Study abroad is required in SU's French program, and SU offers internships in Paris, pictured here.
Say Bonjour to a French Degree

French Major

Did you know that by 2050, the most-spoken language in the world will be French? French is officially spoken in 33 countries and is currently the language most translated into in the world. The only language spoken on the five continents besides English, French has a rich history that has affected nearly every field, from art and music to politics and business. With fluency in French, you will be able to read philosophers in their native tongue, speak to people from all over the world and be more competitive on the job market. That’s right, many employers prefer individuals who can speak and write in French fluently. So study some French, and voila, the world will be yours!

Why Choose a French Major at Salisbury University?

The Eastern Shore is home to nearly 20,000 immigrants from the Francophone island of Haiti, and Maryland is among the top 6 states for Haitian settlement in the United States. Local schools, businesses, hospitals and volunteer organizations in the Salisbury area seek college graduates who can speak French.

But what is a French major? Is a French major useful? At SU, our language programs have been colorfully designed to include literature, history, cultural studies and applied linguistics to give you experience you can take anywhere. Critical thinking infuses everything we do, from language learning to understanding poetry to study abroad.

Our program is distinctive because we have:

  • Talented and dedicated faculty. Our professors come to Salisbury from some of the best institutions in the nation for graduate study in literature, culture and pedagogy. Many of your professors will speak three or four languages. Your classes will be taught by expert educators who are active in their respective professions.
  • Small classes with the latest technology. Class sizes in our department never exceed 20 students, allowing individual students more one-on-one time with their professors. Our dedicated language classrooms are also equipped with the latest technology available, so students get the most out of their class time.
  • Study abroad requirements. We require our French majors to participate in a study abroad experience. We believe that an extended stay in another country is the best way to attain cultural and linguistic proficiency for the language. You may take advantage of our department abroad program in Martinique and our internship program in Paris.
  • Multicultural events. SU students can enjoy the French Week celebration each fall and the Cinco de Mayo festival each spring. Film festivals, language clubs, guest lectures, art exhibits and University-sponsored theme dinners all create a stimulating learning community.
  • Academic honors. Our top students are invited to become members of national honor societies such as Pi Delta Phi, as well as present their work at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

French Major Tracks

At SU, students may complete the French major in one of two tracks.

Meet Dain – French Major

Meet Dain – French Major

Hear what having a proficiency in another language means to Dain and how SU faculty pushed him to achieve his best.

Careers for French Majors

A background in foreign language gives you an edge in any job setting, from law and politics to social work and communications. Learning a second language opens many doors, but for the adventurous at heart, the following careers may appeal to you:

  • Advertising
  • Cultural events coordinator
  • Educator
  • FBI agent
  • Foreign diplomat missionary
  • Foreign service officer
  • Immigration officer
  • Importer/exporter
  • International account manager
  • International banking officer
  • International business
  • International relations consultant
  • Nonprofit work
  • Proofreader
  • Study abroad coordinator/advisor
  • Tour guide/travel agent
  • Translator/interpreter

French Faculty with Real-World Experience

Our faculty strives to further the University’s goal of preparing students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world.

Meet Your French Faculty:
Aurelie Van de Wiele

Aurelie Van de Wiele Headshot

Aurelie Van de Wiele specializes in French literature and studies how literary works depict human responses to metaphysical and social discontent. She is a review editor for The French Review, peer-reviewer of French instructional websites for Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, and coordinator of a tutoring collaboration between SU and James M. Bennett High School in Salisbury that mainly serves non-native English students. Van de Wiele recruits SU students to be volunteer tutors for the program.

Learn More About Our French Program