French Language Program

French Major/Minor Advisor: Shannon Dubenion-Smith

The French program at Western Washington University offers courses focusing on language, literature, media, and the diverse cultures of la Francophonie. Our approach is grounded in an immersive, student-centered classroom experience that incorporates authentic resources from across the francophone world. With specialized courses examining francophone Canada, the francophone Caribbean, the Hexagon and other francophone regions and cultures, our program helps students acquire the skills required to communicate in French all while providing cultural insights that will facilitate future study or work abroad.

The French section currently offers both a major and minor, as well as a variety of dual degree programs. In addition to supporting students in their pursuit of linguistic proficiency and a more nuanced appreciation of global francophone cultures, our curriculum is well-aligned with the university’s mission and includes several courses that can be applied to our institution’s general university requirements (GURs). These offerings are designed to help students gain and refine cross-disciplinary competencies in critical thinking, creativity, academic excellence, and analytical writing.

To further support students’ interest in French, we encourage the pursuit of experiential learning opportunities and extracurricular activities in French such as our student-led French club, departmental tutoring, education abroad, internships, and other community language collaborations both on and off campus.

Why French?

  • French is spoken by approximately 300 million people across the globe.
  • French is a truly global language with native speakers in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
  • French is one of the most important languages for international business and is one of the operating languages of organizations including the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, and NATO.
  • Being able to communicate in French is an advantage for the job market, especially for students seeking employment in education, public service, tourism, journalism, international business, or marketing.
  • The study of French and of global francophone cultures reduces the barriers to travel and facilitates intercultural communication.
  • French is fun! The study of French allows students to connect more directly with francophone music, cuisine, film, philosophy, art, literature, and pop culture from the francophone world.
  • The French major at WWU is only 60 credits, learn more about our curriculum by consulting the university catalog or by contacting an advisor.

The French Club

Learn more about The French Club by visiting our Facebook Page.