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Languages professor with students.

French, B.A.

The study of French is not only about language, it's also an exploration of the cultures and literatures of French-speaking peoples worldwide, and becoming a global citizen.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.
Available as a minor.
Secondary education minor offered.

Program Overview

Grand Valley's French major focuses on all areas of French language and culture, preparing students for many careers. We also offer a specialized major or minor for those seeking to teach French. Most students embark on study-abroad programs in France and beyond, whether at one of our sister schools, on our faculty-led summer program in Bordeaux, or in an approved program of their choice. If you are majoring in another field, our French minor offers an opportunity to broaden your principal field by adding a cultural and linguistic dimension.

Why Study French at Grand Valley?

  • France is spoken natively by over 300 million people in 56 countries on five continents, and is the most commonly learned second language in the world. It is also one of the working languages, along with English, of the United Nations and is an official language of many international organizations like NATO, International Red Cross, and more).
  • French is a language of the arts and literature; of medical research, technology, and sustainability; of fashion and food; and of social and political institutions that promote multiculturalism, free thought, and the expression of ideas.
  • French-language cinema ranks number 2 in the world, with hundreds of French-language films are produced each year in dozens of countries.
  • Knowing French enables one to understand and appreciate cultural diversity, which not only enhances one's competitive advantage abroad and helps maintain political and security interests, but also promotes a better understanding of cultural diversity right here in the USA.
  • French at GVSU is a dynamic program with an active community of students who get together regularly to take their passion for French beyond the classroom through films, game nights, and other activities.

Career Insights

This tool shows an overview of potential career opportunities for this major. Actual salaries, employment opportunities, and job titles may change over time.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


Course topics range from medieval to modern literature, from sociolinguistics to teaching methods, from the Francophone world to France, from the enlightenment to contemporary civilization, and from translation to the business world.

Coursework covers all aspects of language and related cultures, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Additional practical skills gained include:

  • Cultural competency, critical thinking, and analysis
  • Flexibility, communication, and working with others

Combined Degree Programs

This undergraduate degree can be combined with a master's degree to save you time and money, and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, students save $8,500 in our combined degree programs and take up to four fewer classes than if earning the degrees separately.

You can even build your own combined degree from programs in different disciplines to further personalize your education and meet specific career goals.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Modern Languages and Literatures
Mackinac Hall B-2-243
(616) 331-3203

Admissions and Recruitment Office