The study of French includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of French studies acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate French societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.
The French studies program is designed to help students develop a solid grammar and vocabulary base that allows students to become effective communicators with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness. The department emphasizes the diversity and multicultural aspects of the Francophone (French speaking) world through civilization, culture, literature and sociolinguistic courses. Training includes both language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically — with multimedia technology, study abroad, language skills courses, and linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory.