Required for the Major

Total of no fewer than 10 courses. All courses for the major must be taught in French.

I. Two introductory-level courses in reading and culture: FREN 0209, FREN 0210, FREN 0220-0229, or specified courses in France (Paris, Poitiers, Bordeaux), or Cameroon; or equivalent in the Middlebury summer French School when offered.

II. One course in contemporary French or Francophone studies: FREN 0230-0239, courses on contemporary France, or specified French or Francophone studies in France (Paris, Poitiers, Bordeaux), or Cameroon; or equivalent in the Middlebury summer French School when offered.

III. One course on the history of France or a Francophone region or country.

IV. Three advanced courses in French or Francophone studies (FREN 0300 level).

V.  One unit of senior work, usually a senior seminar (FREN 0400 level. Honors candidates may fulfill the senior work requirement by writing an Honors essay (FREN 0700) or Honors thesis (FREN 0701).

During their senior year, majors must take at least one advanced course (Category IV) in French at Middlebury in addition to the senior seminar.

Other courses counting for the major include:

(1) At the Vermont campus: FREN 0205, FREN 0255, among others; certain advanced courses offered during the winter term (with permission of the chair); certain summer courses at the 0300 (intermediate) or 0400 (advanced) level; and,

(2) In France and Cameroon: language and linguistics courses; comparative literature (with a major French or Francophone component); French or Francophone arts, theatre, cinema, television, or politics.

All majors study abroad for a semester or a year in a French-speaking country. The year program carries nine units of credit; the semester program carries four or five units of credit. In order to ensure that students are exposed to a variety of disciplines, no more than five units (full-year program) or three units (semester program) may be counted toward the French and Francophone Studies major. Most courses in France will be at the advanced level.

The French and Francophone Studies Department does not offer a joint major.

Required for a Minor

Minimum of five courses, FREN 0205 and above, including at least two introductory courses (FREN 0209, FREN 0210, FREN 0220-0239) and at least one course at the advanced level (Category IV) to be taken during the student’s final two semesters. The minor may include courses taken at the Middlebury School in France or the School in Cameroon (maximum of two from the semester program, three from the full-year program).  Students electing the French minor are encouraged to consult with faculty members in the French Department about course planning.

Students with a College Board AP score of 4 or 5 will receive one unit of credit toward graduation if the first course successfully completed at Middlebury is FREN 0209 or above in accordance with placement and departmental advising. AP credits may not be counted toward the major or minor.

Senior Work

Upon completing at least two 0300-level courses in French or Francophone studies, majors are required to complete senior work consisting of a significant research paper in the context of a senior seminar (0400-level).


Exceptional students with a grade point average in French and Francophone Studies of 3.8 or higher may petition the department to pursue an independent project for honors in French and Francophone Studies. Candidates for honors may propose a one-semester senior honors essay (FREN 0700) or a senior honors thesis (FREN 0701, one semester and winter term). Eligible students should consult the departmental guidelines and present their proposals well in advance of registration for the term in which the work is to be started. The department will determine whether to award honors, high honors, or highest honors on the basis of a student’s work in the department and performance on the senior honors project.

International and Global Studies Major with French Language

Along with other required courses and senior work as described in the International and Global Studies Major section, completion of the French language component requires: (1) proficiency in French (a minimum of two of (FREN 0209, FREN 0210, FREN 0220-0239) or work in the French summer school at the 0300 level or above); (2) at least one semester, and preferably a year, at the Middlebury College School in France, or in Cameroon, or in another French-speaking country; and (3) one or more courses at the 0300 or 0400-level upon return from abroad.

International and Global Studies Major, European Studies Track

For Classes of 2015.5 and 2016 only. New rules, available in the International and Global Studies section, apply to the Class of 2017

(1) Language proficiency: see above; (2) regional specialization: choose from FREN 0230 and courses at the 0300-level, or others (Vermont campus), in consultation with the track director; courses in French or Francophone studies at Middlebury in France or in another French-speaking country; (3) disciplinary specialization: two courses from (FREN 0209, FREN 0210, FREN 0220-0239); three advanced French or Francophone studies courses at Middlebury or one of the Middlebury Schools in France; (4) at least one semester, and preferably a year, at the Middlebury College School in France or in another French-speaking country; and (5) one or more courses at the 0300 or 0400 level, or senior independent work in French, upon return from abroad.

Study Abroad in France and in Cameroon

Middlebury offers both year and semester abroad programs in France (Paris, Poitiers and Bordeaux) and in Cameroon.  Students planning to study in France or Cameroon must have completed two full years of college credit by the time they undertake their study abroad; they must have successfully completed at least one course beyond FREN 0209 (previously FREN 0210)  by the time they arrive abroad; and they must have an average in French of at least B. We expect all applicants to demonstrate their commitment to French and maintain their fluency by continuous study of French from the time of their enrollment at Middlebury and to maintain their academic level if they are accepted to study abroad.  They are required to take a French course in the semester before study abroad. Students may count three courses from the semester program, five from the full year program toward a major in French; two courses from the semester program and three from the full year program toward a minor in French.

It should be noted that while students wishing to attend one of our programs in France or in Cameroon must demonstrate a level of proficiency in the language that will allow them to function successfully in the French or Cameroonian university setting, they need not be French majors: the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in France (Paris, Poitiers, and Bordeaux) offers students the opportunity to take courses in history, history of art, economics, cinema, political science, psychology, sociology, studio art, the natural sciences, and the environment, among other disciplines, in addition to courses in languages and literature. Students interested in studying abroad should speak to someone in the Office of International Programs & Off-Campus Study, Sunderland Language Center, well in advance of applying. They will need to seek prior approval of School in France and School in Cameroon courses from the appropriate department chairs if they wish course work to count toward a specific minor or major. The Office of Off-Campus Study will provide information about the program and application forms.