Why Study French?

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” –Frank Smith

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French is one of the main languages of the European Union and other international bodies like the Olympic Committee, the United Nations and international courts. The use of French is also dominant in science, engineering, and technology. French broadens your cultural horizons and prepares you for a career in international business communication, translation, tourism, education, or technology, to name a few.

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The program in French prioritizes language proficiency and culture while studying the history and politics of French-speaking countries around the world. As part of our program, you will acquire critical analytical and communication skills that prepare you for life after graduation. The program in French offers several degree options:

Intercultural Health Certificate
Major in French Education

What studying French did for me?

“Coming from a francophone country, studying French helped me keep up with the language and not forget it. People often told me that I shouldn’t get a degree because I could speak the language. I did almost forget the language; I am glad I chose to continue studying. I always told them that the degree will give me more opportunities, and that’s exactly what is happening.

Not only did my French continue to ameliorate, but the school also offered me a scholarship to study abroad in Aix-En-Provence which included many visits and field trips in southern France, full of beautiful cities and provinces. I had the opportunity to explore French culture for the first time and kept improving my vocabulary.

Studying French and earning a degree is currently helping a lot in my job search. Many employers are very impressed, especially international ones, because knowing French and English are great combos to conquering the world and finding our dream job. I have been to Belgium, France, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Senegal so far, and I had no problems navigating those countries.

Today, French is one of the most spoken languages, and we acquire many new skills — not only linguistic but cultural ones! By learning French and by discovering the cultures from the French-speaking countries we expand ourselves outside of our comfort zone. The French program at IUPUI will give you a unique experience in learning French. I highly recommend taking French even if you do not understand it yet. The French program is like a little family within Liberal Arts where you get close with your professors and other students. You will have the opportunity to explore the culture even being on campus and in the Indianapolis community. Also, join the Francophone Student Association (French Club) to practice French.

– Mariam Sylla B.A. French, B.S. Health Services Management (2020)

Mariam is a graduate assistant for the Social Justice Education at IUPUI and is currently applying for fellowships after graduation to get experience and later work for an international organization such as UNICEF, WHO… or the US embassy in any Francophone country.


Placement Testing

All IUPUI students who have previously taken a world language in high school or have previous experience in that language are eligible to take a World Language Placement Test.

Alumni Success

Our alumni have gone on to not only pursue but reach their goals in a variety of valuable fields. They teach in high schools, work in the professions of translation and interpreting, volunteer with the Peace Corps, teach with AmeriCorps, and work in local and national businesses as well as in local and national government. They also go on to graduate school for various disciplines, including Psychology, International Development, Museum Studies, Religion, Dentistry, Medical School, Travel Management, International Relations, and (of course) French.

More Info

Contact Director of the French Program Dr. Kathryn Lauten.