Bachelor of Arts Major in French

At USC, a French major develops a 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 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 North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Francophone Caribbean Islands.

Courses are kept small to allow for maximum interaction between students and professors. Students may choose to fulfill some of their course requirements abroad. They may also take up to two courses with readings and class work in English for major credit.

To earn a major in French, students must take:

One lower division course (4 units)

FREN 250 French IV

Seven upper division courses (28 units)

Upper-division requirements include two core courses plus an additional five courses to be selected in consultation with the department adviser.

Two required core courses:

FREN 300 French Grammar and Composition
FREN 330 Critical Writing in French

Five upper-division courses:

Electives must be chosen from the following list and must include at least two 400-level courses.

No more than two of these elective courses may be in English.

FREN 310 Media French
FREN 315 Inside the Courts: the French Legal Language and Culture
FREN 320 French Cinema
FREN 347 Race, Gender and Power in Francophone Literature
FREN 351 Introduction to Research in French and Francophone Cultures
FREN 360 Business and Technical French
FREN 370gm Equality and Difference around the Enlightenment
FREN 373 Remembering Loss, Writing Memory
FREN 375mgw 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

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. To view the Catalogue descriptions of these courses, click the link labelled “USC Catalogue.”

For more information and specific degree requirements, please contact Isaura Peña, the department’s academic advisor for French advisor, by email at or by telephone at 213-821-4316;  her office is at Kaprelian Hall (KAP) 357. One might also ask for an appointment to declare a French major or a minor, by clicking the link labelled “Requesting an appointment to declare a French Major or Minor.”

For further information on Undergraduate Studies in French and Italian, please contact the director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Julie Van Dam by email at