It's the official language in dozens of countries around the globe, spoken on nearly every continent, the origin of roughly one-third of English words, and the so-called "language of love." Need more reasons to study French? At UB, you’ll join students, like you, who enjoy studying languages, learning about people who live in different countries, and exploring culture through literature, art, history and media. If that sounds très bien to you, then keep reading.

What will I learn?

As a French major, you'll appreciate small classes where you can practice speaking and writing in French—typically starting in your very first class—as you master the language. Throughout your time in this program, you'll learn about life throughout the French-speaking world, including literature, film, music, art, philosophy, current events and more.

As a student within the Department of Romance Languages and Literature, you'll also have opportunities to learn about other Romance languages and cultures that share common origins and characteristics.

What can I do outside of class?

One of the best ways to improve your language skills and cultural understanding is to immerse yourself. That's why, as a French major, you'll be strongly encouraged to spend at least a semester taking classes in France, Senegal, Morocco or another French-speaking region or country. 

Closer to campus, many students do internships—including tutoring international students in local schools. These real-world experiences help you improve your language skills and cultural awareness.

At UB, you can also collaborate with faculty on research projects, join student clubs (including language groups), and make new friends at film screenings, conversation tables and other events.

Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with a French degree?

Teach English in Senegal. Work for a social media company in Paris. Write French textbooks for high school students. There are plenty of ways to use your talent and experience. Popular career paths include:

  • Academia and education. Teach at a school or university, advise international students or help develop educational materials.
  • International development. Promote human rights, gender justice and other important issues worldwide.
  • Medicine and health care. Help people live healthier lives with a career in global public health.
  • Publishing and translation. Become an interpreter or media specialist, or work for a publisher or immigration agency.
  • Industry, research and consultation. Serve as a diplomat, promote tourism or work in international trade.

Many students also go to graduate school to study language, education, law, business or other fields.

Want to be a teacher?

Be prepared to teach grades 5-12 by getting your bachelor's and master's in just five years through our UB Teach program.

  • Save time and money.
  • No need to apply to graduate school.
  • Be eligible for New York State professional teaching certification.

Visit the department website (at the top of this page) for more details, or see the UB Teach website for a list of all available majors.

Who will I learn from?

"I am so grateful for the supportive community I found," shared one student. "Without these professors and mentors, I would never have had the courage to study abroad in France as an undergrad or to pursue my current goal of teaching English abroad."

Our French experts have edited and published numerous books, and have shared their work on podcasts and in leading publications such as "Cultural Dynamics," "Modern Language Studies" and "Journal of Haitian Studies."

Throughout the department, you'll find faculty members who specialize in a variety of Romance languages and cultures, giving you even more opportunities to explore and learn. Of course, our professors have also earned numerous honors for their work with students, including the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.