College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Bachelor's Degree Programs

French (B.A.)
At-a-Glance

Admissions to major: Completion of FRN 102 or equivalent

Minimum hours required for major: 36

Minimum hours required for minor: 18

Advising: Two designated faculty advisers; phone 216-687-4645

Student organization: Le club francophone de CSU

Additional information: Year and semester exchange programs to Clermont-Ferrand in France; summer study-abroad program in France. French government poste d'assistant to teach English in France

The French major, which leads to competence through a sequence of language skills courses, also includes coursework in the literature, culture and cinema of France and the French-speaking world. The French major curriculum provides a solid basis for students earning teaching licensure, continuing with graduate study, or pursuing any number of careers involving foreign language proficiency, critical thinking and cross-cultural understanding and communication skills. Our program offers study abroad options, an on-campus language club and other opportunities to interact with French-speakers outside of the classroom.

As the most widely taught second language in the world, after English, spoken in over 43 countries on five continents, French is considered a global language—an ideal choice for students preparing for a fulfilling life in today's interconnected world. As the first Europeans to explore the Great Lakes, the French are also closely tied to the history of the Cleveland area which today boasts a number of French connections including an active French American Chamber of Commerce, and the Lafayette Archive, housed in the Cleveland State University library.

A student who has completed French course work in high school or at another institution and who wishes to continue the study of that language must begin course work for credit at the level consistent with her or his academic background. A placement test is required for all students with less than three years of high school French or the equivalent. Students who have had three or more years of previous study must consult with an adviser in the Department of Modern Languages to determine the appropriate level. As a general guideline, students who read and write French fluently must begin course work for credit at the 300-level or higher. Students considering a major in French must consult with an adviser in the Department of Modern Languages concerning projected plans of study.

Courses numbered from 100 to 114 in French generally emphasize development of performance skills, as do those at higher levels, in courses numbered 200 to 214, 300 to 314, and 400 to 414. Courses numbered 115 to 134 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the nature of language. Courses numbered 135 to 164 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the culture and history of specific languages. Courses numbered 165 to 189 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the literatures of the specific languages. Courses numbered 190 – 199 (and corresponding numbers at the upper level) are independent study and specialized courses.

Retroactive Credit

Students are eligible to earn up to 14 retroactive credits for previous knowledge of French. This policy is for students who have completed a foreign-language skills course and who earned a B or better in that course. For example, if your first French skills course is FRN 102 and you receive an A or B, you can receive credit for FRN 101. Consult the Department of Modern Languages 216-687-4645 for further information.

Credit by Examination

Students who successfully pass the College Level Placement Examination (CLEP test) in French may earn 14 credit hours for previous knowledge of French. For information about the examination, eligibility, and dates when it is given, contact the Cleveland State Testing Center 216-687-2277. Students who receive a score of 3, 4, or 5 on the Advanced Placement French language examination may earn 18 credit hours for FRN (101, 102, 201, and 202).

Note that only courses at the 200-level and above may count toward a French major or minor.  See major and minor requirements below.

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Major-Field Requirements

Students seeking a major in French must complete 36 credit hours in French above the 100 level, distributed as follows:

  1. 8 credit hours of courses in composition-conversation (FRN 301, 402)
  2. 4 credit hours of courses in literature (one of the following: FRN 371, 372, 375)
  3. 4 credit hours in civilization (one of the following: FRN 344, 345)
  4. A minimum of 28 credit hours at the 300- or 400-level
  5. 2 courses in French at the 400-level, distributed as follows: FRN 402, plus one course at the 400 level taught in French (may be capstone)
  6. 4 credit hour capstone course: FRN 441 or FRN 494
  7. Among the 36 hours, no more than 8 hours of French courses may be at the 200 level

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete at least 18 credit hours of the 36 required for the major in residence at Cleveland State University in order to earn a degree.

Major Credit

Up to 8 credit hours of English literature, practicum in language, independent study, literature in translation, or credit by examination may count toward the major.

No grade below C in a major course may count toward the major.

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French Minor

A minor consists of 18 credit hours beyond the 100 level, of which 8 must be at the 300 level or above. Transfer students must complete 9 hours of the 18 required for the minor in residence at Cleveland State University. Students seeking a minor in French must have a departmental adviser to assist in the selection of courses. No grade below C in a minor course may count toward the minor.

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Study Abroad

Majors and minors are encouraged to take advantage of Cleveland State University's exchange programs in Clermont Ferrand; and/or a summer study trip to France. Normally up to 18 semester hours of study abroad may count toward the major requirements (additional credit may count toward the total hours needed for graduation). Majors should seek departmental approval of foreign study plans before departure, and must complete at least two 300- and/or 400-level courses in their major area after return from study abroad. (See also the Foreign Study section listed under "College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences: Special Programs.")

For further information regarding the possibility of foreign study and summer programs available through the Modern Languages, contact the department office, 216-687-4645, or Dr. Engelking, 216-523-7175.

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Teacher Licensure

Students preparing to teach will fulfill the requirements for the B.A. in French and the licensure sequence in the College of Education and Human Services for the Specialization in Multi-Age Foreign Language Education (PreK-12).

Students seeking a B.A. in French with teaching licensure must, in fulfilling the major requirements, take one course in civilization, one course in phonetics, and literature courses acquainting the student with the major genres of drama, poetry, and the novel.

The PreK-12 licensure sequence includes courses in elementary and secondary foreign-language methods. Students will need to follow the sequence as described in the College of Education and Human Services section. Before admission to student teaching, students must pass a Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching Test (K-6 or 5-9 or 7-12), the Praxis II Content Knowledge test, and demonstrate oral proficiency at the ACTFL “Advanced-Low” level. Students will need to have their skill level assessed as early as possible in the program and then work with their advisers to plan study experiences that provide appropriate opportunities for improvement. Modern Language methods courses must be completed during the semester preceding student teaching.

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Cleveland State University
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Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
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