The Undergraduate Program in French offers a broad humanistic course of study designed for students with many interests. The orientation of the program is multidisciplinary, where the study of literature is linked to critical, historical, and political concerns. Courses reflect the faculty's interest in the related disciplines of history, philosophy, anthropology, visual studies, gender and sexuality studies, political science, postcolonial studies, and comparative literature. Students should consult with the faculty to plan a coherent program of courses to fulfill the major requirements. Students also should consult with faculty members concerning career plans in areas such as teaching, business, journalism, law, public service, as well as social justice and international non-governmental organization (NGO) work.
Lower-division language courses encourage students to participate in the creative process of language, to think in French as they learn to understand, speak, read, and write. These courses are taught entirely in French, and the approach to teaching stresses the interdependence of the four basic language skills and makes them mutually reinforcing.
At the intermediate lower-division level, texts of contemporary literary and social interest provide the focus for advanced conversation, reading, and composition.
A series of more advanced grammar and composition courses are generally taken in the third year of language study. FRENCH 102A, FRENCH 102B, FRENCH 102C, FRENCH 102D, and FRENCH 102E carry on the work of the intermediate levels; FRENCH 102B and FRENCH 102D focus attention on particular issues and themes.
Upper-division offerings are taught either in the seminar mode or in small group settings. Because classes are limited in size, they promote and encourage participation and discussion and facilitate direct contact with professors. In recent years, courses have been offered in Literature and the Enlightenment, the Surrealist Imagination, Autobiography, Francophone Literature, Political Fictions, Women of Paris, Tales of the Fantastic, the French New Wave, the Body in Renaissance Literature and Art, Paris as Art Capital, Black Paris/Paris Noir, French Critical Theory, France and Algeria, and Marcel Proust. The content of courses changes yearly according to the interests of both faculty and students.
The program strongly encourages its students to take advantage of the study-abroad programs in French-speaking countries to improve their language skills and gain invaluable cultural experience in a foreign university setting. The program recommends the UC Education Abroad Program, which runs programs of differing lengths in France (Lyon, Bordeaux, and Paris). Credit for courses taken through study-abroad programs is available. Students are advised to discuss their course of study with the Undergraduate Director before their departure and to arrange to bring home proof of their work.
Language placement examinations are not required, although an optional placement examination is available. Students will be placed in French language courses according to their years of previous study. See Language Other Than English Placement and Progression.
Transfer students who have had a previous course (or courses) in French from another college or university who want to enroll in any FRENCH 1A through FRENCH 2C course at UCI must take a copy of their transcript to their academic counseling office in order to receive authorization to enroll in the appropriate course. In exceptional cases, students may be advised to take FRENCH 2C at the same time as FRENCH 102A, FRENCH 102B, FRENCH 102C, FRENCH 102D, or FRENCH 102E in order to move more quickly through the major or minor.
All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
|A. Select two courses from the following:|
|Grammar and Composition|
|Topics in Issues in French and Francophone Culture|
|Topics in the Work World in French|
|Advanced French Language and Style|
|B. Complete 10 additional upper-division French courses other than FRENCH 102A, 102B, 102C, 102D, or 102E:|
|A maximum of four courses may be taught entirely in English.|
|At least one course must be completed in each of the following historical periods:|
- Pre-18th century literature and culture
- 18th or 19th century literature and culture
- 20th or 21st century literature and culture
Residence Requirement for the Major: Five upper-division courses must be successfully completed at UCI, of which a maximum of three may be taught entirely in English.
Education Abroad Option: A maximum of four upper-division courses taken during study abroad may be counted toward the major requirement. All such courses must be approved by the Undergraduate Director and students are advised to consult with the Undergraduate Director before and after their stay abroad. Course approval typically involves the following: 1) Presentation of syllabi and other pertinent course materials (term papers, exams, etc.) from the host university, and 2) approval from the Undergraduate Director and the Humanities Office of Undergraduate Study. In planning their undergraduate career, all students should keep in mind the Residence Requirement (stated above).
The great majority of students who major in French pursue careers in education, business, and commerce, where they can take advantage not only of their proficiency in French language but also of their knowledge of French and Francophone literature and culture. Students also go on to law school, to medical school, and to careers in the diplomatic service or NGOs. The multidisciplinary approach to the study of literature and culture teaches students to think critically and develops analytical skills that can be applied to a wide range of problems. It also helps students develop the interpretive and writing skills necessary to express their own ideas clearly and persuasively. Whether they enter business or professions such as law, education, or government, French majors acquire the intellectual and communicative skills requisite for success.