Bachelor Of Arts in French

  • The French Major at USC:
  • The study of French involves the mastery of the language and its literary expressions - fictional, non-fictional, dramatic and poetic, as well as the study of social, cultural and political institutions within the context of intellectual history. Students also have the opportunity to choose from a number of stimulating courses in the literature, art, cinema, and history of France or the Francophone world, particularly Francophone Africa and the Francophone Caribbean Islands.

    The Department of French and Italian offers courses taught in French in interrelated subject areas: literature may be studied chronologically, set against its historical and intellectual background; other courses approach texts generically, emphasizing the development of the various literary forms of expression. There is parallel course work in literary criticism (theoretical and applied), and studies in French culture and society: gender studies, women writers, current events, and cinema.

    Additional components of the French program are currents of French philosophical and political thought and mentalities (the hidden patterns of French life seen through contemporary documents, culinary traditions, folklore). Such courses may be broad in coverage or designed as more sharply focused seminars with topics changing from year to year. Students may choose to fulfill some of the requirements with an exciting period of study in Paris (semester or year), or with our summer program in the history-rich town of Dijon in Burgundy.

    To satisfy diverse student needs the department also offers courses on French literature and culture with readings and class work in English. Courses are kept small to allow for maximum interaction between students and professors.

  • French Language Placement Examination

    Students who have studied French in high school or at another institution prior to attending USC are required to take a placement test that is administered by the Language Center (Third Floor, Taper Hall), Click here for the Schedule of Placement Exams. Credit is given only for course work taken above the level of proficiency determined by the examination. Students may retest every six months, results are valid for one calendar year. Students with no record of previous instruction in French are not required to take the placement examination and should enroll in first semester French (FREN 120).

  • Course Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in French

    Required Lower Division Course: FREN-250, French IV (4 Units)

  • Required Upper Division Courses (9 Courses Total)

    Required Core Courses:

    To fulfill this requirement, students must take these TWO Courses:

    FREN-300, French Grammar and Composition (4 Units)
    FREN-330, Writing about Literature (4 Units)

    And they may choose between ONE of the following courses:

    FREN-351, Early Modern French Cultures (4 Units)
    FREN-352, Modern French Cultures (4 Units)
  • In addition, Students must choose SIX French Courses from the following:

    FREN-310, French Pronunciation and Conversation (4 Units)
    FREN-320, French Cinema and French Society: 1900 to the Present (4 Units)
    FREN-347, Race, Gender and Power in Francophone Literature (4 Units)
    FREN-351, Early Modern French Cultures (4 Units)*
    FREN-352, Modern French Cultures (4 Units)*
    FREN-360, Business and Technical French (4 Units)
    FREN-370m, Equality and Difference around the Enlightenment (4 Units)
    FREN-381, Studies in an Author (4 Units)
    FREN-383, French Women Writers (4 Units)
    FREN-385, Colloquium: French Literature (4 Units, Max 8 Units)
    FREN-386, Autobiographical Writing (4 Units)
    FREN-400, Twentieth Century France (4 Units)
    FREN-410, Actualités Françaises (Paris Semester only) (4 Units)
    FREN-432, French Theatre (Paris Semester only) (4 Units)
    FREN-445, Studies in Gender and Feminism, (4 Units)
    FREN-446, Contemporary French Thought (4 Units, Max 8 Units)
    FREN-447, Decadence (4 Units)
    FREN-449, Studies in French Civilization (Paris Semester only) (4 Units)
    FREN-464, Colloquium: French Civilization (4 Units, Max 8 Units)
    FREN-470, Readings in Medieval & Renaissance French Literature, (4 Units)
    FREN-471, Readings in 17th Century French Literature (4 Units)
    FREN-472, Readings in 18th Century French Literature (4 Units)
    FREN-473, Readings in 19th Century French Literature (4 Units)
    FREN-474, Readings in 20th Century French Literature (4 Units)
    FREN-490, Directed Research (2 Units, Max 8 Units)
    FREN-499, Special Topics (2-4 Units, Max 8 Units)
  • *Either French 351 or 352 may be counted as elective if NOT taken as a required core course.

    No more than two upper-division French elective courses that are conducted in English may be counted for the major in French.

  • These requirements are excerpted from the USC Catalogue. The USC Catalogue is the document of authority for all students. The program requirements listed in the USC Catalogue supersede any information which may be contained in any bulletin of any school or department. The university reserves the right to change its policies, rules, regulations, requirements for graduation, course offerings and any other contents of this catalogue at any time.

  • Please contact Ms. Jopsephine Le, the department advisor, at or 213-740-3800 for more information and specific degree requirements.


    To view the current Schedule of Classes for French, click here