Why Study French?

The French program at CWRU takes a global approach to French in its broadest context, and our curriculum reflects the diversity of the Francophone cultures of Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Students who wish to major in French choose between the French major and the French and Francophone Studies major. Both options stress proficiency in the French language and encourage students to strive for some mastery of oral and written language skills throughout the program of study. The French major is designed for students who wish to focus primarily on literature and culture (film and the arts), while the Francophone Studies major is interdisciplinary in nature and allows students to pursue additional areas of interest.

Program Requirements


Majors in French are expected to acquire the ability to understand, speak, read, and write in French and to develop a broad foundation in the relevant literatures and cultures.

Students with prior experience in French, however acquired (e.g., in high school, at another institution, or via study abroad), work with department faculty members to determine an appropriate level at which to start. In general, one year of high school language instruction is the equivalent to one university-level course.  Students who have taken four years or more of one language in high school are generally eligible to take 300-level language courses at CWRU, but the department recommends starting with a course numbered under 320.

Students seeking to complete this major and degree program must meet the general requirements for bachelor’s degrees and the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. Students completing this program as a secondary major while completing another undergraduate degree program do not need to satisfy the latter set of requirements.

The major in French requires a minimum of 10 courses, equivalent to 30-35 credit hours.

Course requirements are as follows:

  • For students placed into 200-level coursework, the major requirements include FRCH 201 Intermediate French IFRCH 202 Intermediate French IIFRCH 320, and seven additional 300-level courses taught in the target language, at least two of which must be numbered above 320.
  • For students placed into 300-level coursework, the major requirements include FRCH 320 and nine  additional 300-level courses taught in the target language, at least two of which must be numbered above 320. Please see the courses tab.

Students may replace up to two 300-level courses with related courses. Related courses are those outside the department which are closely related to French and Francophone culture, as well as those departmental courses cross-listed with World Literature.

Teacher Licensure

This program offers a special option for undergraduate students who wish to pursue this major and a career in teaching. The Teacher Education Program prepares CWRU students to receive an Ohio Teaching License for grades K-12 (Multi-Age) or grades 7-12 (Adolescent to Young Adult (AYA)) depending on major area of study. Students declare a second major in education—which involves 36 hours in education and practicum requirements—and complete a planned sequence of major content coursework within the context of this major. The program is designed to offer several unique features not found in other programs and to place students in mentored teaching situations throughout their teacher preparation career. This small, rigorous program is designed to capitalize on the strengths of CWRU’s departments, its Teacher Education Program, and the relationships the university has built with area schools.
For the subject area requirements for teacher licensure, please visit the program page for the Teacher Education, BA.

Integrated Graduate Studies in French

The Integrated Graduate Studies Program (IGS) is intended for highly motivated undergraduate students who are candidates for the BA degree and whose objective is a degree at the master’s or doctoral level.  Qualified students may apply in the junior year to be admitted to graduate study for their senior year and pursue the simultaneous completion of requirements for both the master’s and bachelor’s degrees.  The baccalaureate will normally be awarded upon completion of the requirements for both degrees, unless a student satisfies all BA requirements prior to completing the master’s degree requirements.  Students in the IGS Program are exempted from the 42-hour limit imposed on BA candidates for work above the 100-level in a single department.  However, the exemption is granted only upon completion of the master’s degree requirements.

Eligibility requirements for participation in the Integrated Graduate Studies Program are:

  1. 90 credit hours earned of which the last 60 credit hours must have been in residence at Case Western Reserve University.
  2. Completion of the SAGES requirements (including the SAGES Writing Portfolio), the General Education Requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the physical education requirement; students who have fulfilled all SAGES requirements except the Senior Capstone will be required to complete the capstone during their first year in the IGS program.
  3. Completion of three-fourths of the requirements for the major, including three-fourths of the courses required in the major department.
  4. Admission to a master’s or doctoral program offered through the School of Graduate Studies.

Upon admission to the program, IGS students register as students in the School of Graduate Studies and are subject to the policies, rules and regulations of the School of Graduate Studies.  They may, however, continue to receive CWRU undergraduate scholarships and may continue to reside in undergraduate housing during what would normally be their senior year of undergraduate work.  They will be considered graduate students with respect to the awarding of need-based aid.

For information, contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies, 447 Sears Bldg., 216.368.2928.

Departmental Honors for Majors

The departmental honors program is for especially dedicated majors. Requirements for honors in modern languages and literatures are:

  1. a GPA of at least 3.5 in the major;
  2. an honors thesis (FRCH 397FRCH 398) in addition to the major credit hour requirements

The thesis is devoted to a literary, linguistic, or cultural topic and must be written in the target language. It must be read and approved by two readers and will be accepted for honors only if it achieves a grade of B or better. Students who qualify receive their degree “with Honors in Modern Languages and Literatures.” A registration form for students applying for honors is available in the departmental office.


The minor in French requires a minimum of 5 courses, equivalent to 15-19 credit hours.

Course requirements are as follows:

  • For students beginning French at the introductory level, minor requirements include: FRCH 101, FRCH 102, FRCH 201, FRCH 202, and one additional FRCH 300-level course.
  • For students beginning French at the 200-level, minor requirements include: five 200- and 300-level FRCH courses.