The French major requires 44 units of upper division courses, beginning with FRE 100, which is the only prerequisite for other upper division courses. The French minor requires 24 units of upper division courses, also beginning with FRE 100. The specific requirements are listed on the worksheets below, along with courses that may fulfill them.
For a worksheet listing all the requirements for the French major, please click HERE.
For a worksheet listing all the requirements for the French minor, please click HERE.
For a complete list of French courses, please see the courses listed here.
WHY SHOULD I STUDY FRENCH?
Regardless of the career of life path you choose, a major in French will provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Not only will you attain advanced fluency in written and spoken French, but you will also acquire the kinds of skills that admissions boards and employers look for the most: critical thinking, problem solving, effective written and oral expression, and sensitivity to cultural difference.
WHAT COULD I DO WITH A FRENCH MAJOR?
Just about anything you want! Graduates of the French Department have achieved success in the most diverse careers. Foreign language teachers, a cardiologist, a veterinarian, a naval commander at the Pentagon, a professor of political science, lawyers, sales representatives, journalists, an anesthesiologist, a law professor, translators, a senior applications programmer, travel agents, independent business owners, a senior museum preparatory, nurses, physicians, financial managers, stock brokers, and an industrial attache for a French trade commission - all graduated with a B.A. in French from UC Davis.
WHAT COURSES DO FRENCH MAJORS TAKE?
The curriculum in the French major encompasses a wide array of courses in literature, language, and culture. Students may train in French and Francophone literatures from the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century; theoretical and applied linguistics; and the history and culture of nearly all geographic regions of the French-speaking world, especially the Caribbean, Africa, and Vietnam. Some examples of upper-division courses in the French major are:
- The Making of Modern France
- Topics in Contemporary French Culture
- History of the French Language
- French and Francophone Film
- Post-Colonial and Francophone Literature
- Paris: Modernity and Metropolitan Culture
CAN I DO AN HONORS THESIS?
Yes! The guidelines are as follows: Candidates for high or highest honors in French must write a senior thesis under the direction of a faculty member. For this purpose, honors candidates must enroll in French 194H (4 units) and French 195H (4 units). Normally, a student will undertake the honors project during the first two quarters of the senior year; other arrangements must be authorized by the department chair. Only students who, at the end of the junior year (135 units), have attained a cumulative grade-point average of 3.500 in courses required for the major will be eligible for the honors program. For students completing an honors thesis in French, only 4 of the 8 required units may be used to satisfy the general elective requirement for the major. Students should be advised that the cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 is a minimum to undertake the writing of an honors thesis and does not guarantee honors. The grade-point average required for honors is determined by the College of Letters and Science every year.
COULD I DOUBLE (OR EVEN TRIPLE) MAJOR?
Absolutely! Most French majors have one additional major, and sometimes even two. The requirements for the major in French include only forty-four units at the upper division. Even students with majors in unit-heavy fields (the sciences or engineering) are usually able to accommodate a major in French.
WHAT ARE THE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES?
In addition, the following is the student learning outcomes for majoring in French: click HERE.
WHAT ARE THE FRENCH FACULTY LIKE?
The French faculty are active and prominent in their fields, including literature, linguistics, and pedagogy. All are devoted undergraduate teachers and spend a considerable amount of time mentoring students. French majors enjoy a low student/teacher ratio, small class sizes, and active student organizations. The French Department maintains a chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society, and sponsors a particularly active French club.
WHAT ABOUT STUDYING IN FRANCE OR A FRANCOPHONE COUNTRY?
Engaging with global learning opportunities is an excellent way for you to develop your cultural understanding and fluency in the French language. There are programs in Paris, Bordeaux, and Lyon, as well as Senegal and Morocco, for students with varying levels of French language skills, from beginner to advanced. The Global Learning Hub offers local, regional, virtual, and international opportunities that connect you with your academic, personal, and professional interests and help you prepare for rewarding careers in an increasingly global economy. Students can take courses that can be used to meet requirements in their French major or minor while abroad!
Please note that for all students there is a RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT: A student must complete at least 18 units of upper-division credit for the major in residence at UC Davis. This means that up to 26 units may be taken elsewhere, including on an approved study abroad program. If a student completes less than 18 units of upper-division course work for the major at UC Davis, s/he may request a waiver of the major residence requirement from the College of Letters and Sciences if the department chair will support the waiver.
There is no residence requirement for the minor.