Learning Goals

The joint major in French & Linguistics provides an opportunity for students to combine the study of French language, literature, and culture with the study of linguistics. Students graduating with a major in French & Linguistics will be able to demonstrate:

  • an understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research concerning formal structure, universals, acquisition, historical change, variation, and social dimensions of use, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistic theory
  • the ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data, and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns
  • linguistic mastery of some aspect of modern-day French (e.g., phonetics, phonology, or syntax) or of the historical development of the language
  • proficiency in the French language at an advanced level, with respect to reading, writing, speaking, and understanding of spoken French
  • critical and analytical engagement with French/Francophone cultural and literary traditions, practices, genres, and great works
Major Requirements

The French & Linguistics major consists of 13 courses: 6 in French, 6 in linguistics, and 1 in French linguistics. In addition to the requirements for the major, students must also satisfy general requirements of the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). An advisor can assist you in designing your program of study.

6 French Courses
  • 1 advanced French language course (300+ level)
  • CAS LF 350 Introduction to Analysis of French Texts
  • CAS LF 351 Introduction to the French Novel
  • 1 French literature course covering a period before 1800 (e.g., CAS LF 451, LF 453, LF 457, LF 550, LF 553, LF 555, LF 560, LF 562, LF 563, LF 564, LF 565, LF 575)
  • 1 French literature course covering a period after 1800 (e.g., CAS LF 455, LF 456, LF 460, LF 469, LF 551, LF 554, LF 558, LF 570, LF 571, LF 590)
  • 1 advanced French elective (300+ level, in the area of language, linguistics, culture, film, or literature)
6 Linguistics Courses
  • CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
  • CAS LX 301 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
  • CAS LX 321 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
  • CAS LX 331 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
  • 1 advanced linguistics elective (300+ level)
  • 1 advanced general linguistics or French linguistics elective (300+ level)
1 French Linguistics Course, e.g.
  • CAS LX 372 / LF 500 French Phonetics
  • CAS LX 373 / LF 503 The Structure of French: Phonology
  • CAS LX 374 / LF 502 The Structure of French: Syntax
  • CAS LF 504 The History of the French Language
  • CAS LX 376 / LF 506 Topics in French Linguistics
  • French linguistics course offered abroad (with advance approval of advisor)
Study Abroad

Students may also take courses to fulfill some of these requirements (with advance approval of their advisor) in the BU Study Abroad and Internship programs. For further information, see BU Study Abroad’s website:

Honors Program

In addition to the standard joint major, we also have an Honors Program in French & Linguistics. For further information, see the Honors Program page:


Director of Undergraduate Studies