Welcome to French Studies, home of exceptional scholars and enthusiastic students and an integral segment of Rice’s newly formed Department of Classical and European Studies. We pride ourselves on our interdisciplinarity, our devotion to teaching, and on the breadth of our interests. In courses from medieval courtly love to French philosophy since the Enlightenment, from post-colonial Africa to social issues in contemporary France, from women in the 19th-century literary imagination to the art of reading and interpretation, our focus is never just on the literary and linguistic but also on gender and visual art, history and medicine, post-colonialism and critical theory.
Whether they major (or are simply welcome visitors) in French Studies, our students enjoy a wide range of opportunities. They are encouraged to join our Club Chouette and its regular conversations over lunch. They study abroad in allied programs in Paris and Aix-en-Provence. We make available to them a variety of fellowships to support their travel and accept many of the courses they take abroad for credit towards their degree at Rice. Seniors who wish to graduate with honors, finally, enjoy personal supervision in their final year should they choose to complete a senior thesis.
A majority of our courses are offered entirely in French. But we also offer select courses in English (some of these in collaboration with our colleagues in Classical Studies and German Studies) as we look to share the richness of French and European traditions with the wider Rice student body. From the Song of Roland to the Romantic poets, from Montaigne and Rabelais to Descartes and Pascal, from the Enlightenment to the 19th-century realists to existentialist theater, French art and intellectual thought paint a trajectory—literary, historical, cultural—that remains indispensable to the study of the humanities and of our ever increasingly global world.
All students who arrive at Rice with AP credit in French of 4 or 5, or who have passed the International Baccalaureate with a 6 or a 7 in this languages,can immediately enroll in all courses at the 300 or 400 level in the program in question without taking a placement exam. Otherwise, all students are required to take the placement exam administered by CLIC and will be assigned to courses in accordance with their level.
B.A. in French Studies degree Requirements
|Single Major in French Studies||Double Major in French Studies|
|Total Hours||30 hours (10 courses)||24 hours (8 courses)|
|Required Courses||2 of the 3 following courses
||2 of the 3 following courses
|Required Course||FREN 302||FREN 302|
|400 Level Courses||Minimum of 3 courses||Minimum of 2 courses|
|Rice Courses||Half of courses for major must be taken at Rice University.||Half of courses for major must be taken at Rice University.|
NOTE: It is the policy of the French Program in the Department of Classical and European Studies that students with an AP score of 4 or 5 do NOT need to take the Placement Exam, and they can immediately sign up for any 300 or 400 level course in the French Program.
Students enrolled in French 300 level or 400 level courses cannot simultaneously enroll in French 200 level courses for credit nor do so afterwards.
The French Studies Program does offer a few courses conducted in English. Students may petition the department to include, as part of the major or double major, up to two courses in English relevant to French Studies.
The program recommends that the major in French Studies also take courses in European history, English, another European literature, and/or courses closely related to French and francophone literature and culture. In addition to the departmental requirements for the major, students must also satisfy the distribution requirements (as outlined in the General Announcements) and complete no fewer than 60 semester hours outside the departmental requirements, ultimately totaling at least 120 semester hours. All majors and prospective majors should have their degree plans approved by the department's undergraduate advisors.
Students with diplomas from French-speaking institutions will need to consult with the department's advisor before enrolling in courses. In addition, those entering Rice University with prior training in French should take the language placement exam administered during Freshman Week to determine their level of proficiency.
The Honors Program in French Studies is meant to recognize outstanding French majors who complete a senior thesis in close collaboration with a French Studies faculty member.
The French Studies Program encourages its students to spend time in France or in a French-speaking country and facilitates several awards and fellowships to do so.
Please see the Fellowships & Awards section for more information on how and when to apply.
Fellowships & Awards
Alliance Française Summer Scholarship - The Leonardon-Magne Scholarship Program
Application for Alliance Française Summer Scholarship - Deadline: Friday, January 12, 2018
Clyde Ferguson Bull Fellowship Information
Requesting Transfer Credit
- School of Humanities
- Humanities Research Center
- Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication
- Medieval and Early Modern Studies
- French Club - French Club aims to foster a passion for French language and culture among members of the Rice University community by hosting cultural events, French movie nights, museum excursions, and weekly French conversation practice. We also provide information about studying abroad and the French classes offered each semester. If you’re a Francophone, a Francophile, or just interested in learning more about French culture, like us on Facebook to hear about our upcoming events!
- Fondren Library Research Guide for French and Francophone Studies