A background in French can be a valuable asset to your life and career. French is estimated as having between 70 million and 110 million native speakers and 190 million second-language speakers. It is the second-most studied foreign language in the world, after English, and is an official language of more than 29 countries.
The French language has always had a special place at Assumption. The College was founded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists), a religious congregation founded in France in 1850, and its first students were sons of immigrants from French Canada who had settled in New England. Initially, all of the courses were taught in French.
The program seeks primarily to have majors:
- achieve proficiency and fluency in the oral and written forms of the language.
- read with understanding and enjoyment representative works of French literature.
- prepare to enter graduate school, become teachers in elementary, middle or high school, or serve as interpreters, translators, social workers, or law enforcement professionals. Our graduates also go on to rewarding career in law, business, government and nonprofit organizations or enter graduate school.
The College is home to the renowned Institut Français, which serves as both an academic research facility and a center for Franco-American cultural activities.
Students majoring in French are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a semester, a summer or an academic year in a French-speaking country. You may choose from among a number of different sites to spend a semester, a summer or even a year. Students unable to study abroad work with a departmental advisor to develop an alternate experience, such as an appropriate local internship, in which to apply their language/culture competence.
The Major in French helps students understand both French language and culture while preparing them for graduate work and employment in organizations and agencies with international interests.
French majors are required to complete a total of 11 major-level courses (33 credits).
Major in French with a Concentration in Francophone Culture and Civilization
The aim of this concentration is to develop cultural literacy along with linguistic skills. Students will acquire an understanding of the cultures of French-speaking regions of Africa, the Caribbean, Canada and South East Asia, as well as France, through literary texts and through the study of the history, politics, economics and art of these areas.
Students focusing on this concentration must complete a total of 11 (33 credits).
You take 7 to 10 courses (21 to 30 credits) in the Education concentration in addition to your French major requirements. Massachusetts requires that students major in a specific academic discipline in conjunction with an education concentration. The Modern Languages Dept. and the Education Dept. at Assumption work together very closely to prepare you to teach French in grades 5-12.
Minor in French
A student may complete a Minor in French by taking a total of six courses (18 credits). The program is with a Departmental Advisor and all courses for the minor must be in French.
Minor in French Studies
Students may fulfill the 6 course (18 credit) requirement of this minorcombine courses in French Language and Literature with offerings in related areas (i.e., French or Canadian Culture and Civilization, History, Art, Music). This program is developed with a Departmental Advisor.
Postgraduate Opportunities Nearly every year since 1993, Assumption graduates in French have embarked on year-long internships as assistants in English classes in French high schools or middle schools.