French has long been the mother tongue of diplomacy, art, history, and culture. Spoken worldwide, it continues to be a leading language throughout Europe, Africa, North- and South America, and Southeast Asia. The study of French opens up doors to travel, classic and modern French literature, study abroad, graduate studies and career opportunities as diverse as medical research, museum curation and the intelligence services.
A major in French provides students with solid bases in the dynamic disciplines of reading, writing, and speaking French, and in French/Francophone cultural understanding, culminating in a required departmentally-approved period of study abroad. The French program welcomes students from many academic backgrounds (business, arts, sciences and social sciences), and encourages students to consider enhancing an already-declared major-track with a second major in French. Recent graduates have double-majored in French and Biochemistry, French and History, French and Art History, French and International Relations.
- Click here for requirements (checklist) of the major.
A minor in French provides cultural and linguistic skills to students who enjoy French and wish to continue their studies beyond the intermediate level. A French minor complements a major in art, art history, business, history, literary studies, international relations, music, and a second foreign language, particularly well.
- Click here for requirements (checklist) of the minor.
Courses in French
- Click here to see the French courses offered at Roanoke College.
- Click here to see the French courses offered this term.
Study Abroad Programs and Student Perspectives
...on studying abroad in Morocco:
"My semester in Morocco was absolutely life-changing. It was so fascinating to explore a country and a culture so different from my own. I was constantly out of my comfort zone, and I was always challenging myself. I loved practicing my French with Moroccans and my host family because everyone was so nice and encouraging, and I was able to become much more comfortable speaking the language. Conversations often spanned three or more languages, beginning in Moroccan Arabic and some Modern Standard Arabic followed by some French. Sometimes Spanish, English, Berber, and Hebrew were also spoken so that everyone understood what was going on. I miss this culture and melange of languages everyday!" -Katie Thornton, '12
...on studying abroad in Paris, France:
"This trip was my first time outside the country and while I had many foreign experiences, the presence of a Roanoke professor and thirteen fellow students provided me with a sense of familiarity. My favorite day included the Louvre, Berthillon ice cream, strawberry and Nutella crepes, going up the Eiffel Tower, and taking a Bateaux Mouches boat tour on the Seine. I would do this May Term over and over again!" -Meghan Wilcock, '13