BGSU French majors reach a conversational level in the second language of business in a culture-rich Ohio campus.
  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available
  • Minor Available
  • Bachelors Available


The BGSU French program offers the benefits of learning a truly global second language –  the only language other than English spoken on five continents. 

Proficiency in a second (or third) language and in intercultural competence can lead to greater understanding, increased tolerance, and empathy for others. Among the neurological benefits are enhanced concentration, the ability to multitask, and improved communication and social skills.

The language of over 275 million people

French is predicted to be the most commonly spoken language globally by 2050, thanks to growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, the French language continues to play a vital role in globalization, with 29 countries speaking French.

Recognizing French as an international language and the growing importance of cross-cultural experiences, the department has established a curriculum that includes course work and study abroad opportunities in both France and the broader French-speaking world.

Are you planning to work in North America? Mastering a foreign language can give students an edge in finding fulfilling careers in areas ranging from international organizations, government agencies, teaching, and tourism to banking, import-export, and computer science. In our networked world, students in the 21st century can expect to work in organizations with foreign contacts and with domestic teams made up of international professionals.

How do I get there? Building proficiency in French—like excelling in music or a sport—works best when you plot out a sequence of courses continuously. When coupled with a study abroad experience, you will be in a better position to highlight your communication skills and demonstrate intercultural understanding to future employers.

The BGSU French program aims to offer students not only a traditional background in literature and culture, but also highly marketable employment skills with our applied minor focusing on French for professions.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Conversation Across Cultures
  • French for the 21st Century
  • French for the Professions
  • French in Writing
  • French Culture
  • Seminars that explore topics like:
  • Gender in Francophone West Africa
  • Paris
  • Understanding 21st-century French Culture through Film
  • Power Plays: Contemporary Francophone Theatre
  • French Republicanism: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité
  • La Gastronomie: cuisines et cultures francophones
  • Race Matters in 21st-century Europe (taught in English)

As a double major, French adds a practical, international credential to any other field of study.


The French degree curriculum has been specially designed to help students continue developing their language proficiency even as they move beyond the initial skills classes and into special topics and content classes.

The BGSU undergraduate program for French majors and minors includes courses in conversation, composition, French for professionals, culture, literature, and film. BGSU also offers a Peace Corps Prep program whose requirements can be fulfilled through your major and BGP courses; check with your advisor as early as possible to keep your options open. The Peace Corps Prep certificate can lead to work with the Peace Corps and many other international outreach organizations.

French majors and minors can spend a semester or a year in a French-speaking country. Most choose our exchange university, l’Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier). Another option is to pick up six credits of French over the summer by studying four weeks in Montpellier.

Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad with one of BGSU’s affiliated programs in particular, in Montpellier, in the south of France.

Students who want to teach French in elementary or secondary schools should pursue the Bachelor of Science in Education program with a major or minor in French. This program requires a series of professional education courses, field and clinical experiences and supervised student teaching, leading to certification from kindergarten through twelfth grade.

Go Far in your career

  • Peace Corps & other NGO Associate
  • State Department Diplomat
  • International Banker
  • Translator
  • Educator
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • International Lawyer
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Museum Curator
  • Publisher 
  • Foreign Press Journalist

Study Abroad

Study abroad experiences boost global awareness, creative problem-solving skills, communication and social skills.

Students may choose a summer, semester, or academic year study abroad program in France. BGSU has established an exchange program with l’Université Paul-Valéry in Montpellier (the south of France). This exchange allows students to use their BGSU scholarships in order to study abroad.


Are you wondering what career opportunities exist for a major, minor, or double-major in French? Learn how a major or minor in a second language will help you in your career—and in life.

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) affirms: “Abundant evidence—including from employers—points to liberal education’s immense economic and civic value.” Experience in a second language and culture is an integral part of a liberal education. The 2022 AAC&U survey, “On the Same Page,” also highlights the importance of civic, global and community commitments, and emphasizes the importance of connecting learning outcomes for curricular and co-curricular activities, such as study abroad.

Bilingualism opens an incredible world of employment opportunities across the globe. Working either in French entirely or using dual languages, career choices are more than doubled by adding a second language to your resume. 

Careers of previous BGSU French majors include international business, supply chain management, import-export, external communications, hospitality, government, social services and nonprofit organizations.  

French-speaking majors will be well prepared for opportunities in companies involved in translation (a fast-growing industry), tourism, computer science or any business that works with the Francophone world.


Wurzburger Memorial Scholarship

The Wurzburger Memorial Scholarship for French Studies is available for students who declare a French major, or minor, or a major in World Language Education in French. The Wurzburger Memorial Scholarship for Education Abroad was established to provide support for members of the French Learning Community to study abroad in a French language program. Requirements for the Wurzburger Memorial Scholarships are available on the French website.

Janis Pallister Scholarship

Applicants for the Janis Pallister Scholarship must major in French and possess career objectives and commitment to advancement of the study of French language and its literatures.

Linda S. Woody Endowed Scholarship

The Linda S. Woody Endowed Scholarship is for French majors and minors who require financial assistance.

Le Cercle français

Come join the weekly Cercle français get-togethers to explore the (global) French world outside of the classroom. Le Cercle français offers an informal setting to meet with others interested in French and to decide together on topics to discuss. Get to know our graduate student from l’Université Paul-Valéry (Montpellier) to discover what is happening now in France. All are welcome!

Pallister French-Canadian Lecture Series

The Pallister French-Canadian Lecture Series highlights talent from French Canada and explores French cultural experiences in the North American setting. Each year, thanks to the generous bequest of the late Dr. Jan Pallister, the French program is able to invite a writer or film director to the BGSU campus to showcase their work and to interact directly with students.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in French are expected to be able to:

  • Write, listen, and converse proficiently about French and Francophone literary works, movements, and genres about the civilizations of France and the Francophone world;
  • Master reading comprehension, terminology, and basic research tools appropriate to literary and cultural analysis;
  • Demonstrate language proficiency by engaging in task-based projects;
  • Engage in rational, civil discourse in a manner respectful of others and the cultural diversity of the Francophone world.

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The French program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The French program does not lead to professional licensure.

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact

Updated: 06/23/2022 09:17AM