Romance Languages Major, B.A.–French and Francophone Studies

The French major provides students with a more thorough command of the language, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the literatures, cultures, and civilization of the francophone world.  French majors are also trained in research methodology in French, Francophone, and European studies.

French majors have gone on to careers in education, international business, law, journalism, publishing, social work, and health, as well as graduate study in French. The diverse offerings of the program include courses such as French civilization, business French, advanced oral and written French, introduction to French and Francophone literatures, the role of France in Europe today, and identities in European cinema.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire competence in the practice and analysis of Romance languages together with a critical knowledge of the written, oral, and visual traditions of their origin and diaspora. Our faculty promotes interdisciplinary connections and incorporates the study of literature, culture, theory, and history across the curriculum. Through coursework that emphasizes language acquisition, rhetoric, composition, and written and oral expression, our majors receive sustained personalized training in critical thinking and close reading. Upon completion of the program in Romance languages, students should be able to:

  • Participate in conversations on concrete, social, academic, and professional topics
  • Speak in detail about experiences and events in a variety of time frames and moods
  • Represent points of view in discussions, both oral and written
  • Deliver well-organized presentations on concrete, academic and professional topics
  • Write on a wide variety of general interest, professional, and academic topics
  • Follow narrative, informational, and descriptive speech on concrete, academic and professional topics
  • Understand and discuss texts representing a variety of topics and genres

Requirements

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
One of the following courses: 13
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Conversation I H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literature and the French-Speaking World H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the French-Speaking World
FREN 300French Composition and Grammar Review3
Seven additional courses above 204, which must include: 221
At least one course focused on French and Francophone contexts up to 1789 (see course list below) 3
At least one course focused on French and Francophone contexts since 1789 (see course list below) 3
At least four courses taught in French (see course lists below)
Total Hours27
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Students may not take more than two courses from FREN 255, FREN 260, and FREN 262. If a second course is taken, it may be used as one of the seven electives. 

2

Excluding FREN 401, FREN 402, FREN 501, FREN 601, and FREN 692H. One course may be taken outside the Department of Romance Studies, if applicable and with prior approval by the undergraduate advisor in French. This rule does not affect Study Abroad. 

3

Special topics courses (FREN 390, FREN 490, FREN 590, FREN 690) may fulfill historical distribution requirements, depending on topic, with approval of the Undergraduate Advisor in French. 

Courses That May Count Toward the French Major

FREN 280IDEAs in Action General Education logo French "Discoveries" of the Americas in Translation 43
FREN 285Sex, Philosophy, and Politics: Revolutionary Literature in Translation 43
FREN 305Healthcare in France and the Francophone World3
FREN 310IDEAs in Action General Education logo Conversation and Composition II3
FREN 311IDEAs in Action General Education logo Communication Skills for Cultural Immersion3
FREN 312IDEAs in Action General Education logo French University Methodology through Literature3
FREN 315IDEAs in Action General Education logo Imposteur!: Faking and False Identities in French and Francophone Drama and Film3
FREN 320Business French3
FREN 325Crime and Literature in French and Francophone Contexts3
FREN 330Approaches to French and Francophone Studies3
FREN 350IDEAs in Action General Education logo Current Societal Issues: France and Beyond 33
FREN 353Francophone Drama and Multimedia Productions 33
FREN 354Francophone Poetry and Slam 33
FREN 355Visual Francophone Studies3
FREN 365Introduction to Translation3
FREN 370IDEAs in Action General Education logo French and Francophone Studies to 1789 23
FREN 372IDEAs in Action General Education logo French and Francophone Studies since 1789 33
FREN 375Francophone Literature and Film 33
FREN 376Identity and Nationhood in Québécois Literature 33
FREN 377The Evolution of Frenchness since WWII 33
FREN 378French and European Transmigrations: Global Contexts3
FREN 379Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies 43
FREN 383Franco-Asian Encounters3
FREN 386French New Wave Cinema 33
FREN 387IDEAs in Action General Education logo Paris/Versailles: The Court and the City in the 17th Century 23
FREN 388History of French Cinema I: 1895-1950 43
FREN 389History of French Cinema II: 1950 to the Present 43
FREN 390Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies 13
FREN 395Research for Advanced French Students1-3
FREN 403Advanced Composition3
FREN 421Old French 23
FREN 437Literary and Cultural Theory in France3
FREN 452Muslim Women in France and the United States 33
FREN 48919th-Century Literature and Culture 33
FREN 490Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies 13
FREN 500Research Methods in French and European Studies 33
FREN 504Cultural Wars: French/United States Perspectives 33
FREN 505African Francophone Cinema 33
FREN 51320th- and 21st-Century French Literature and Culture 33
FREN 515Social Networks: Technology and Community in Modern France 33
FREN 522French Middle Ages 23
FREN 530Postmodernisms 33
FREN 554Writing the Mediterranean 23
FREN 555Crossing Gazes: Multidirectional and Conflicting Memories of Algeria 33
FREN 561French Renaissance Literature and Culture 23
FREN 562Poetry of the French Renaissance 23
FREN 563Studies in the Anglo-French Renaissance 43
FREN 564History of the French Language 23
FREN 565French Phonetics and Phonology3
FREN 566Structure of Modern French3
FREN 57520th- and 21st-Century Francophone Literature and the Visual Arts 33
FREN 576Francophone Cultural Studies 33
FREN 58318th-Century French Literature and Culture 23
FREN 585Libertinism and Sexuality 23
FREN 586Studies in French Cinema 43
FREN 590Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies 13
FREN 611French Novelists of the 20th Century 33
FREN 617Framing Identities: Franco-Arab Transvisual Transcultural Contexts 33
FREN 67017th-Century French Literature and Culture 23
FREN 675Literature and Enlightenment, 17th -18th Centuries 23
FREN 687Diaspora and Transculturalism in Québécois Literature 33
FREN 690Special Topics in French and Francophone Studies 13
FREN 691HIDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in French3
1

Special topics and independent study courses may fulfill historical distribution requirements, depending on topic, with approval of the undergraduate advisor in French.

2

Taught in French and focused on French and Francophone contexts up to 1789.

3

Taught in French and focused on French and Francophone contexts since 1789.

4

Taught in English.

French (FREN) course descriptions.

We offer a strong emphasis on European and francophone studies as well as the Languages across the Curriculum Program (LAC), which allows students to participate in one-hour, one-credit discussion sections in French on an array of courses across the College of Arts and Sciences.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Sample Plan One

This plan assumes a placement of FREN 105 on the Foreign Language placement test. Student placement (and plans) may vary. Although it is possible to complete the French and Francophone studies major if a student begins with FREN 101, summer school, study abroad, or doubling-up on courses in the final year may be necessary in order to complete it in a timely manner.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundations Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Major Courses
FREN 105 French for High Beginners 4
FREN 203 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate French I H 3
Hours 18
Sophomore Year
FREN 204 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate French II in Context H 3
One of: 1 3
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Conversation I 1, H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literature and the French-Speaking World 1, H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the French-Speaking World 1
Hours 6
Junior Year
FREN 300 French Composition and Grammar Review 2 3
FREN ---French elective course #1 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #2 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #3 3, 4 3
Hours 12
Senior Year
FREN ---French elective course #4 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #5 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #6 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #7 3, 4 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 48
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Students may not take more than two courses from FREN 255FREN 260, and FREN 262. If a second course is taken, it may be used as one of the seven electives. 

2

Students who major or minor in French are highly encouraged to study abroad after completing FREN 300. A variety of programs can be found through the Study Abroad Office and students are encouraged to meet with a Study Abroad advisor to discuss summer, semester, or year-long options and credits.

3

Courses above FREN 204, excluding FREN 401, FREN 402FREN 501FREN 601, and FREN 692H

4

At least four courses must be taught in French, one of which must focus on French and Francophone contexts up to 1789 and another on French and Francophone contexts since 1789.

Sample Plan Two

This plan assumes a placement of FREN 203 on the Foreign Language placement test. Student placement (and plans) may vary.

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundations Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Major Courses
FREN 203 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate French I H 3
FREN 204 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Intermediate French II in Context H 3
Hours 17
Sophomore Year
One of: 1 3
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Conversation I 1, H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Literature and the French-Speaking World 1, H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in the French-Speaking World 1
FREN 300 French Composition and Grammar Review 2 3
Hours 6
Junior Year
FREN ---French elective course #1 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #2 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #3 3, 4 3
Hours 9
Senior Year
FREN ---French elective course #4 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #5 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #6 3, 4 3
FREN ---French elective course #7 3, 4 3
Hours 12
Total Hours 44
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

Students may not take more than two courses from FREN 255FREN 260, and FREN 262. If a second course is taken, it may be used as one of the seven electives. 

2

Students who major or minor in French are highly encouraged to study abroad after completing FREN 300. A variety of programs can be found through the Study Abroad Office and students are encouraged to meet with a Study Abroad advisor to discuss summer, semester, or lear-long options and credits.

3

Courses above FREN 204, excluding FREN 401, FREN 402FREN 501FREN 601, and FREN 692H

4

At least four courses must be taught in French, one of which must focus on French and Francophone contexts up to 1789 and another on French and Francophone contexts since 1789.

Special Opportunities in Romance Studies

Undergraduate Research

The Department of Romance Studies offers a gateway for research in the humanities, including the various fields that make up Romance studies. Research activities include the honors thesis, summer research fellowships, or engaging in mentoring projects with professors which lead to opportunities to present papers at conferences or for publication in the University's undergraduate research journal. 

Annual Research Opportunities:

Honors

The departmental honors program is open to any qualified major with a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher and 3.5 or higher in their major courses. Eligible honors candidates will formulate a topic and select an appropriate faculty member to supervise the writing of an honors thesis. Specific coursework for the major with honors consists of enrollment in the honors thesis courses in the language of the major emphasis.

FREN 691H
FREN 692H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in French
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in French
6
ITAL 691H
ITAL 692H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in Italian
6
PORT 691H
PORT 692H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in Portuguese
6
SPAN 691H
SPAN 692H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Thesis in Spanish
6

691H is taken in the fall semester of the senior year and 692H is taken in the spring semester. FREN 390, ITAL 398, PORT 398, SPAN 397 and SPAN 398 may be substituted for the 691H research course if the subject of the seminar is central to the research project chosen. In the 692H course, the thesis will be completed and the student will participate in an oral defense with the thesis director and two additional readers, to be agreed upon by the student and director. The thesis director, in consultation with the readers, will recommend that the student who has defended the thesis graduate with honors, highest honors, or with course credit. FREN 390, FREN 691H, ITAL 398, ITAL 691H, PORT 398, SPAN 397 and SPAN 398 may count toward the eight courses for the major, but FREN 692H, ITAL 692H, PORT 692H, and SPAN 692H may not. Students who intend to graduate in December should adjust the scheduling of these courses in order to allow for completion of the honors project in December. Students meeting the required grade point averages should contact the undergraduate advisor for their language. For detailed information on the B.A. with honors, visit the department's website.

Collaborative Online International Learning

The department works in partnership with the COIL program and offers select courses that involve shared learning between students in a course at UNC–Chapel Hill and peer students at a global partner university. Faculty members at both institutions design collaborative activities for their students, such as completing small group projects, engaging in dialogue drawing on their different societal or disciplinary perspectives, or exchanging scholarly or creative work.

Out-of-Class Language Experience

The department offers credit-bearing internship opportunities through ROML 293 and service-learning opportunities through ROML 194. Both courses satisfy the High-Impact General Education requirement (in the IDEAs in Action curriculum) and the experiential education (EE) General Education requirement (in the Making Connections curriculum). While ROML 293 is a standalone course, ROML 194 is always connected to a specific course. 

Students may enrich their cultural and language experience by applying to the Spanish House, a section of Craige North residence hall. Equipped with a lounge and a kitchen, the house has space for eight male and 16 female students. Students make an effort to speak only Spanish while in residence.

Students also find opportunities to speak Spanish and meet native Spanish speakers in an informal weekly tertulia (gathering). Additional activities involving Spanish include attending lectures, receptions, and films organized by the department and student organizations such as CHispA (Carolina Hispanic Association); and serving the community through a variety of volunteer opportunities.

For further opportunities to speak French, students are encouraged to participate in the weekly meeting of the Table Française and become members of the French club, les Francophiles. Departmental lectures and film series are also offered.

Students interested in Italian language and culture may attend film series, guest lectures, and a series of other extracurricular events including games and conversation hours. They may also wish to join the undergraduate Italian Club.

Students who wish to practice Portuguese can meet weekly for the bate-papo (chat). Students of Portuguese also engage in editorial work and publish in the student journal Revistinha.

Study Abroad

The Study Abroad Office sponsors many year-long, semester-long, and summer programs appropriate for students of the Romance languages and has special arrangements with the Department of Romance Studies for the UNC in Montpellier, UNC in Seville, and Florence programs. Students from UNC–Chapel Hill and from other institutions may earn up to 30 semester hours of undergraduate credit in these programs, which are open to qualified undergraduates regardless of academic major. While, in general, students may satisfy up to 50 percent of major or minor coursework abroad, courses that are taught by Romance studies faculty may count differently. For example, students completing the Spanish minor for the professions in health and business may complete all or most of the minor in faculty-led programs abroad.

Students who participate in Study Abroad during the semester have the opportunity to work as course correspondents for a course in Romance studies. Course correspondents report back to the class they serve throughout the semester via online tools and may receive one hour of credit for their informative work.

General inquiries concerning any of these programs should be addressed to the Study Abroad Office, CB# 3130, FedEx Global Education Center, (919) 962-7002.

Undergraduate Awards

French

Students have the opportunity to be inducted into Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. Those with outstanding records in French are recommended as candidates for the Jacques Hardré Award, which is given to the best graduating senior in French; it includes a cash award.

Italian

Students are nominated for membership in Gamma Kappa Alpha, the Italian honor society, by undergraduate instructors. The society recognizes “outstanding scholastic performance in the fields of Italian language and literature” and encourages students “to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of, Italian culture.” The Kimberly Kyser Award for Excellence in Italian is awarded to the most outstanding student in Italian and includes a cash prize.

Portuguese

Each year the department awards the Camões Prize to the outstanding student in Portuguese during that year. The prize carries a monetary award made possible by a donation from the Gulbenkian Foundation.

Spanish

Students have the opportunity to be inducted into Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honor society. Those with outstanding performance in the Hispanic literatures and cultures or the Hispanic linguistics majors are eligible for several prizes including the Chancellor’s Award, given to the top graduating senior, the Stoudemire Awards, and the Larry D. King Fellowship. 

Department of Romance Studies

Visit Program Website

238 Dey Hall, CB# 3170

(919) 962-2062

Undergraduate Advisor and Study Abroad

Dorothea Heitsch

dheitsch@unc.edu

Director of French Language Instruction

Valérie Pruvost

pruvost@email.unc.edu

Chair

Ellen Welch

erwelch@email.unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Amy Chambless

achamble@email.unc.edu