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Language, Culture and Diversity

One of the great advantages of choosing a French major at UNC is the sense of community with students and faculty. Working in small classes, you’ll gain proficiency in French under the personal guidance and mentorship of dedicated, accessible instructors. You’ll also find that our French program is about more than learning the language: It’s about developing cultural competency, dealing with global diversity and talking about current events and how they relate to contemporary issues in the French speaking world. There are many fun and culturally enriching learning opportunities too, including a French film series, immersion weekends (complete with French cuisine) in the nearby resort town of Estes Park, a weekly conversation hour in French and French Club activities. You can even embark on a life-changing adventure studying abroad at a French university.


Lorie Sauble-Otto, Ph.D.

Professor of French  

Lorie Sauble-Otto teaches French language, culture and literature at all levels. She also teaches a course in English that explores the current societal institutions of France such as the health care system, political processes and national education. With a special interest in providing affordable and authentic faculty-led study abroad experiences, Sauble-Otto regularly organizes and leads a summer program in France. 

Learn More about Dr. Sauble-Otto 

Degree Options

Choose from two degree tracks or a minor, based on your interests and career goals: 

French Liberal Arts Emphasis

Gain a broad understanding of the French language, culture and history. As a liberal arts major you may choose to pursue graduate study in French or combine your language study with many other fields including business, political science, international trade and relations, history and the arts.

French K-12 Teaching Emphasis

Develop pedagogical and organizational skills that will position you for success as a French teacher. When you complete the French teaching major, you’ll be qualified for State of Colorado licensure to teach French in secondary schools and for graduate study in French.

French Minor

Familiarity with a foreign language such as French is not only culturally enriching, it can also be a major advantage in the job market. Our French minor offers an excellent complement to almost any major and requires 25 to 27 credits to complete.

Related Programs

Your Future in French Language Study

In learning the French language, you’ll apply critical thinking skills while developing a deeper understanding of contemporary global issues, history and culture.

Consider UNC’s French B.A. if you want to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the French language and culture
  • Pursue a teaching career or graduate study
  • Work in a collaborative learning environment with close faculty mentorship

You’ll learn:

  • Verbal and written French language skills
  • French literature, film and culture
  • Adaptability and critical thinking skills
  • Contemporary issues in French society and its social and political systems
  • Foreign language pedagogy (secondary teaching track)

Sample courses:

  • France Then and Now
  • French Politics and Society
  • Readings in French Literature
  • French Phonetics and Oral Proficiency
  • Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages
  • Educational Psychology for Secondary Teachers

Gain new perspectives and experiences abroad

Experience what it’s like to live and study in another country. Not only is it an exciting adventure, it’s a learning experience that will enrich your life for many years to come. We offer direct exchange programs in France and Quebec:

Spend a semester in Mulhouse, France studying at the Universite de Haute Alsace. Located in the in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France it has a beautiful town center and many museums and galleries. 

Study at the Université Laval in Québec City, Canada, one of Canada’s most prestigious research institutions the first French Language speaking university established in the new world.

In addition to our direct exchange programs, you can work with UNC’s Center of International Education to explore many more study abroad options to French speaking countries all over the world.

Beyond the Classroom

French is a beautiful, rich language that will open doors to culture and travel, and there are other compelling reasons to consider a French major:

  • French is the second-most widely learned foreign language after English, and the only other language that is taught in every country in the world.
  • France is the world’s top tourist destination and fifth-largest economy, so proficiency in French is a major advantage in the international job market.
  • After English and German, French is the third-most widely used language on the Internet.

Where can your degree take you?

With a bachelor’s degree in the French emphasis of our Foreign Languages program, you’ll have many different career and graduate learning opportunities. Many graduates pursue careers or further study in international relations, law, education, public policy, healthcare, business and the arts. You can also apply your degree directly to a career in teaching, here or in Europe. A foreign languages major is also valuable for military service and working with foreign service organizations.

Current Research in Foreign Language Study

In addition to being caring, dedicated educators who work closely with students, our professors are noted researchers in their fields of study. Our current research projects include:

Workshop for Teachers of French

Lorie Sauble-Otto, Ph.D., Professor of French

Lorie Sauble-Otto recently spent nearly five weeks traveling and studying in France, during which time she completed an intensive three-week workshop for teachers of French at CIEL Bretagne, near Brest, France. She participated with a group of international French teachers in more than 55 hours of culture and pedagogy workshops. The modules that she completed were: Discovery of Brittany, Evolution of French Society, Fairy Tales—an Open Door to French Culture and Language, Teaching Culture and Teaching for Speaking Proficiency. In addition to daily classes there were frequent cultural and historical excursions all over Brittany, including the forest of Huelgoat, Carnac, Mont Saint Michel, fishing villages like Le Conquet, Bréhat Island and Kergroadez castle. Sauble-Otto is now working to apply what she learned in Brittany to expand and improve the FR 475 course on tales and legends and to develop an article for publication on effective use of tales and legends in French language and literature courses.



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