Studying French is the gateway to a life of travel, discovery, and success. Regardless of whether you’re just beginning or continuing your French studies, the skills and knowledge you gain through the French discipline at UMN Morris will serve you well. Whether your future career involves collaborating with French-speaking colleagues in a global setting or communicating with clients or community members at a local level, you can learn and excel at a language that opens doors to job opportunities in diplomacy, commerce, healthcare, music, art, history, science, and philosophy.
The UMN Morris French program boasts opportunities for community engagement, as well as courses in sustainability, professional development, and career planning. You’ll gain skills in writing, problem solving, and intercultural competence, as well as analytical skills to use in a diverse workforce. Dedicated faculty members will challenge you to explore the literature and cultures of French and French-speaking nations around the world, from a thousand years ago up until today.
Courses provide both breadth and depth, giving you the language and analytic skills necessary to engage in interconnected fields and Francophone cultures throughout the world. Advanced coursework spans medieval, early modern, and modern France as well as the arts, histories, and cultures of French-speaking North and West Africa, as well as North America. UMN Morris also offers language skills courses in phonetics, grammar, translation, and community interpreting.
Student Learning Outcomes
By completing a degree in French, you will be able to
- interpret with accuracy detailed information and narratives in French in the past, present, and future;
- express yourself, in speaking and in writing, in the past, present, and future about topics of general, academic, and professional interest;
- interpret cultural artifacts, texts, and films with accuracy, demonstrating knowledge of the French and Francophone cultures that produced them;
- create work that reflects an awareness of your own cultural biases;
- articulate the inherent complexities, worldviews, and values of other cultures; and
- prepare for a future in graduate school or in the professional world.
General Education Requirements
The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.
Careers & Graduate School
Advanced skills in another language help you stand out from a crowd, giving you a competitive edge against other candidates for graduate study programs, national fellowship programs, and the workforce. The majority of UMN Morris French graduates spend one or two years in the Teaching Assistant Program in France program, immersing themselves in French culture and language.
There are many occupational areas in which you can use your French degree:
- Teaching assistantship in France
- K-12 education
- Higher education
- Foreign affairs
- International business
- Private industry or public sector
A majority of UMN Morris’s French graduates have moved to France after graduation to teach English for a year.
With a four-year degree, you’ll be ready for graduate school if that’s a path you’re interested in. Previous UMN Morris French students have gone on to graduate school with full-ride scholarships at many universities, including:
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- Indiana University
- Cornell University
- Ohio State University
- University of Michigan
“I recently graduated … with an MA in international relations and a masters in public administration, having interned at UNICEF in Geneva, Switzerland, for part of it.” -Fiona ‘18, UMN Morris Alum
The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.
Students are immediately considered for a scholarship package upon admission to UMN Morris.
Research & Engagement
One of the best things about UMN Morris is the opportunity to get to know your professors through collaborative projects—and there are many.
You’ll be able to work with faculty to research French and Francophone cultures. You may be able to present your research on campus or at a conference off campus. Past French students have organized paleography and manuscript collections in the library, created reproductions of medieval books, presented literary and cultural papers at conferences, and published papers in accredited literary journals.
Combining French with other areas of study for a creative and scholarly project is another option. For example, a past student majoring in both French and medieval studies was able to gain hands-on experience researching and putting together an intricate manuscript collection for future students to reference at the library on campus.
Study abroad programs are highly encouraged for French students, and they range from weekend trips to year-long exchanges. A direct student exchange program to Lille, France, is offered, along with an annual French Club trip to Winnipeg, Canada, for a Voyageur music festival. These are real world opportunities for you to practice French—and learn more about North American history. Post-graduate travel opportunities, such as the Teaching Assistant Program in France or Fulbright, may also be an option.
Entre Nous is the French club on campus. This is a great way to practice your French speaking skills in a judgment-free zone while experiencing Francophone culture. Entre Nous plans these programs:
- Fête raclette
- Fête crêpe
- Mardi Gras feast
Entre Nous Teaches You, an after-school, community engagement project, lets you team-teach local kids the basics of French language and French-speaking cultures around the world.
You may also want to participate in the annual French poetry reading contest. Focus is on improving your pronunciation and presenting at the competition to win prizes
Opportunities for Students
The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.
- Creative Activity
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.
- Creative Activity
Most years in February, students take a bus to Winnipeg for a weekend at the Festival du Voyageur, an annual celebration of the culture of the Voyageurs, fur traders and merchants who frequently traded goods with Native communities.
The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.
- Creative Activity
- Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)
- Student Employment
The Barber Lectures in Literature are made possible by a gift to UMN Morris from Laird H. Barber and the late Dorothy Klein Barber, both of whom had long and distinguished careers as English faculty at UMN Morris. The endowed lecture series began in 1999 and is shared, in alternate years, between the English and the foreign languages and literatures (German studies, French, Spanish) disciplines. The intention of the Barber Lecture Series is to provide a stimulating forum for delving into the multiplicity of issues which confront and enrich literary studies in many areas of the world.
During their careers and after retirement, the Barbers made major contributions to the liberal arts at UMN Morris and to the town of Morris. Their involvement began in 1964, when Laird joined the English faculty; Dorothy joined the English faculty the next year. Dorothy retired in 1991 and passed away in 1998. Laird retired in 1994 and continues to support intellectual life on campus and in Morris.
Thanks to the Barbers, the humanities division is able to bring to campus each year a distinguished literary scholar to enrich campus dialogue about contemporary literary issues.