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Department of French and Italian

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Why study French, Italian, and francophone studies?

French, Italian, and francophone studies ensure that our students succeed in an interconnected world.

Undergraduate Programs

Course work in the Department of French and Italian gives undergraduates a valuable and useful linguistic tool; offers cultural training for students specializing in other fields; trains majors in the literature, culture, and civilization of France and Italy; and prepares prospective language teachers. The department welcomes qualified students from all disciplines, regardless of major.

Placement

In general, placement depends on the overall proficiency of the student and on what was accomplished in previous French or Italian courses. A student entering KU with no previous French should enroll in FREN 110. A student entering KU with no previous Italian should enroll in ITAL 110 or ITAL 155.

Students with past course work/experience in French should take the online French placement examination offered through the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center at KU. Once the student has the placement score, he or she should contact the French language coordinator in the Department of French and Italian to determine which French course is appropriate for his or her level. A student who has four years of high school French and wants to continue the study of French beyond the language requirement generally enrolls in FREN 300 or FREN 326, depending on the placement examination results. Students who feel they are sufficiently prepared to test out of the language requirement may contact the department office to arrange to take a French proficiency test.

Any student who is uncertain about enrollment level in Italian should go to the department office for placement.

Retroactive Credit

Students with no prior college or university French or Italian course credit are eligible for retroactive credit according to this formula:

  • 3 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 2 or 3 years of high school French or Italian who enrolls initially at KU in a third-semester French or Italian course (FREN 230 or FREN 231 or ITAL 230) and receives a grade of C– or higher.
  • 6 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 3 or 4 years of high school French or Italian who enrolls initially at KU in a fourth-semester French or Italian course (FREN 240 or FREN 241 or ITAL 240) and receives a grade of C– or higher.
  • 9 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student with 4 years of high school French or Italian who enrolls initially at KU in a French or Italian course with a fourth-semester course as a prerequisite and receives a grade of C– or higher.

Courses for Nonmajors

All courses are open to nonmajors who meet requirements. Candidates for the B.S. degree in education who want to major or minor in French should consult the School of Education. Special concentrations in French and Italian are also available through business and journalism.

Graduate Programs

The Department of French and Italian offers a comprehensive graduate program (M.A. and Ph.D.) in French and francophone language, literature, and culture. Our faculty is dynamic, professionally active, and committed to excellence in scholarship and teaching. Although the major emphasis of teaching and research is French and Francophone literature, the department also offers courses in literary theory, cultural studies, and film. The department offers a balanced emphasis on all periods from medieval through twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Our students represent a diverse group, and we encourage equally applicants from traditional and nontraditional backgrounds. Teaching assistantships are available to qualified graduate students, who receive thorough training in language instruction. Stipends are generally competitive half-time appointments for the 9-month academic year. There are also university fellowships for truly outstanding students. Visit the Graduate Studies website for information about funding opportunities for KU graduate students. Excellent facilities, strong library holdings, and a faculty dedicated to both teaching and research assure students of a challenging and professional graduate preparation.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.