Why study French?
French is spoken by approximately 300 million people across the globe and is one of the operating languages of organizations including the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, and NATO. Given that French is a truly international language, it provides students with an advantage for the job market, especially for students seeking employment in education, public service, tourism, journalism, international business, or marketing. Moreover, the study of French and of global francophone cultures reduces barriers to travel and facilitates intercultural communication allowing our students to connect more directly with other French speakers and with francophone music, cuisine, film, philosophy, art, literature, and media.
With specialized courses examining francophone Canada, the francophone Caribbean, the Hexagon and other francophone regions and cultures, our program helps students acquire the skills required to communicate in French all while providing cultural insights that will facilitate future study or work abroad.
French at Western
The French program at WWU currently offers both a major and minor, as well as a variety of dual degree programs. In addition to supporting students in their pursuit of linguistic proficiency and a more nuanced appreciation of global francophone cultures, our curriculum is well-aligned with the university’s mission and includes several courses that can be applied to our institution’s general university requirements (GURs). These offerings are designed to help students gain and refine cross-disciplinary competencies in critical thinking, creativity, academic excellence, and analytical writing.
To further support students’ interest in French, we encourage the pursuit of experiential learning opportunities and extracurricular activities in French such as our student-led French club, departmental tutoring, education abroad, internships, and other community language collaborations both on and off campus.
FREN 101, 102, 103, 104 - Elementary French
FREN 201, 202, 203 - Intermediate French
FREN 331 - La France: société et culture
FREN 332 - Civilisation et Culture du Canada Francophone
FREN 340, 341, 342 - Introduction à la littérature française
FREN 410 - Écriture féminine francophone
Activities and opportunities
Beyond the Classroom
Students in the French program are encouraged to take advantage of experiential learning opportunities and extracurricular activities to extend their language practice outside the classroom.
- La Table Française: WWU’s student-led French club
- French 425: departmental tutoring
- Western Employee Language Program (ELP): student-led conversation and culture courses for WWU faculty and staff
- Individualized campus and community partnerships
Education and Experiences Abroad
Many students pursue coursework or professional opportunities abroad to deepen their understanding of the French language and of la francophonie. Students interested in counting international credits toward a major or minor in French should seek approval from a program advisor before applying to one of our partner institutions.
- Education Abroad: Major Advising Page for French
What can you do with French?
A degree in French provides a strong foundation for students pursuing careers both locally and globally.
While many graduates have a clear professional path in mind, others choose to work abroad before applying to permanent positions.
Some popular pathways include:
- Foreign Correspondent
- Foreign Service Officer
- FBI Agent
- Travel Writer
- Elementary or Secondary Teacher