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French, B.A.

Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Arts in French program, offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, aims to develop students’ competency in the language while increasing their knowledge of the French-speaking world.

As the living environment becomes increasingly transnational, a major in French offers an attractive asset to careers in many fields, including business, medicine, politics, law and the humanities. In addition, the major prepares students for graduate work in French by providing them with a broad range of courses in French and Francophone literature and culture.

Additional program highlights:

  • We offer a wide variety of courses on the French-speaking world, including courses such as French and International Relations, Business French, French Cinema and French and Francophone Media.
  • Students can spend a year in Lyon, France. This yearlong, full-immersion program allows students to experience firsthand the country and its culture. Students will take classes in the French university system with French students and other international students. Courses not only fulfill requirements for French majors at SLU, but students may also have an opportunity to complete some of their core requirements while in Lyon.
  • Students can also spend a semester or a year in Poitiers, France, studying at the Université de Poitiers alongside other international students and native French speakers. Courses taken as part of this full-immersion program may count toward the student’s major or minor in French, study in other disciplines or core requirements.
  • The French experience at SLU extends beyond the classroom walls. The department offers frequent activités cuturelles open to all levels and hosts a chapter of the national French honor society, Pi Delta Phi. Students can also participate in service opportunities in the St. Louis community. 

Curriculum Overview

French course offerings cover all centuries of French literature and culture, Francophone and postcolonial studies, gender studies, and interdisciplinary areas such as art and literature, music and literature, cinema, cross-cultural questions, literature and the environment. Unique undergraduate offerings allow students to combine international, scientific and professional interests with French.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Students are encouraged to enhance their major through an immersion experience in a French-speaking country. SLU students can choose from a variety of study options in French, including summer, semester and academic year programs in the cities of Lyon and Poitiers in France. SLU French majors often complete a major in another discipline (English, biology, psychology, international business, communication, etc.).


The benefits of the French program also include several career opportunities. Combining practical aspirations with the humanizing and broadening effects of language study, the undergraduate major prepares students to perform in many rewarding careers. Accessibility to faculty is a hallmark of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Faculty will be happy to advise students on career options.

Career paths for French graduates include:

  • Education
  • International business
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Foreign service
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Research
  • Interpreting
  • Cultural services planning
  • Museum work
  • Relocation abroad services
  • Travel consultant
  • Study abroad advisor

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit

  1. Graduates will be able to interact in French.
  2. Graduates will be able to interpret authentic materials in French.
  3. Graduates will be able compare their own cultures with cultures in which French is a dominant language.

Students who begin their study of French at SLU above the 3010 level must complete an additional course or courses at the 4000 level to fulfill the minimum total of 30 credits required for the major.

University Undergraduate Core32-35
Major Requirements
French Foundational
FREN 3010Discovering the French-Speaking World3
FREN 3020Text, Voice, & Self-Expression3
FREN 303021st-Century France3
FREN 3040Society, Nation & the Arts in Pre-Revolutionary France3
French Elective Courses
Select six courses with the 'French Major Elective' attribute, such as: 118
FREN 4250
The World of New Media: Friend ou Faux?
FREN 4315
Performing Texts: Performativity and Gender in French Literature
General Electives55-58
Total Credits120

Up to 9 credits may be in related fields with the approval of the Department.

Continuation Standards

All French major courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher in order to count and for the student to continue in the major/minor.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete the University Undergraduate Core curriculum requirements.
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department-/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Activities  
FREN 1010 Communicating in French I 1 3
CORE 1000 Ignite First Year Seminar 2-3
University-CORE 3
General Electives 7
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Activities  
FREN 1020 Communicating in French II 3
University-CORE 6
General Electives 2 6
Year Two
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Activities  
FREN 2010 Intermediate French Language & Culture 3
University-CORE 6
General Electives 6
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Activities  
FREN 3010 Discovering the French-Speaking World 3 3
University-CORE 3
General Electives 9
Year Three
FREN 3020 Text, Voice, & Self-Expression 3
FREN 3030 21st-Century France 4 3
University-CORE 6
General Electives 3
Students can also choose to spend either a semester or a year abroad in France. See Program notes.  
FREN 3040 Society, Nation & the Arts in Pre-Revolutionary France 5 3
French elective 3
University-CORE 6
General Electives 3
Year Four
Students might need to take two or three courses for the second major, depending on whether the second major counts core courses toward the hours for the major.  
French elective 6 3
French elective 3
French elective 3
University-CORE 3
General Electives 3
French elective 7 3
French elective 3
University-CORE 3
General Electives 6
 Total Credits120-121

Students with prior experience in French take a placement test (SLUPE) to determine their level. See Program Notes.


French majors generally have a second or even third major. See Program Notes.


Students can take FREN 3020 Text, Voice, & Self-Expression and FREN 3010 Discovering the French-Speaking World concurrently. Students can take FREN 3020 Text, Voice, & Self-Expression before taking FREN 3010 Discovering the French-Speaking World.


Students can also take FREN 3030 21st-Century France in Semester Six.


FREN 3040 Society, Nation & the Arts in Pre-Revolutionary France is offered only in the Fall semester.


Many French 4000-level courses also fulfill the Global Citizenship Core Diversity requirement.


French 4000-level literature courses fulfill the Core Literature Requirement.

Program Notes

The sequence of courses will vary according to the student’s previous experience with the language and individual preferences.

Students have several options to study abroad in a French-speaking country, including a one-semester program in Poitiers, France.  Students also can study for a yearlong program in Lyon, France. We encourage students to finish FREN 3010 Discovering the French-Speaking World or FREN 3020 Text, Voice, & Self-Expression before studying abroad.

SLU French majors often complete a second or even a third major in another discipline — for example, political science, English, biology, psychology, international business, communication or international studies.