We offer undergraduate courses in French language, literature and culture.

The language courses make use of CU’s ALTEC language lab to provide maximum flexibility in language learning, with rich audio-visual content. Courses cover spoken and written language, composition, conversation, and Business French.

Culture and Literature courses focus on current events, differences between the US and France, interdisciplinary approaches of literature and other media, and the history and culture of the larger Francophone world.

Why French?

Studies shows that, beyond acquiring a new language, learning French develops skills needed in many professional contexts. French is an analytical language that structures thought, develops critical thinking abilities and helps increase understanding of one's culture. 

French is the second truly global language after English and opens doors to international business, relations, law and diplomacy. Aside from being the traditional home of high fashion, avant-garde cinema and arts, France is currently a leader on the world economic scene and is at the forefront of areospace engineering, medical and climate research. It is also influential on the international diplomatic scene and French speaking skills are a must for all those working in international organizations such as the EU, the UN or NATO. See this article, 10 Good Reasons for Learning French

Many French majors at CU Boulder choose to pursue another BA in International Studies, History, Philosophy or Social Sciences along with their French degree. Majoring in French or adding the French major to another area of study has led many of our recent graduates to careers in publishing, editing, education, arts management, philanthropy, public health, or international marketing. Many Alumni who have gone on to fruitful careers credit their knowledge of French for their success and mention both their language skills and multi-cultural knowledge as a major asset. See our alumni profiles

While fostering historical perspective and the awareness of cultural difference, a French degree also increases our students mastery of critical skills and analytical abilities. The emphasis we place on writing, textual analysis and the development of historical awareness as well as cultural difference helps our majors and minors acquire skills essential to careers in academia and beyond.  Journals such as Newsweek have reported that a French degree was among the 10 most useful degrees for the acquisition of such skills. And Inside Higher Ed recently wrote that French Majors were ahead of their peers in analytical, writing and critical thinking skills. See the article Do Majors Matter and 13 Most Useful College Majors.


Students can choose either a minor or a major in French.

A French degree at CU Boulder opens doors to exciting opportunities: from CU Boulder's Education Abroad Program to a unique BAM Program which allows our best students to graduate in 5 years with a Masters in French Studies.

  • Boulder Education Abroad Program offers many opportunities to study in France, French Canada and West Africa. Professor Brian Quinn is offering a recently created Education Abroad Course in Senegal.
  • With a French BA under their belt, French Majors can apply to the TAPIF (a program of Teaching Assistantship in France run by the French Cultural Services. Many University of Colorado French Alumni have benefitted from the TAPIF program and enjoyed a year of paid teaching Assistantship in France.
  • The BAM (Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's) has been a successful option for many of our best majors.
  • French offers a new animal study course (Animal Encounters) as part of new Animal Studies Certificate in collaboration with Sociology, History and Ecology.

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Undergraduate introductory language courses (numbered at the 1000 and 2000 level) are designed for non-native speakers. Fluent speakers of a language are prohibited from enrolling in introductory courses in the language and can be dropped from these courses by the department or by the course instructor.