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introduction

course offerings

requirements for majors and minors

the language requirement in french

study abroad

resources

 

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french studies

Requirements for Majors and Minors

The Undergraduate Program in French Studies

The Major in French Studies
Interdisciplinary Double Major
The Dual Major in Romance Languages
Honors in French Studies
Submatriculation
The Minor in French Studies
The Certificate in French Language
Advanced Placement
Transfer of Credit
Advising

French is a major world language, spoken not only in Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland), but in areas of North America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. France exerts a strong cultural influence throughout the world and is a major trading nation, excelling in such areas as aviation, public transportation, military hardware, food, wine, fashion, to name only the most highly visible. France is also a leader in the fields of science and medicine. A sound knowledge of the French language and of French culture is therefore of great advantage to students who intend to major in many areas including political science, international relations, business, literature, cinema, art history, psychology, medicine.

The major in French Studies has a double aim: to promote linguistic fluency in French and to produce cultural literacy in the fascinating and complex francophone world. The major builds on the linguistic skills students have acquired in high school or at Penn by offering a series of advanced, multi-media and interactive language courses with cultural content which students assimilate through cinema, newspaper and magazine articles, literary texts and internet-based material (French 202, 212, 214). Students also take courses focusing on literature (221/222), history, civilization and youth culture (French 223, 226, 227), French cinema (230-231), phonetics (217), French for the Professions (211) which contains cultural information indispensable for those wishing to work in a francophone business environment, and the francophone world (228-229). When students have mastered courses at the 200 level, they advance to 300 level courses. These include literature courses from all periods of the French canon (Middle Ages to the Twenty-First Century, including francophone literature produced by French-speaking authors from countries outside Metropolitan France), courses on contemporary French civilization, the European Union, the bande dessinée (the comic strip, a genre taken very seriously in France), on French and francophone cinema, and several interdisciplinary courses centered on the French tradition of a détour ethnographique into other cultures as the basis for a critique of its own.

Students are taught how to read both literary and film texts analytically. A course in advanced translation, an advanced version of French for the Professions, and a course on the European Union are also offered, to give our students a wide choice in pursuing their interests. Students always have the opportunity to arrange independent study courses to pursue areas not covered by regular course offerings. To prepare students to pursue research either in graduate work or in the wider world, all students must complete a 12-15 page research paper in one of their 300 level courses. Students with at least a 3.5 GPA in the major and 3.3 GPA overall are encouraged to take 398, an independent thesis course in which they write a 30-40 page research paper under the supervision of one or more faculty members. Students who receive an “A” or “A-“graduate with honors in the major. We also encourage students to participate in at least one of our study abroad programs in Paris, Lyon, Tours or Sénégal to improve their linguistic ability, their knowledge of the French intellectual heritage, and their awareness of cultural differences.

Students completing a major in French Studies will be very well equipped to continue their studies at the graduate level, or work in such areas as the arts, business, science or diplomacy. They will not only acquire a high level of proficiency in French but will also hone their analytical skills, and receive invaluable training in cultural literacy, an indispensable tool for operating in any field of endeavor that involves contact with France and francophone countries.

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The Major in French Studies

The major consists of 12 French courses above French 200. To declare a major, students should meet with the Undergraduate Coordinator and the Undergradute Chair, who will approve a course of studies.

Required Courses
French 212 or 214: “Advanced Grammar and Composition” or “Advanced Composition and Conversation” or equivalent
French 221 or 222: “Perspectives in French Literature,” the former focused on passion, the latter on the relationship between individual and society
French 226: “French Civilization from its Beginning to 1789”
French 227: “Modern France from 1789-1945”

Elective Courses
Eight (8) additional french courses are required for the completion of the major; six (6) must be taken at the 300-level. Of the six 300-level courses, two (2) must be completed in the department at Penn. Four French courses may be completed on study abroad programs. The remaining two (2) credits may be major-related or French courses, taken either at the 200- or 300-level. All courses, except major related, must be taught in french. At least 50% of the courses required for the major must be taken at Penn.
NB: French courses taught in English (e.g., French 250) can only count toward the major as major-related courses.

Research Requirement
All French Studies majors will be required to complete a research paper of 12-15 pages in French with bibliography and notes. Students can choose to do this in any 300-level course taken at Penn during the senior year, and should consult with the instructor, who will certify that the student has completed the research requirement. One copy of the paper must be submitted to the Undergraduate Chair before the major certification is approved for graduation.

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Interdisciplinary Double Major

French plus any other major outside of Romance Languages:
The major consists of 12 course units, at least 9 of which are in French Studies above French 200 (up to three courses can be major-related). To declare a major, students should meet with the Undergraduate Coordinator and the Undergraduate Chair, who will approve a course of studies.

Required courses in French Studies:
(a) French 212 or 214, 221 or 222, 226 and 227
(b) Two (2) additional French Studies courses at the 200-or 300-level
(c) Three (3) French Studies courses at the 300-level

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Dual Major in Romance Languages

The major consists of 18 course units (9 in French Studies, plus 9 in Italian Studies or Hispanic Studies). To declare a major, students should meet with the Undergraduate Chairs in each of the languages elected, who will approve a course of studies. Application to a major must be made by the second semester of the sophomore year prior to advance registration for the first semester of the junior year.

Required courses in French Studies:
(a) French 212 or 214, 221 or 222, 226 and 227
(b) Two (2) additional courses at the 200- or 300-level
(c) Three (3) French Studies courses at the 300-level [one (1) course may be major-related]
Other Romance Language: students should consult the appropriate Undergraduate Chair for the other nine (9) courses.

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Honors

Applicants for honors majors should have during the fall term of their senior year an average of at least 3.5 in the major and at least a 3.3 overall GPA. Students register for French 398 (1 course) in the spring semester of their senior year and write a senior thesis in French of approximately 30-40 pages in length under the supervision of a faculty member whose area of expertise coincides with the subject of the thesis. In order to qualify for honors in French Studies, students must receive at least an A- in French 398. Otherwise they simply receive one course unit for their thesis, but do not graduate with honors in their major.

Interested majors should confer with the Undergraduate Chair early in the fall semester of their senior year to select a thesis advisor and to discuss the requirements of the Honors Program.

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Submatriculation

Under College regulations, the department allows exceptional students whose work is of high quality and who complete most of the major requirements by the end of the junior year to submatriculate and begin to take courses at the graduate level in French, Hispanic and/or Italian Studies before completing the B.A. This option is above all for those considering pursuing a Ph.D. in a Romance Language subsequently. Submatriculants must take eight (8) graduate courses, four (4) of which may double-count towards the B.A. and the M.A. See the College Handbook for details and consult with both the Undergraduate and Graduate Chairs of the appropriate section.

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The Minor in French Studies

The minor consists of 6 courses above French 200.

Required courses
French 212 or 214: “Advanced Grammar and Composition” or “Advanced Composition and Conversation” or equivalent
French 221 or 222: “Perspectives in French Literature,” the former focused on passion, the latter on the relationship between individual and society
Elective courses
Four (4) courses may be taken at the 200- or 300-level; 50% of courses must be taken in the department at Penn. All courses must be taught in French.

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The Certificate in French Language

Students who have completed any three courses in the 200-300 level sequence are eligible for the Language Certificate in French. At least two (2) of these courses must be taken in the department at Penn. Only courses taught in French count toward the Certificate. A "B+" average is required across the three courses.To apply for the certificate, please e-mail the Undergraduate Coordinator with a list of the relevant courses.

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Advanced Placement

As of the entering class of 2012, only one course credit for Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate (i.e., French 210 and French 220) may be counted toward the major or minor. The other will count as a college elective.

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Transfer of Credit

In order to evaluate requests for transfer credit, the following material should be provided with a Transfer Credit Application: a catalogue course description, an actual course syllabus, list of assigned readings and texts used, corrected and graded tests, examinations, and/or papers used for evaluating student's work. Credit will be awarded only for courses taken in time frames equivalent to SAS schedules (semester and summer sessions).

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Advising

The Department of Romance Languages maintains a web site at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/roml. It is a repository for all information about the Department, including course descriptions, profiles of the faculty, requirements for major and minor programs, etc. For advising on French language courses, contact the Language Program Director; for advising on major and minor programs, transfer credit, and general advising on French courses and programs abroad, contact the Undergraduate Chair.


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This page last modified on: March 28, 2012
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