French Studies

The French Undergraduate Program

The Undergraduate Program in French offers a broad humanistic course of study designed for students in the liberal arts. The orientation of the program is multidisciplinary, where the study of literature is linked to critical, cultural, and historical concerns. Courses reflect the faculty's interest in the related disciplines of history, philosophy, anthropology, women's studies, cultural studies, postcolonial theory and comparative literature, and express its conviction that the study of French literature and culture is enriched by pursuing its relations with other disciplines, fields, and cultures.

Lower-division language courses encourage students to participate in the creative process of language, to think in French as they learn to understand, speak, read, and write. These courses are taught entirely in French, and the approach to teaching stresses the interdependence of the four basic language skills and makes them mutually reinforcing.

At the intermediate lower-division level, texts of contemporary literary and social interest provide the focus for advanced conversation, reading, and composition. After the second year, advanced courses in conversation and writing enable students to attain a greater degree of proficiency, preparing them for further study in the multidisciplinary upper-division program.

All upper-division offerings are taught in the seminar mode. Because classes are limited in size, they promote and encourage participation and discussion and facilitate direct contact with professors. In the introductory courses in literature, complete texts are studied in their historical context. The student learns to analyze and interpret different types of creative literature and is introduced to various critical concepts and vocabularies. At the more advanced level, the multidisciplinary courses bring together material and methodologies from the various disciplines in order to address interpretive problems of French literature, culture, and history.The content of these courses changes yearly according to the interests of both faculty and students.

In addition to these courses, the French program offers to its undergraduate students a series of extra-curricular activities: French plays and movies, lectures and group discussions on French culture and society as well as a weekly French table organized by the Graduate students.

Study Abroad

Students in French are encouraged to spend from one quarter to a full academic year in a French university. Through the Education Abroad Program (EAP), UCI participates in several exchange programs with major French schools and universities in the following cities: Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Grenoble and Lyon.

As part of the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, the Study Abroad Center (CIE) also helps students to find internships, summer programs, and volunteering opportunities in France.