We believe that direct contact and experience with the French-speaking world in and beyond the classroom are inseparable from these goals and we encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them for study in French-speaking countries.


  1. Majors should pursue a balanced and coherent program of study among language, literature, and culture, and between the historical and the contemporary.
  2. Majors should form some acquaintance with Francophone literatures and cultures.  
  3. Majors should graduate with active competence in French.
  4. Students, both majors and nonmajors, should use French actively in all courses throughout the sequence, and language skills will be assessed at all levels.
  5. Students should be able to study in different fields and disciplines using French.
  6. Students should have the opportunity to study in a French-language culture. Majors are expected to study abroad, preferably for a full year. A student’s academic program should include coursework at one of the country’s postsecondary academic institutions. We expect all students abroad to make a serious attempt to improve their linguistic and cultural skills.
  7. Senior work should involve independent research, reading, and reflection in the context of a senior seminar or independent project.


Upon completion of a French major at Middlebury College, students will have been assessed and will be able to do the following:

  • Actively engage in conversations and discussions with native speakers of French, ranging in complexity from sophisticated everyday conversations to a basic familiarity with abstract intellectual discourse;
  • Read and critically analyze authentic texts and materials from all areas of French and Francophone studies;
  • Produce written documents of sufficient consistent and reasonable clarity to be readily intelligible to an educated outside reader;
  • Do independent research, write analytical research papers, produce a written research project and/or thesis;
  • Upon the completion of the basic language sequence plus two upper-200-level courses (chosen from 210, 221, or 230, or equivalent), attend and complete successfully courses within the regular academic curriculum of French universities (Paris, Bordeaux, Poitiers) via the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in France or via preapproved non-Middlebury French or Francophone programs abroad.