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.
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).
All French and Italian department majors should consult with the department student adviser Josephine Le and with our faculty adviser Dr. Beatrice Bennett for French and Italian. Students should seek an appointment early in each semester so that an advisement file may be established for each student.
For the lower division, FREN 250 French IV is required (4 Units).
• FREN 250 French IV
The upper-division requirements include three core courses plus an additional six courses to be selected in consultation with the department adviser
No more than two upper-division courses may be in English.
Of the additional six courses, at least two must be at the 400 level.
These Three (3) are Required core courses, 4 Units each:
• FREN 300 French Grammar and Composition
• FREN 330 Critical Writing in French
• FREN 351 Introduction to Research in French and Francophone Cultures
Six (6) upper-division French courses are to be chosen from the following and must include at least two 400-level courses:
• FREN 310 Media French
• FREN 320 French Cinema
• FREN 347 Race, Gender and Power in Francophone Literature
• FREN 360 Business and Technical French
• FREN 370gm Equality and Difference around the Enlightenment
• FREN 373 Remembering Loss, Writing Memory
• FREN 375mw Global Narratives of Illness and Disability
• FREN 382 Paris Avant-Gardes
• FREN 383 French Women Writers
• FREN 390 Special Problems
• FREN 392 Seminar in Literary and Cultural Studies
• FREN 393 Seminar in French Thought and Theory
• FREN 401 Studies in Early Modernity
• FREN 402 Studies in Modernity
• FREN 403 Studies in Colonialism and Postcolonialism
• FREN 404 Studies in an Author
• FREN 410 Actualités Françaises
• FREN 432 French Theatre
• FREN 445 Studies in Gender, Feminism and Sexuality
• FREN 446 Contemporary French Thought
• FREN 448m France and Islam
• FREN 449 Studies in French Civilization
• FREN 464 Colloquium: French Civilization
• FREN 490x Directed Research
• FREN 499 Special Topics
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. Josephine Le, the department advisor, at email@example.com or 213-821-4316 for more information and specific degree requirements; for further information on Undergraduate Studies in French and Italian, please contact Dr. Beatrice Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213 740 3703.
To view the current Schedule of Classes for French, click here