If students have taken French elsewhere, they must take a placement test administered by the department. Depending on the results of the placement test or with recommendation of an instructor, they may be permitted to enroll in a course of study at a more advanced level.
Requisites to all upper-division courses taken in partial fulfillment of the French majors are French 6, 12, or equivalent. Courses 105 through 109 are not sequential and may be taken in any order, provided the requisites for each course are fulfilled.
No credit is allowed for completing a less advanced course after successful completion of a more advanced course in French grammar and/or composition.
The French major is a designated capstone major. Students are required to complete a capstone seminar that is thematically devised to reflect current trends in the discipline. Through the capstone experience, students work closely with a faculty member on a focused topic of research. They engage in presentations and weekly discussions and write a research paper demonstrating language proficiency, critical and creative thinking, analytical skills, and a cultural perspective.
The department encourages those students in the French majors with initiative and independence of mind, who desire an enriched individualized course of study, to apply for the honors program.
The honors program is designed for French majors who have fulfilled their lower-division requirements and have a 3.5 departmental grade-point average (GPA). Students whose GPA falls between 3.3 and 3.5 should submit a composition from an advanced language or literature course to the honors committee. If the work submitted meets with approval, students are admitted to the program.
To graduate with departmental honors, students must complete a minimum of two honors projects in the context of nonhonors upper-division courses (French 115 and above) taken for honors credit. They must do an honors project (a research paper of 12 to 15 pages) in addition to the regular course requirements. An honors contract must be signed before the end of the third week of the term. After completing the project, students fill out a completion form.
On the basis of their coursework and field of interest, students are expected to formulate a research topic they wish to pursue in greater depth. They take course 198 where they receive regular personal supervision from a faculty member in the research, methodology, and writing of their approximately 20- to 25-page honors thesis (honors projects and the honors thesis are not to be confused).
Students may begin the honors program toward the end of their junior year or during their senior year. Students are allowed to enroll in graduate courses with the consent of the instructor, but cannot use those courses to replace an honors project. Departmental honors are recorded on the final transcript if students fulfill all requirements for the program. They may submit their final honors thesis for the departmental prize.