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Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures – French & Francophone Studies Major Guide for 2016-2017

What is French & Francophone Studies?

French studies encompasses all aspects of French and francophone life and culture: history, literature, politics, art, film, theater; the past, the present, and the future; relations between countries and cultures, business etiquette, business practices, etc. Students should consider a French major if they are fascinated by other cultures; would like a career with an international component; enjoy learning and speaking foreign languages; like to travel; are open to viewing their own culture and themselves from a different perspective.

Career Opportunities in French & Francophone Studies

A major in French, perhaps with a concentration in Language and World Business, can be an advantage in gaining employment in many fields. Some of these opportunities are obvious (teaching, translation, interpreting), others less so (journalism, international business or law, foreign service, travel industry jobs, etc.). The ability to speak, read, and write with precision in a second language is an increasingly desirable skill in the United States. French is an important language on the international scene, and choosing French sets a student apart from his or her peers. In addition, a job applicant with study abroad experience on his or her resume attracts an employer’s attention, and with good reason, for studying abroad demonstrates adaptability and resourcefulness.

Salary Trends in French & Francophone Studies

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel students in limitless directions. Majors are not always the deciding factor as to what career path is followed. As with any degree, pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, study abroad experiences, etc.) enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and further affect the projected salary.

High School Preparation

In addition to language classes that permit the high school student to begin classes in the major as a freshman, classes in history and literature are recommended to students planning to major in French. Studying languages other than French is also helpful, especially another contemporary Romance language or Latin. Travel or study abroad, short or long term, is useful preparation for future experiences with other cultures.

How to Major in French & Francophone Studies

A major in French may choose the traditional major or may choose to do a concentration in Language and World Business (LWB). Many students combine French with another major, broadening their career options in the process. Majors are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or year abroad perfecting their fluency and gaining credit hours, as well as increasing their understanding of a foreign culture and of their own culture, important skills in a rapidly evolving global economy. Students interested in a French major should contact the undergraduate advisor in French as soon as possible. For more detailed information, please see the French program’s website:

Requirements for French & Francophone Studies

The French major consists of 30 hours. Required courses: French 333, French 334, French 353, French 422, French 440, a four-hundred-level literature course; plus twelve hours of electives at the 400 level.

Language and World Business Concentration

Students who wish to prepare for careers in international business may complete a special major in French (with slightly different requirements), a pro­fessional emphasis in International Business, International Retail Merchandising, or International Agricultural Economics, and some form of practical experience related to the concentration. Admission to this concentration is by permission of the program director. For more information see the major guide entitled Language and World Business.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The Language and World Business program of the Modern Foreign Languages Department sponsors co-ops and internships for students, both in the United States and abroad (internships are also available to French majors not doing the Language and World Business concentration). Contact the Head of the LWB program for more information

Highlights of French & Francophone Studies

Pi Delta Phi, the French honor society, maintains an active program of events such as films, dinners, and guest speakers. Other departmental events include a film series, a French table, French dinners, French plays, and opportunities to meet French students studying at U.T. through the ISEP program. Contacts with the local Alliance Française also help to bring France alive for students studying in Knoxville, and to encourage them to travel to France or other francophone cultures for a true “immersion” experience.

Ready for the World logo

There are numerous travel abroad opportunities through the French program at U.T., such as the summer U.T. in France Program (six credits for a four-week stay in France), and the International Student Exchange Program.  ISEP is run by the Center for International Education; students spend a semester or year in France, pay U.T. tuition, and receive transfer credit in consultation with their French professors at U.T.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Experience Learning

Experience Learning LogoExperience Learning is a bold new initiative with the goal of transforming the educational student experience at the University of Tennessee. Over a five-year period, UT will transform our culture to give students more opportunities to be involved in civic engagement, solve complex real-world problems, and contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work.

The purpose of Experience Learning is to help students apply the knowledge, skills, and values learned in the classroom to real-world challenges. Experience Learning also seeks to engage student learning through direct experience and intense reflection to increase knowledge, acquire lifelong learning and problem-solving skills, and elucidate values.

Learn more about Experience Learning.

Academic Plan and Milestones

Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. For first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.

To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, please visit the undergraduate catalog.

For More Information

Dr. Les Essif
Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
701 McClung Tower; 865-974-6375


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.

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