The purpose of the major program is to educate students to think and perceive rationally and critically. This education includes reading and thinking; learning about literary and cultural movements; and making connections between the primarily aesthetic literary artifacts of the culture and its political, social, and economic history.
Through the Emerson Foreign Language Laboratory, students are trained to use new learning and technology media at all language levels to allow them to communicate effectively in the world. Likewise, they are encouraged to prepare themselves philosophically and practically to make linkages between the major and other academic disciplines.
The student majoring in French learns about the world of ideas and letters, past and present. This training requires at least one semester of study abroad; one year is recommended. The cohesive, integrated program of foreign language, culture, and literature courses ensures maximum proficiency in the target language.
All resident French majors are required to spend at least two years in the Maison Française. One of these must be the year following their academic year in France, to allow them to maintain fluency in the language skills acquired abroad.
Students seeking initial certification at the early childhood and childhood levels may double major in French and Inclusive Early Childhood/Childhood Education. Students in this double major are required to have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 before moving into INCH coursework which typically begins fall semester of the junior year.