both.
  2. A maximum of 54 hours in FREN may count in the 120 hours required for graduation.
  3. At least 15 of the 24 upper level hours in French must be elected at UM-D.
  4. A maximum of 3 credits of HUM 485 internship can be used in the cognate area.

Minor or Integrative Studies Concentration

A minor or concentration consists of 12 credit hours of upper-level courses in French (FREN).

FREN 101     Beginning French I     0 or 4 Credit Hours

First course in a two-course elementary French sequence. Listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and culture are emphasized. Course materials promote the use of language to communicate with others and to function in the French-speaking world. (F).

Prerequisite(s): FPL with a score of 101 or FPL with a score of 102 or FPL with a score of 201 or FPL with a score of 202 or FPL with a score of 301 or FPL with a score of 302

FREN 102     Beginning French II     0 or 4 Credit Hours

Second course in the two-course elementary sequence. Continued emphasis on culture and the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. (W).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 101 or FPL with a score of 102 or FPL with a score of 201 or FPL with a score of 202 or FPL with a score of 301 or FPL with a score of 302

FREN 201     Intermediate French I     0 or 4 Credit Hours

An intermediate language course designed to increase the student's ability to read, speak, and write French. The course will utilize a wide range of reading selections representative of modern French prose as the basis for class discussions and written assignments. A systematic review of grammar and oral exercises should enable the student to make definite progress in conversation and composition. (F).

Prerequisite(s): FPL with a score of 201 or FPL with a score of 202 or FPL with a score of 301 or FPL with a score of 302 or FREN 102

FREN 202     Intermediate French II     0 or 4 Credit Hours

Continuation of FREN 201. Further readings in modern French prose, extensive practice in conversation and composition. (W).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 201 or FPL with a score of 202 or FPL with a score of 301 or FPL with a score of 302

FREN 234     French Conversation     1 to 2 Credit Hours

Development of conversational skills through discussion of contemporary readings and the use of communicative activities and games. Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary acquisition by students, on improving their pronunciation, and on increasing their overall fluency in French. (S).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 102

FREN 235     Fren Conversation and Culture     2 Credit Hours

Intensive practice in developing conversational skills through a coordinated program of classroom and field activities in France. Students will read and discuss current materials of various sorts and will perform skits and other oral exercises designed to increase their fluency in French. A series of planned, extracurricular activities (visits to museums and historical monuments, viewing of plays, interviews of average Frenchmen) will enable students to profit from direct contact with the French and their culture.

Prerequisite(s): FREN 102

FREN 290     Topics in French     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Examination of problems and issues in selected areas of French. Title as listed in Schedule of Classes will change according to content. Course may be repeated for credit when specific topics differ. (OC).

FREN 301     Advanced Conversation and Comp     3 Credit Hours

An advanced course in conversation, composition, and syntax. Numerous oral reports and weekly written assignments based on readings from current sources; discussion of a recent French motion picture; translation exercises and the study of specific topics in French grammar. (F).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 202 or FPL with a score of 301 or FPL with a score of 302

FREN 302     Advanced Conversation and Comp     3 Credit Hours

Continuation of FREN 301. (W).

Prerequisite(s): FPL with a score of 302 FREN 301 or FPL with a score of 302

FREN 305     Language of Business     3 Credit Hours

A systematic presentation of the vocabulary and conventions of business French. Students will receive extensive training in composing business letters, reports, vitas, and similar texts. They will be exposed to French practices in correspondence, accounting and record keeping. They will also be required to translate various business documents from English to French (and vice versa) and to familiarize themselves with the specialized vocabulary of computers. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 306     Cult Intro to French Business     3 Credit Hours

An introduction to the practices and organization of the French business world. Students will learn how a typical French firm is structured and how business is normally conducted in France. Special attention will be given to those differences in organization and operation which contrast French businesses with our own. The class will also examine the impact of history and general cultural attitudes on French business practices of today. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 308     Advanced Writing     3 Credit Hours

Intensive practice in writing expository prose in French. Students will complete a wide variety of writing assignments (resumes, critical analyses, explications de texte, and the like) over the course of the semester. Class sessions will be devoted to the discussion of student papers and technical issues related to effective writing. Students should expect to prepare several drafts of each assignment under the close supervision of the instructor. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 330     Frnch Lit: Md Ages-18 Century     3 Credit Hours

A survey of French literature through the Enlightenment based on the study of individual masterpieces of principal French authors: Villon, Rabelais, Montaigne, Pascal, Moliere, Racine, Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Rousseau. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 331     French Lit: 19th-20th Century     3 Credit Hours

The sequel to FREN 330. A survey of French literature from Romanticism to the Theater of the Absurd and the nouveau roman. Writers studied will include Balzac, Stendhal, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Proust, Gide, Camus, Sartre, Beckett, and Sarraute. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 332     French Cinema     3 Credit Hours

A survey of French films from the experiments of the turn of the century to the trends of the present day. Representative silent films, "classic" and "new-wave" movies of the 1930's and 50's, as well as contemporary productions will be presented in their cultural context and the contributions of major French directors to filmmaking will be highlighted. Attention will also be given to the basic elements of film as a means of expression: camera angle, distance, movement, and editing. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 334     Workshop in French Theater     3 Credit Hours

This course will provide a brief survey of representative masterpieces of the French theater. Students will be required to read and analyze a number of celebrated plays and then to perform selected scenes from them. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 336     French Civilization of Past     3 Credit Hours

An introduction to the civilization of France (from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century). This course will examine the social and historical developments and the accomplishments in the arts and literature that have combined to shape the French nation. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 337     France in the 20th Century     3 Credit Hours

An introduction to France of the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Republics. This course will examine the major political, social, and economic issues of France of the 20th Century as well as its contributions to literature and the arts. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 338     France of Today     3 Credit Hours

An exploration of various facets of contemporary French civilization. Although students will consider historical and political developments since World War II, special attention will be given to the values and attitudes of the French, to the contrasting modes of life in Paris and the provinces, and to important forms of popular culture. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 339     Francophone Lit and Civil     3 Credit Hours

An introduction to twentieth-century award-winning texts from the Caribbean, Canada, North Africa and West Africa. Students will analyze the strategies through which these powerful, dramatic, post-colonial writers address such issues and themes of universal relevance as love and the search for identity, while also expressing the experience and culture realities of his or her own country. Representative authors include Birago Diop, Simone Schwartz-Bart, Arlette Coustre, Anne Hebert, Roch Carrier, Michel Tremblay, and Tehar Ben Jelloun. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 375     Parisian Itineraries     3 Credit Hours

?Parisian Itineraries? follows cultural developments in Paris, and literary responses to the specific nature of urban development in France in the 19th and 20th century in France. Students consider urban planning and expansion in Paris through cultural, historical, social and literary approaches, and analyze the connections between cultural voices and urban progress. The object of this course is thus the lived experience of Parisian urbanization through the various artistic representations.

Can enroll if Class is Freshman or Sophomore or Junior or Senior

FREN 385     French Across the Curriculum     1 Credit Hour

Course is attached to an upper-level course in another discipline and taken concurrently with it. Course materials in French are related to the subject matter of the second course and are discussed with a French-area faculty member. Materials are also integrated into the assignments of the second course. (F,W).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 202

FREN 388     Socio-Cltrl Iss Contemp France     3 Credit Hours

The course concentrates on a series of socio-cultural issues that are debated in France today, as well as on a number contemporary cultural and artistic phenomena. Particular attention is given to discourses on otherness and on the ways in which French cultural production and media constructions have reflected, reinforced, reshaped and, in some instances, contested the country?s past and current dominant ideologies, and identities.

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301

FREN 390     Topics in French     3 Credit Hours

Examination of problems and issues in selected areas of French. Title as listed in schedule of classes will change according to content. Course may be repeated for credit when specific topics differ.

FREN 399     Independent Studies     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Readings or analytical assignments in the humanities in accordance with the needs and interests of those enrolled and agreed upon by the student and advising instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. (F,W).

FREN 408     Writing and Translating     3 Credit Hours

A course designed to increase the written fluency of students who have already assimilated the advanced grammatical concepts introduced in the 301-302 sequence. Students will prepare weekly written assignments and will translate and analyze passages written in various styles. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301 and FREN 302

FREN 490     Topics in French     1 to 3 Credit Hours

Examination of problems and issues in selected areas of French. Title as listed in the Schedule of Classes will change according to content. Course may be repeated for credit when specific topics differ. (OC).

Prerequisite(s): FREN 301


Frequency of Offering

The following abbreviations are used to denote the frequency of offering: (F) fall term; (W) winter term; (S) summer term; (F, W) fall and winter terms; (YR) once a year; (AY) alternating years; (OC) offered occasionally