VCU Bulletins

Foreign Language, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in French

Peter Kirkpatrick
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, French

Special requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language, students must complete at least 39 credits within the major, 36 credits of which must be upper-level (300-level or above), with a minimum GPA of 2.25 within the major.

Majors in foreign language are encouraged to choose a minor that will broaden their global and cultural perspectives. Foreign language majors are encouraged — but not limited — to complete the course requirements for a minor in one of the following fields: African studies, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, anthropology, Chinese and Asian Studies, economics, business (general business minor), French, geography, German, history, Italian studies, Mediterranean studies, political science, religious studies, Russian studies, sociology, Spanish or urban and regional studies. Students also may want to consider a double major. The School of World Studies Advising Office will work with students to explore the benefits of a double major and/or a minor.

All foreign language majors, students transferring credits from study abroad and transfer students who intend to major in a foreign language must take a minimum of two 400-level courses at VCU in the chosen language area. Both credit and distribution (minimum of 10 courses) requirements for the concentration must be satisfied.

The foreign language program offers a varied interdisciplinary humanities curriculum, global in scope and designed to increase students’ knowledge about the cultures and traditions, languages, literature and media, history, values, concerns, and aspirations of peoples in different countries and regions of the world. The goal of the program is ultimately also to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities. Students have the option to pursue a focus or even combination of concentrations in foreign language(s), area studies and/or global issues (in either cinema and/or social justice), depending upon their interests and career plans. Within each chosen concentration or minor, the range of offerings allows for flexibility in configuring each individual’s course of study, which can be organized in a manner that best suits a student’s particular needs.

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language will qualify students to pursue any of a number of career paths, including international communications, business and marketing, aid and development, journalism, or education; government foreign service, international affairs, immigration service or the Peace Corps; nongovernmental organizations involved in development, relief programs, immigration or human rights advocacy; or public relations in a multicultural environment. Graduates of our program will also find opportunities in teaching at home or abroad, as well as in work with a variety of public-service organizations. In addition, an undergraduate degree in foreign language provides excellent background and qualifications for admittance to graduate degree programs in a number of humanities disciplines, including foreign languages and international studies, as well as in international law, business or journalism.

Degree requirements for Foreign Language, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in French

Learning outcomes

  • Development of written communication skills
  • Development of oral communication skills
  • Development of reading and analytical skills
  • Cultural competence

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • The goal of the program is ultimately to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities.
  • Students gain proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in French.
  • Students also gain knowledge and a set of cognitive, affective and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction with the French-speaking world.
General Education requirements (32-46 credits) Credits
University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV 111 Focused Inquiry I 3
UNIV 112 Focused Inquiry II 3
UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved humanities/fine arts 3
Approved natural/physical sciences 3-4
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences 3-4
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)  
HUMS 202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities 3
Approved H&S general education electives 6-8
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)  
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)  
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)  
Experiential fine arts (course offered by the School of the Arts) 1-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement) 0-8
Collateral requirements (0-9 credits)  
Experiential learning: Students must fulfill this requirement through an approved internship (FRLG 493, WRLD 493, INTL 493 or other pre-approved internship opportunities), major-specific service-learning course or study abroad program. 0-3
Foreign language requirement: In order to begin upper-level course work in any foreign language, students must have consecutively completed FREN 201 and FREN 202 or 205 or prove the equivalent proficiency level through placement testing. 0-6
World Passport: Students must complete the School of World Studies World Passport. 0
Major requirements (39 credits)  
FREN 300 and FREN 301 Advanced Grammar and Writing 6
FREN 305 Advanced Conversation or FREN 307 French Conversation and Film 3
FREN 320 French Civilization and Culture I 3
FREN 321 French Civilization and Culture II 3
FREN 330 and FREN 331 Survey of Literature 6
FREN electives (400-level or above) 9
INTL/WRLD 203 Cultural Texts and Context 3
WRLD 302 Communicating Across Cultures 3
WRLD 490 Seminar in World Cultures & Languages (capstone) 3
Open electives (26-49 credits)  
Open electives 26-49
Total minimum requirement 120

Click here to download a sample outline. [PDF]



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Last update: 6/18/2013

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