French Studies

Bienvenue! Go beyond mastering the grammar of this major worldwide language.

When you study French at UM-Dearborn, you’ll get insight into the vital and influential French contributions to the arts, business, politics and the sciences along with exposure to other francophone cultures. You’ll gain the practical knowledge to communicate well in multilingual settings at home and around the world, joining a community of over 210 million French speakers across five continents.

Studying French also helps you develop and refine the soft skills that are essential to succeeding in our globalized world: understanding different values and perspectives, building empathy toward others, and thinking critically. While traveling abroad isn’t mandatory for French majors, you can take advantage of our exclusive opportunities to study in Versailles, complete coursework in Paris, or intern for a Canadian Member of Parliament.

When you graduate, you’ll be prepared for a career in government service, journalism, or professions like translating and interpreting. Take additional coursework in complementary areas like political science, education or management, and you’ll be ready to embark on a career in international affairs, law, teaching or business.

What Will I Learn?

  • Writing: Write effectively in French
  • Speaking: Speak effectively in French
  • Reading: Read critically in French
  • Comprehending: Comprehend French when spoken
  • Cultural Literacy: Identify and appreciate cultural differences
  • Literature: Familiarity with French literary history
  • Develop understanding of literary genres and traditions and the role of diverse voices within the traditional literary canon

Full list of French Studies program goals can be found on the Hub for Teaching and Learning site.


Visit the University Catalog:

Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the French Studies major and minor.

Learn about degree requirements and coursework for the French Studies concentration in the International Studies program.

Learn which Dearborn Discovery Core requirements are fulfilled by taking French Studies courses.


Making the Most of Your Major

There are opportunities to develop skills and connect with others interested in French Studies beyond the classroom. Check out the French Studies Major Map to get a more detailed, year-by-year view of how you can learn, engage, network and transform your community and prepare for life after graduation.

Get Involved

Join Le Club Francophone (French Club), which organizes various events each semester such as excursions to museums, French film viewings, and sampling of French cuisine in local restaurants. Present your research at the Meeting of Minds or the CASL Research Showcase. Explore UM-Dearborn student organizations on VictorsLink.

Get Real World Experience

Concentrators are encouraged to strengthen their knowledge of French language and culture by participating in any approved study abroad program in France or a francophone country such as Canada or Switzerland. They are also encouraged to complement their coursework by completing an internship in an appropriate government or business placement. They should give special consideration to the international internships available to them in Ottawa (Political Science Internship).

Plan for Life After Graduation

French Studies prepares students with the skills necessary in the modern workplace.  Career Services offers assistance with job searching, resumes, interviews or graduate school applications.

General Program Information

By taking only 4 upper-level French courses, you can get a minor, and by taking 8 upper-level French courses, you will get a major. If you have taken French before, you can simply take a proficiency test, which will place you in the correct course and save you some time. You will take courses in 4 main areas: language, culture and civilization, film and literature. Our courses focus on communication, interaction with native speakers, and speaking activities, all in a lively and supportive classroom atmosphere.

Associated Faculty

Gabriella Scarlatta

Provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs; Professor of French

Jerilyn Mannion

Teaching Professor of French

French Studies Student Video

Viewing the world with a different aspect helps me see things from a different perspective instead of only one.