The French Studies Program is entirely and especially designed to meet your needs and expectations as a student who has French as a second language.

The course content and sequence will keep you on the road to academic success, and at the end of the program, you’ll be proud of the sound, in-depth knowledge you have acquired, knowledge that will pave the way to captivating career options.

The Département de français offers an Honours BA with Specialization in French Studies and a Major in French Studies.


To be admitted to French Studies, you must complete the online French Proficiency Test. Note that you may not see a specific mention of French Studies as such, as this general linguistic assessment is required for more than one program at the University of Ottawa.


First year

The first year of the Honours B.A. with Specialization in French Studies is designed to get you on track (the French Studies major follows much the same formula but has fewer FRE courses).

You take four FLS (français langue seconde) courses at the 2000 level: two compulsory courses (FLS2521 and FLS2522) and two electives. These courses are geared to your knowledge of French and use adapted instructional techniques to help you improve your comprehension and your use of French, both written and oral.

You also receive the core training offered to new University of Ottawa students, but to ease your transition, these mandatory courses take place in English. There are two philosophy courses (PHI1101 Reasoning and Critical Thinking and one of the following three: PHI11021103 or1104) and two courses to hone your reading and writing skills (ENG1100 Workshop in Essay Writingand one of the following two: ENG1120 or 1121).

You can also take two electives, given in French or English (if your goal is to teach, this could be your second discipline).

Second year

Nothing makes learning French faster and easier than spending time in a Francophone setting. This is why we recommend that you complete the fall session of your second year at a university in France or Quebec. This gives you the opportunity not only to live in French, but also to take five courses that are not only designed for students who have French as their second language, but are also adapted to the students’ level of proficiency.

If you prefer to stay at the University of Ottawa, you get to polish your French by taking three FLS 3000-level courses, FRE1734 Readings and Text Analysis, as well as one elective.

The solid language training you acquire will help you make the most of your winter session FRE courses, all of which are geared to students who, like you, do not have French as their mother tongue. To optimize your learning experience, the courses comprise a language-practice component (comprehension and writing exercises), a literary component (genres, trends, writers and works) and a cultural component (where you examine the socio-political and cultural contexts of annotated literary works, and analyze their cultural references), all of which help you enrich your vocabulary over time.

Thus, in addition to an elective, you take the compulsory FRE1732 The Cultures and Literatures of Canada’s Francophone Communities and two of eight possible 2000-level FRE courses. These are introductory courses in which you study works presented in excerpt or digest form: FRE 2510 The Culture and Literature of France from the Middle Ages to the Revolution, FRE2515 The Culture and Literature of France from the 19th Century to Today, FRE2520 Francophone Cultures and Literatures Around the World, FRE2537 Literature in Translation, FRE2724 French Comics, FRE2734 French Songs, FRE2744 Literature for Children and Youth, and FRE2754 Short Stories.

Third year

In the fall session, you take two 2000-level FRE courses, as well as three electives.

In the winter, in addition to three electives, you take two 3000-level FRE courses, this time studying full-length works. There are nine options: FRE3504 French Novels, FRE3514 Quebec Novels, FRE3520 The Poetry of France and Quebec, FRE3725 Theatre in France, FRE3735 Theatre in Quebec and French-Speaking Ontario , FRE3744 Francophone Cultures in Cinema, FRE3760 The Literature of French-Speaking Ontario  FRE3770 Contemporary French-Language Literatures and FRE3780 Writing About Self.

Fourth year

In the fall session, in addition to two electives, you take two 3000-level courses. Your French-language skills and your knowledge of French literature and culture will also help you with 4000-level courses, which involve more abstract concepts and issues. You take one the following eight choices: FRA4510 French Variants in Literature, FRE4520 Stylistics and Literature, FRE4525 Literary Theories, FRE4535 Women in Literature, FRE4545 Myths and Literature, FRE4555 History and Literature, FRE4565Literature and Engagement and FRE4575 French Cinema.

In the winter, in addition to three electives, you take two 4000-level FRE courses from the list above or two courses that put you side by side with Francophone students and open the way to productive exchanges: FRE4585 Intercultural Dynamics and FRE4586 Cross Literatures.


NOTE: English-language course descriptions and titles are not official and are provided strictly as a service for persons who do not understand French. In case of disagreement on interpretation, the French-language titles and descriptions take precedence.

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