About the French Studies Program

About the French Studies Program

Students in French Studies are expected to reach a high level of competence in the French language. The program emphasizes in-depth study of literature, history, philosophy and theory, art history, and cinema.

Welcome to French Studies!

The French Program is housed within Bard's vibrant Division of Languages and Literature.  It welcomes students at all levels.  A student who has never studied French can enroll in the yearly Intensive class (followed by a month in Tours, France) and continue through all the levels of instruction of the language, so that by his or her senior year, the student will be reading Proust and chatting fluently about Existentialism.   Intermediate-level students can perfect their language skills by taking French through translation and various grammar-intensive classes focussing on literature, culture, and film.  More advanced students will thrive in upper-level seminars.

The objective of the French Studies Program is twofold: to enable students to reach a high level of competence in the French language and to emphasize in-depth study of aspects of French and Francophone culture.The program enables students to select one of the following areas of specialization: French and Francophone literature, French language and linguistics, cultural studies, history, philosophy, critical studies, and art history.  Moreover, any individual student can design his or her own area of specialization (i.e., music, human rights, political studies) pending approval by French Studies faculty.

Thanks to its close ties with other programs, French majors enjoy a wealth of multidisciplinary courses while receiving the close attention of  a nurturing  and passionately engaged intellectual environment.   Frequently double majoring in Art History, Film Studies, History, or Human Rights, our students are encouraged to take a Junior semester in a Francophone country and have studied in Paris, Montreal, Sénégal, Brussels, among others.  They graduate with an extremely competitive edge that enables them to brave an increasingly complex global world.  Thanks to their proficiency in French, many of our majors have received post-graduation internships to teach in Francophone highschools all over the world.