Undergraduate Studies in French
Nationally recognized for excellence of teaching and research, the University of Virginia French Department offers a variety of courses and programs that enable its students to explore the field of French Studies as well as develop in-depth knowledge and advanced competencies. To help you evaluate opportunities and make sound choices, this handbook presents information needed by current or prospective French majors or minors, as well as those taking French electives on the 3000 level or above. If, after reading the handbook, you have any questions, do not hesitate to bring them to a departmental advisor or to Professor Gladys Saunders, Director of Undergraduate Studies. Suggestions will also be welcomed for improving this handbook, which the DUS will revise annually to assure maximum completeness, accuracy and clarity.
The French major consists of ten three-hour courses. Barring exemption and credit as noted below, the prerequisite to all subsequent offerings is French 3031 "Intensive Grammar", immediately followed by 3032 "The Writing and Reading of Texts." At least three of the remaining eight courses must be on the 4000 level or above, and (again, barring exemption, as noted below) 4000-level courses must be preceded by at least one 3000-level French literature, civilization or culture course. The following courses carry no credit toward the major or minor: FREN 2933, FREN 2935, or any FRTR course. No courses taken for Credit/No Credit count toward the major.
Thirty hours: 3031 + 3032 + eight additional courses, including three 4000-levels (with one 3000-level lit. before first 4000-level lit.), but excluding all conversation courses and the Writing Workshop.
The major is not restrictive. If you are interested in pursuing traditional concentrations or devising new ones, please read the section below entitled Optional Major Concentrations, then consult an advisor for further information.
Policy on Undergraduate Tutorials
Normally, only French majors or minors may enroll in independent study courses (FREN 4993 and 4994; only Distinguished Majors may enroll in Pre-thesis and Thesis tutorials [FREN 4998 and 4999]). To do so they must have written permission from the Chair of the Department. Application for independent study under the direction of a faculty member should be made in writing to the Department Chair before the semester begins and must be made, at the latest, by Friday at 5 p.m. of the first week of classes. This typed application must contain:
The application will be read by a member of the Undergraduate Studies Committee
and by the Department Chair.
In consultation with the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, the Director of Undergraduate Studies will admit applicants, normally in the spring of their third year, on the basis of the following factors:
Prospective applicants planning to be abroad during the application period should contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies for further information, before departure if possible.
Required Course Work and Thesis
The DMP program consists of 36 semester hours. The core is the standard 30-hour major. In addition to the assigned work, the candidate will complete an approved project, normally a substantial paper. The candidate will also take French 4998 (Pre-thesis Tutorial), in which background reading, research, and a thorough working outline of the thesis will be completed under the director's supervision; and French 4999 (Thesis), in which the candidate will, under the director's supervision, draft and revise the work, defined as a 30-50 page study, in French, demonstrating mastery of relevant theory, research techniques, appropriate methods of analysis and interpretation, as well as expository writing. Two readers will examine the document: the thesis director and either the Director of Undergraduate Studies or another member of the French faculty, or a qualified professor from another UVA department. The final version of the thesis will be prepared according to the MLA Handbook.
The DUS will monitor each candidate's progress on a term-to-term basis. Failure to maintain the overall or departmental GPA required for admission, or failure to complete program requirements on time, will result in probation for one semester. If the candidate's record is then cleared, good standing will be restored; otherwise, the candidate will be dropped from the program.
Degree of Distinction
|Third Year:||Application for admission: April 18|
|Admissions announced by letter: April 30|
|Fourth Year:||First draft of thesis: early February|
|Revision of thesis and public presentation: mid-March|
|Final version of thesis due: early April|
Anyone interested in teaching French on the secondary level may wish to look into the combined Bachelor's degree and Master of Arts in Teaching, offered jointly with the Curry School of Education. This five-year degree involves both a complete major in French following a specified curriculum and a course of study leading to professional teaching licensure. It is a complex degree and requires careful planning. For details beyond those published in the Undergraduate Record, please consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
The minor consists of six three-hour courses. Barring exemption and credit, as noted below, the prerequisite to all subsequent offerings is FREN 3031 (Intensive Grammar), immediately followed by FREN 3032 (The Writing and Reading of Texts). At least one of the four remaining courses must be on the 4000 level or above, and (again, barring exemption, as noted below) a 3000-level literature course must precede the first 4000-level literary offering. FREN 311, 2933 and 2935, FRTR offerings, and courses taken for Credit/No Credit do not count toward the minor.
Eighteen hours = 3031 + 3032 + four additional FREN courses including one 4000-level (with one 3000-level lit. before first 4000-level lit), but excluding 2933 and 2935.
Purpose of Pi Delta Phi:
The purpose of Pi Delta Phi is to "recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and literature; increase knowledge of the contribution of French-speaking countries to world culture; and stimulate and encourage such cultural activities that will lead to a deeper appreciation of these countries."
Each chapter of Pi Delta Phi develops and sponsors any activity which will promote interest in French culture either in the academic milieu or in the community. In other words, activities are initiated and organized by the student-members (NOT by the French Department at UVA). Pi Delta Phi is a national organization, not a UVA French Department organization.
Students who have completed at least three semesters of study at the university level (or who have earned at least 45 credit hours), and who have taken at least three French courses (above the 2000-level) are eligible to apply. At minimum B average (3.0) in French is required. Students must also be in the upper thirty-five percent of their graduating class.
How to Apply:
Applications can be obtained in the French Department office (generally in mid-April) located in 344 Cabell Hall. Simply fill out the form and return it with your transcript (an unofficial, but current, transcript is fine). New members will be selected shortly thereafter, and notified by mail.
If you are granted membership in Pi Delta Phi, you must pay $20 for national dues (a fee which includes the cost of your honor society pin, your membership card, and your certificate).
For more information on Pi Delta Phi, contact Christine Zunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Virginia chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French will annually award a $500 prize to the author of a three-hour essay, on a subject to be announced, composed in French without assistance (including dictionaries). To qualify, a prospective contestant must be a university student whose first language is not French and who has completed the equivalent of two years of university-level French. The early April date, the hour and the place of the contest will be announced well in advance and the prize awarded by the state AATF before May 15.
Every autumn the Alliance Française sponsors a nationwide essay-writing
contest open to students in our department.
Details are available from Andrée King - 434-973-8268 - P.O. Box 124; Earlysville VA 22936.
These annual awards honor the authors of essays written in French. The prize
was established by the late Mrs. Kittyn M. Maas as a memorial to her husband
, Lieutenant Commander Charles Maas, USNR.
French majors and minors not planning graduate or professional studies will significantly enhance their employment prospects in business, government, or non-profit organizations by complementing their arts and sciences program with the appropriate internships available through University Career Services, as well as advanced studies (a major or minor) in another discipline.
While the major permits students to follow their curiosity across the domain of French studies, they are also free to select any combination of traditional concentrations, or to develop a novel synthesis of as many as three disciplines. Among the possibilities: