French majors master the language and explore its varied cultures across the globe
For centuries French was the scientific and artistic language of Europe, and other capitals slavishly followed all that Paris offered. The legacy is a library of amazing writing extending well beyond metropolitan France. Powerful novels and films have lately emerged from Quebec, West Africa and the Caribbean.
We want to share with our majors the amazing experience of speaking another language well. You see the world in a new way. You even take on a different persona, feeling and expressing things in new ways.
The detailed analytical skills and cultural sensitivity our majors learn through literature and culture classes can be applied across disciplines. Popular double majors include French/sociology, French/political science and French/art history.
There are many study-abroad options. You may attend our semester-long programs in Paris or Nantes. In another, in the southern city of Montpellier, you would enroll directly in the French educational system, which offers an experience very close to that of a French native. Or you may opt for shorter intensive three-week programs.
Careers Made easy
Tout le monde
There are 220 million French speakers around the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Speaking the language gives you access to both established and growing markets in the world of business.
In a recent Drew International Seminar, students not only practiced French and met prominent intellectuals, but also took part in Carnival dance and drum rehearsals on the Caribbean island of Martinique. Grads say that their international travels transform them and are important topics of conversation in job interviews.
A number of our graduates have been admitted to the official French government assistantship program in France to teach English for nine months. Some follow that with law school, or grad school in subjects like history or literature. They find the French proficiency and work experience gives them an edge.
I want to be a French teacher and at Drew, I can get my Master of Arts in Teaching in one year. I’m getting a real sense of French culture here, and I’m learning how to speak French in French—as opposed to speaking French while still thinking in English.
I was able to show my host family in Paris just what American life is like, and share both my cultures (I was born in Nigeria) with them in a way they hadn’t experienced. Having that human connection is a beautiful thing.
The books I have published all relate to courses I teach. My current project is a book on Algerian society and literature.
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Professor & chair
An article I just published—”When Wikipedists Meet Encyclopedists” in Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries—details the pedagogical benefits of my students’ participation in the large Collaborative Translation Project of Diderot’s Encyclopédie.
Ph.D., New York University
- Head of 19th-century furniture and decorative arts
Christie’s, New York City
- Human rights defender
Human Rights Watch, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Economic consultant
Princeton Economic Group
Learn more about when you graduate
Drew students are part of an effort based at the University of Michigan
helping to translate this great monument of the Enlightenment.
My Favorite Course
“Our professor pushed us and pushed us. In a very loving way, of course. It gave me the feeling that I could be a French major.”
Adijat Mustapha, on Intermediate French