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Haverford College
Department of French
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The Departments of French at Haverford College and Bryn Mawr College offer a unified program and a variety of courses and two major options.

The purpose of the major in French is to lay the foundation for an understanding and appreciation of French and Francophone cultures. Course offerings are intended to serve both those with particular interest in French literature, literary theory and criticism, as well as those with particular interest in French and French-speaking countries from the perspective of history, culture, arts and political science. A thorough knowledge of French is a common goal for both orientations, and texts and discussion in French are central both to the program focusing on French history and culture (interdisciplinary concentration) and to the literary specialization (literature concentration).

Academic Course Progression

In the 100-level courses, students are introduced to the study of French and Francophone literatures and cultures, and special attention is given to the speaking and writing of French. Courses at the 200-level treat French and Francophone literatures and civilizations from the beginning to the present day. Four 200-level courses are devoted to advanced language training, with practice in spoken as well as in written French. Advanced (300-level) courses offer detailed study either of individual authors, genres, and movements (literature concentration) or of particular periods, themes, and problems in French and Francophone cultures (interdisciplinary concentration). In both tracks, students are admitted to advanced courses after satisfactory completion of two semesters of 200-level courses in French.

Language Learning Center

Students in all courses are encouraged to make use of the Language Learning Center. In French 001, 002, 003, 004, 005, the use of the laboratory and intensive oral practice in small groups directed by a department assistant form an integral part of the course. French majors find it valuable to supplement the work done at Haverford and Bryn Mawr by study abroad, usually during the junior year.

Placement Examination

All students who wish to pursue their study of French must take a placement examination upon entrance at Haverford. Those students who begin French have two options:

  • intensive study of the language in the intensive sections (the sequence 001 and 002 Intensive Elementary; 005 Intensive Intermediate and 102 Textes, Images, Voix II, or 005 and 105 Directions de la France contemporaine),
  • or non-intensive study of the language in the non-intensive sequence (001-002; 003-004; 101-102; 101-105; 103-102 or 103-105). In either case, students who pursue French to the 200 level often find it useful to take as their first 200-level course either 212 Grammaire avancée or 260 Stylistique et traduction.

Although it is possible to major in French using either of the two sequences, students who are considering doing so and have been placed at the 001 level are encouraged to take the intensive option.

Both departments also cooperate with the Departments of Italian and Spanish in the Romance languages major.

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