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Languages professor with students.

French, B.A.

The study of French is not only about language and communication, it's also an exploration of the cultures of the French-speaking world.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.

Study Abroad Opportunities

GVSU's French program offers a faculty-led summer study abroad program in Bordeaux, France.

Specialized Major and Minor for Teachers

GVSU's French program offers a specialized major or minor for those seeking to teach French.

Versatile Degree

GVSU's French major focuses on all areas of French language and culture, preparing students for careers in business, government, international relations, education, social work, and health professions.

Available as a minor.

Program Overview

Grand Valley's French major focuses on all areas of French language and culture, preparing students for many careers by developing linguistic proficiency and intercultural competence. We also offer a specialized major or minor for those seeking to teach French from pre-kindergarten through high school. Most students embark on study abroad programs in France and beyond, whether at one of our partnership programs, on our faculty-led summer program in Bordeaux, or in an approved program of their choice.

A minor in French (21-22 credits) will enhance and strengthen any major!

High-impact practices are integrated throughout the program, including mindfulness, game-based pedagogies, digital project-based learning, virtual exchange, and study abroad. Nearly all French classes use free open educational resources and embrace innovative approaches to grading.

Why Study French at Grand Valley?

  • French is the official language of 29 countries and is spoken by 310 million people, making it the fifth most spoken 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.
  • 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.
  • GVSU French is a relationship-rich learning community where students interact closely with their classmates and instructors.

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 and develops students' interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills. Additional practical skills gained include:

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

Career Options

GVSU French majors and minors pursue a wide range of careers in fields such as:

  • Business
  • Education
  • Government and nonprofit
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • International relations
  • Health professions
  • Social work
  • Advertising and public relations

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

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