Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
French Studies



Major requirements

French Studies major worksheet

The French studies major consists of 10 or more courses, at least two of which must be taken the senior year.


FR 235 Introduction to Modern French Literature
FR 236 Introduction to Early French Literature
FR 245 Contemporary France

Courses in Culture and Linguistics

At least one of:
FR 307 Translation, Art and Craft
FR 320 From François I to François Mitterrand: A Cultural History of Politics and Architecture
FR 352 The Quill and the Brush
FR 356 Theater and French Society

Period courses

At least one course in each of the following periods:
Middle Ages or Renaissance (FR 301 or FR 302)
Seventeenth or 18th century (FR 327 or FR 356)
Nineteenth or 20th century (FR 331, FR 347, or FR 349)


At least three other courses above FR 245 (may include those listed above).
By prior arrangement with the head of the French Studies department, students may substitute ARTH 250 or ARTH 253 or ARTH 300 or HIST 275 for one of these electives.)

Senior concentration course

In consultation with the faculty of the department, each senior will designate a 300-level course as a “senior concentration course,” in which the senior major will engage in course work beyond that undertaken by other students. This advanced work will include additional oral reports, longer or more frequent writing assignments and the development of a substantial annotated bibliography.

Study Abroad

A number of the major requirements may be met during a junior year spent at a French-speaking university in study programs approved by the department. Application to such programs is made during the first semester of the sophomore year. Note that the college requires that at least one-half of the courses in the major be taken at Wheaton. Students with a good mastery of the French language who are majoring in other fields can pursue these fields during a junior year abroad with the approval of their major department. The department strongly recommends a full year of study abroad in a French-speaking country for all majors.

Majors are encouraged to select courses in areas such as European history, philosophy, religion or history of art, which will strengthen their awareness of the French cultural background. Work in other national literatures, including English, is strongly encouraged.

Learning Outcomes for the French Studies Department

Students completing the major in French Studies at Wheaton shall:

  • with regard to the French language, be able to
    – express themselves effectively orally and in writing in interpersonal communications, and in formal and informal presentations
    – understand spoken and written French on a variety of topics both quotidian and academic
  • with regard to French literature, be able to
    – read and understand literary texts of all sorts from the early modern period to the present
    – situate these texts in their social and historical context
    – demonstrate an ability to analyze and to write cogently about these texts and to identify and use pertinent secondary sources
  • with regard to French civilization, be able to
    – demonstrate a knowledge of the major historical events, literary and artistic movements, and national and international accomplishments of the nation
    – have an awareness of the influence of France beyond its borders, and the language and literature of the Francophone world

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