Program Overview

Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts
Modern Languages and Literatures
Department Chair Name
Ron Friis
Leah Harvey

What is a French degree?

A degree in French is the study of a language spoken by 300 million people worldwide in 29 countries on five continents. The number of French speakers has grown by almost 10% since 2014. Of that 44% live in sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, upwards of 85% of French speakers will live on the African continent. A sizable population French speakers also lives in in Canada, the United States’ No. 2 trading partner.

The second most-studied language after English, French is an official language of the United Nations, European Union, International Red Cross, NATO and other international organizations. When you earn a bachelor’s degree in French, you not only build proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing this international language, but you also have the opportunity to explore the movies, musical styles, cuisines, literatures, cultures and people of the vast Francophone world.

Why study French at Furman?

The French section of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures will prepare you to stand apart as a cultured, confident and powerful communicator. Regardless of the career you pursue, we help you develop your language skills so you can address the sophisticated challenges of our increasingly interconnected Francophone world. We immerse you in conversation, literature, civilization, media and culture, creating compelling experiences at home and abroad that will enrich your personal life and give you an unparalleled edge.

Through the French section, develop transferable skills that are applicable to any career path you may take – learn to communicate ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral form, refine your ability to read and analyze texts, images and videos. Deepen your appreciation of the French influence on fashion, cuisine, art, music and cinema. Sharpen and expand your understanding of the French-speaking world at large, from Oceania to Southeast Asia, North and West Africa to North America, and with Europe.

Study abroad as part of The Furman Advantage. Learn to think on your feet, and cultivate an ability to work collaboratively among the close-knit French-speaking community you’ll lean on throughout your four years at Furman. Plan a visit to Furman’s beautiful campus or start your application today.

How will you learn?

You will acquire excellence in listening, speaking, reading, writing and vocabulary through classroom and out-of-class experiences. Study away opportunities amplify the ways in which you’ll explore French-speaking civilizations, history and customs, immersing you in everything from arts to current issues, such as presidential elections or Québec’s unique culture.

Become a language ambassador or associate at our updated Modern Language Center, or serve as a cultural events coordinator. Or partner with faculty on research and present findings at an academic conference. In recent years, student scholars have worked with faculty on original academic articles covering topics like contemporary migrant literature, and science fiction and fairy tales of the 1600s.

Whether enjoying friends in the Modern Language Center, attending one of our student-led “Café français” chit-chats, “Café avec les Profs,” checking out a film screening, or attending one of our many social events, you’ll be able to connect with and learn from other Francophiles around campus.

Featured French courses

  • 96%
    French majors who study away
  • 84%
    French majors who also complete a second major
  • 57%
    French majors who complete an internship

What our students say

“Studying abroad with Furman's French program during my junior year changed my life. I was so inspired by the beautiful monuments and landscapes, I stayed with an incredible host family, and I ultimately fell in love with the country that I now call home. I wouldn't have been able to build the life I have in Paris or become a French citizen without the linguistic and cultural foundations I built during my time at Furman.”
– Lee Litty ’15, management and strategy consultant, Eurogroup Consulting; B.A., French, and B.A., political science

Our faculty

Marianne Bessy

Lois Aileen Coggins Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures; French Language Coordinator

Nathan Brown

Associate Professor of French

Carole Salmon

Professor of French

Daniel J. Worden

Assistant Professor of French
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French Major F.A.Q.