From the sequence of beginner and intermediate French language classes, to more than twenty advanced courses in French each semester for Majors and Minors, to specialized seminars for M.A. and Ph.D. students, the Department of French at the University of Virginia offers a rich array of courses and programs to meet the needs of learners at all levels and to enable its students to explore as well as develop in-depth knowledge and advanced competencies in the field of French. With weekly French conversation hours at the Maison française, French film festivals, theatrical productions, visiting film-makers and writers, and scholarly conferences, plus a variety of meaningful study abroad options, the department maintains its commitment to creating a dynamic environment for students with diverse academic and professional interests and goals.
Our university’s founder, Thomas Jefferson, expressed a deep affinity for France, its language, thought, and culture. As in Jefferson’s time, it is not only the French language that is important, but many aspects of French and Francophone cultures available to us through the medium of the language.
Elementary and Intermediate French classes build proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and provide an introduction to and exploration of the cultures of the francophone world. These courses focus on real-world uses of French for communication, incorporating authentic texts (printed and digital, written, oral, and visual) from the francophone world, and using a variety of language-learning technologies in and out of the classroom.
For its Majors and Minors, the department cultivates an expansive and critical engagement with the French-speaking world of all periods, from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. As the world changes, so does the study of French, and we are proud of the disciplinary and geographic diversity of French studies that students discover in our courses on language, literature, film, and culture, in the context of European, African, and American societies.