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World Languages and Cultural Studies

French Major


In this immersive program, you’ll learn to “think and live” in French through exposure to the system of thought and expression, ideas, customs, habits and values that are unique to native French speakers.

Our French program, like all language studies at Merrimack, opens a new window into the world.

Meet Your Major

In this major, you will:

  • Enhance your global awareness through knowledge of and experience with diverse cultures.
  • Develop the ability and sensitivity to see your own cultural norms from an entirely new perspective, giving you a broader view of the world and a greater appreciation of differences.
  • Improve your understanding of grammar structures and vocabulary in your native language.
  • Strengthen your cognitive and verbal skills, as well as your capabilities in written communication.
  • Prepare to travel, study and work abroad.
  • Gain the knowledge and skills to interact successfully with people of different cultures in today’s increasingly globalized professional atmosphere.

Hands-On Learning

Students pursuing a major in French are strongly encouraged to spend one semester of foreign study at the Université catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. Please visit the Office of Global Education website for details.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the French program, you’ll have a competitive edge in today’s job market, in both the public and private sectors. Many professionals who deal with the public, including teachers, law-enforcement agents, medical personnel and social-service professionals, find that knowledge of a language other than English is an invaluable benefit. And multinational corporations increasingly need employees with world language backgrounds to process documents and work as translators.

Here are some of the career paths open to French majors:

  • World Language or Bilingual Teacher
  • Interpreter
  • Translator 
  • Technical Writer
  • Court Interpreter
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Community Affairs Specialist
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Cultural Affairs Officer
  • Public Health Administrator
  • Health Care Provider
  • Social Worker
  • Marketing/Sales Representative
  • Market Research Specialist
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • International Trade Specialist
  • Investment Banker
  • Columnist/Reporter
  • Editor/Writer
  • Journalist
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Radio/TV Announcer 
  • Tour Organizer/Guide
  • Travel Agent
  • International Relations Director
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Foreign Student Advisor
  • Import/Export Specialist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Civil Service Worker
  • Immigration Inspector
  • Diplomat
  • Textbook Publisher
  • Textbook Acquisitions Editor
  • Customs Inspector
  • Historian
  • Flight Attendant
  • Airport Personnel
  • Librarian 

What You’ll Take

As a French major, you must complete a minimum of 30 credits, consisting of a minimum of eight courses (including at least six courses beyond FRE 2020, from the list below). 

FRE 3010 Composition and Culture
FRE 3020   Conversation and Culture  
FRE 3030  Cinema of the French-Speaking World
FRE 3040W  Five Centuries of French Civilization in Films  
FRE 3050  Actualités du monde francophone 
FRE 3110   Survey of French Literature I  
FRE 3120  Survey of French Literature II 
FRE 3130  Studies in Modern French and
Francophone Literature I 
FRE 3140   Studies in Modern French and
Francophone Literature II 
FRE 3510 French Civilization I  
FRE 3520   French Civilization II  
FRE 4900 Directed Study 

To graduate with a degree in French, you must also maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 in your elected courses.

Teacher of French

If you’re interested in preparing for a career as a teacher of French at the secondary and middle-school level, you have the following two options:

  • Major in French or romance languages and pass the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) to obtain a five-year preliminary teaching certificate in the teaching of foreign language.
  • Or double major in French or romance languages and education to obtain an Advanced Provisional Certificate.

If your goal is to teach French in an elementary school, combine a major in French or romance languages combined with an elementary education major. You will not need to take the MTEL in French.

More Information

Luis Sáenz de Viguera Erkiaga

Assoc. Professor and Chair

World Languages and

Cultural Studies 

978-837-6976
saenzdevigul@merrimack.edu