Minor in French

The minor in French provides an intellectually stimulating, flexible, and valuable enhancement to any undergraduate major. With French as the language of instruction in all courses for the minor, students achieve a solid understanding of French grammar and pronunciation, deepen their intercultural awareness, and develop proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening that enables effective communication in many academic, everyday, and professional settings. Each student, in keeping with his or her particular interests and in consultation with a faculty advisor for the minor, selects a combination of six advanced courses from a wide range of LF offerings in French language, French and Francophone literature and culture, and French linguistics. In literature-focused courses, students gain historical knowledge and develop skills of analysis and interpretive argumentation through engagement with great literary, filmic, and cultural works and traditions. Courses in French linguistics equip students to analyze the structure of the language, its historical development, and variations in usage. Study abroad is strongly encouraged, and up to four courses taken through BU programs in France may be counted toward the minor, as detailed below.

A minor in French provides students with skills and knowledge that can enhance career opportunities across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, including government, international development, journalism, law, communications, and business.


  • Six 4-credit CAS LF courses in language, literature, and linguistics, taught in French, numbered 300 and above.

Students may include up to three transfer courses from other colleges, universities, or non-Boston University study abroad programs and must take a minimum of three courses (or a minimum of two, if they have four courses approved for credit toward the minor from Boston University’s Study Abroad and Internship Programs in Grenoble and Paris) on the Charles River Campus.

Internships taken through Boston University’s Study Abroad and Internship Programs or other study abroad programs may not be credited toward minors offered by the department. A grade of C or higher is required in all courses taken toward the minor.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Students may take courses to fulfill their language requirement or courses toward a French major or minor, or toward the joint major in French & Linguistics, in the Boston University Study Abroad and Internship Programs in Grenoble and Paris. In Grenoble, students enroll in intensive language courses and in university courses covering a broad curriculum. Also in Grenoble, first-semester sophomores pursuing a pre-health curriculum can combine a science course taught in English with a French course appropriate to their (beginning, intermediate, advanced) level. The BU center in Paris offers the Paris Internship Program running throughout the year.

Opportunities to take courses abroad taught in French are also available in BU’s program in Geneva, and through exchange programs in Paris in the fields of management and political science. Additional information on these programs is available in the Study Abroad and Internship Programs portion of this Bulletin. Students should consult with a faculty advisor to determine which Study Abroad courses may fulfill major and minor requirements.

Placement Examination

A placement test is required of all students whose most recent course in French was taken in high school or at a college other than Boston University and who wish to continue their study of this language here. Information regarding online placement exams is available in the department or on the departmental website.