Why French?

Undergraduate Program Information

valloton 316pxFrench courses expose students to cultures, literatures and a language that play a central role in world history. Through a wide-ranging curriculum, students majoring and minoring in French acquire critical skills, advanced capabilities in reading and speaking, as well as an in-depth knowledge of French and Francophone culture that is highly valued in graduate and professional schools and by employers.

Our majors afford specialization in one of three tracks: literature, culture and linguistics. In all three, the courses are taught by a highly distinguished faculty, one of a handful in the U.S. whose combined expertise covers all periods of French literary history. Our curriculum touches on an unusually varied range of topics, including literature, visual arts, gender studies, language, current political issues, music, film and theater.

French minors and majors are also offered many opportunities to develop a more direct knowledge of contemporary France, either in the French Department’s Summer Program in Paris; or in a semester- or year-long study abroad program; through internships; or through teaching assistantships in France sponsored by the French government.

Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in many different fields, from K-12 education to business, to translation and interpretation, medicine, international relations, scientific research and law.

Learn about the new course Career Explorations in Arts and Sciences for SAS Sophomores and Juniors

Graduate Schools attended by recent French majors include:

  • Columbia University
  • New York University
  • Harvard University
  • Princeton University
  • University of California at Irvine
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Yale University
  • Georgetown University

Find Out What’s Possible:

  • Immerse yourself in French language and culture on campus by participating in the French “Living and Learning” community on College Avenue.
  • Learn French in Aix-en-Provence
    Say good-bye to the polar vortex and spend three weeks in sunny Southern France
  • Participate in the Rutgers Summer Program in Paris, where classes are taught in the morning, afternoons are spent visiting neighborhoods and museums, and evenings are dedicated to theater, music and dance.
  • Obtain interdisciplinary certificates in areas such as International Studies, French Commerce, and Romance Linguistics. Interdisciplinary studies involving French can also be pursued through the minors in Medieval Studies and Cinema Studies.
  • Earn course credits for engaging with French art, French theater, French cooking, the Microbiology of Wine and Cheese and other aspects of French and Francophone culture.
  • Combine the offerings of two departments in a unique French/History major providing a rigorous study of the history of France and other French-speaking countries and an in-depth study of their literatures and cultures.
  • Participate in University-wide activities and programs with an international focus. French students have been involved in projects involving global literature and politics, in Honors program activities, and in projects based in the Zimmerli Art Museum and in the Center for European Studies.