Your international life begins with French.
Immerse yourself in the language, cultures and histories of French-speaking countries when you major in French at the University of Mary Washington. You’ll explore one of the world’s richest literatures, spanning centuries and continents, and examine French cinema, poetry and politics. Study abroad in Paris or Quebec, and consider a minor in business French to prepare for an international career in banking, tourism, or diplomacy.
Students majoring in French who complete all requirements earn the degree of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Modern Foreign Languages.
Areas of Study
UMW’s French offerings include composition, phonetics and oral proficiency, a variety of French-language literatures, translation, senior seminars, business French, French cultures, and French cinema. You may spend a semester abroad, or learn intensively in spring and summer faculty-led trips to Paris, Provence, or Quebec.
Recent UMW French graduates work in interpreting, translating, research, social services, education, the tourism industry, government agencies, the Peace Corps, and international business.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for interpreters and translators will increase by more than 46 percent between 2012 and 2022, making this field one of the fastest-growing occupations.
Internships offer hands-on experience and course credit to juniors and seniors. Recent UMW language majors have done internships with Rappahannock Adult Education Programs (teaching ESL), the Virginia Department of Health, Fredericksburg public schools, the Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, the Rappahannock Council Against Domestic Violence, the Moss Free Clinic, and Rappahannock Legal Services. Some students have taken advantage of UMW’s proximity to Washington, D.C., to intern with the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the French embassy.
Students who have at least a 3.5 grade-point average in the French major and a 3.0 GPA overall by the beginning of senior year can apply to complete and defend a research-based thesis for departmental honors.
An undergraduate research grant, awarded through the Office of Academic Affairs, may be available for travel and other thesis-related expenses.
The major in French requires 36 credits, including composition, phonetics and oral proficiency, literature, stylistics, translation, senior seminar, and electives including business French, culture, cinema, and advanced literature.
The minor in French requires 24 credits including lower- and upper-level courses.
The minor in business French also requires 24 credits including a sequence of business or economics courses.