French, the language of diplomacy, is the second most widely taught language in Europe, just after English, and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world. An extensive shared vocabulary makes French one of the easiest second languages for English speakers to learn, and learning French provides a great head-start to students who want to learn a second Romance language, such as Spanish or Italian, or Kreyol.
The French undergraduate tracks cover a wide range of disciplines and historical periods while providing linguistic proficiency and cultural fluency. Students gain breadth and depth of knowledge in French and Francophone World Studies as they earn credits necessary for fulfilling a major, a joint major or a minor.
**French majors must complete four breadth requirements, joint majors must complete any three of the four, and minors any two. The breadth requirements are:
· Earlier literature (e.g., FR 301, 305, 331, 362)
· Linguistic focus (e.g., FR 343, 345, 404)
· Francophone literature (e.g., FR 338, 368, 453, 475)
· Non-literary cultural production (e.g., FR 328, 341, 355, 369)
Students pursuing a BS degree in Engineering, Management, or Biology, for example, or a professional degree such as the BArch in Architecture or BFA in Fine Arts, may simultaneously pursue a second major in French. Since French leads to a BA degree, students who choose this option are technically earning a double degree, not a double major. The double degree option requires a minimum of 150 total credit hours, and the precise number for the proposed combination must be carefully confirmed in the Undergraduate Catalog.
The department requires that at least 50% of credits necessary for a major, joint major or minor degree in French be completed on a local UB campus. The remaining 50% may be fulfilled through any combination of study abroad coursework, transfer courses, placement exams or other pre-approved credit-earning opportunities.
Acceptance into the major, joint major, or minor degree in French requires satisfactory completion of prerequisites through FR 152 or equivalent work, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. Acceptance also requires a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
If prerequisites are not fulfilled through departmental coursework, or if UB credit has not been articulated for qualified non-UB prerequisite work, an RLL faculty advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Studies may advise and, when necessary, determine satisfaction as well as coursework levels suited to the students’ linguistic abilities.
Students who are heritage or first speakers of French must meet with an RLL faculty advisor before enrolling in any French courses to determine an appropriate level of study.
The following is a guide for completing prerequisites in the department, and shows how previous instruction may help fulfill them. RLL faculty advisors or the Director of Undergraduate Studies can assist with any questions.
|No Prior French Instruction||Average Preparation |
(~ 2 years)
|Intermediate Preparation |
(~ 4 years)
|Advanced Preparation |
(~ 6+ years)
|FR 101 (5 credits)||FR 104 (5 credits)||FR 151 (3 credits)||No courses required|
|FR 102 (5 credits)||FR 151 (3 credits)||FR 152 (3 credits)|
|FR 151 (3 credits)||FR 152 (3 credits)|
|FR 152 (3 credits)|
There are several ways for students to fulfill required credits for the major, joint major or minor:
Departmental Coursework (as detailed above)
AP or Similar Credit
Please Note: For all study abroad, transfer courses and/or AP or similar credit, the department’s residency requirement (see above) always applies.