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Our French major offers a dynamic interdisciplinary lens for exploring the diverse cultural productions of the Francophone world: language, literature, the arts, politics, philosophy, and other fields of human inquiry and creative expression.

Our students engage closely with faculty in small seminars and regularly study abroad for a year, semester, or summer in Angers or Grenoble (France), Québec (Canada), or Meknès (Morocco). Regularly offered co-curricular activities including Pi Delta Phi (the French Honor Society), conversation tables, guest lectures, service learning, and a film series offer opportunities to hone your French outside the classroom.

Graduates in French demonstrate language proficiency, intercultural competencies, and analytical skills.

Why Study French?

Today, French is spoken on every continent on earth—and locally, right here in Bloomington-Normal. Designated a critical language by the Department of Defense, French also functions as a working language of many major international organizations such as the United Nations, the Red Cross, the European Court of Justice, and the International Olympic Committee.

Studying French opens doors to careers in government, public service, tourism, hospitality, health services, business, law, technology, fashion, communication, and education. Studying French improves your written and spoken communication (even in English!), equips you to succeed in a global workforce, and encourages a broader perspective on what it means to be human.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Ability to adapt to other cultures
  • Good writing and speaking ability
  • Understand cultural diversity, different cultural values and habits
  • Critical reader
  • Ability to translate carefully
  • Strong interpersonal skills

Being Successful in the Field

  • Research and Investigation -
    The search for specific knowledge, from controlled laboratory experimentation to detective work, from scholarly endeavors to investigative journalism.
  • Organize: Information Management -The arrangement and retrieval of data and knowledge, from cataloguing to accounting, from computer programming to inventory control.
  • Communicate: Communications and Persuasion -The exchange, transmission, and expression of knowledge and ideas, from sales to film news writing to illustrating, from teaching to performing.
  • Emphasize: Humanitarian Service -The attention to physical, mental, or social needs of people, from medicine to social work, from labor relations to play therapy.
  • Administer: Organization Management -The direction and guidance of a group in the completion of tasks and the attainment of goals, from politician to minister, from industrialist to school principal.
  • Imagine: Design and Planning -The conceptualization of the future and description of a process for creating it, from the city planner to artist, proposal writer to architect.

Related Fields

Industry and Commerce

  • Overseas sales representative
  • Overseas manager
  • Overseas researcher
  • U.S.-basedimport/export officer or investment specialist
  • Interpreter
  • Translator
  • Technical writer/translator

Academic and Professional

  • International lawyer 
  • Medical researcher 
  • Health care professional
  • Academic researcher 
  • Librarian 
  • International researcher 
  • UNESCO project worker 
  • Translator 
  • Interpreter 
  • Foreign language/Bilingual teacher 

U.S. Government

  • Agency for International Development (AID)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS):
  • U.S. CustomsService
  • National SecurityAgency (NSA)
  • Immigration/Customsofficial 
  • Staff /Faculty at overseas U.S. school 
  • Foreign Embassy staff 
  • Overseas broadcast staff 
  • State Department staff/ Armed forces staff 
  • Translator 
  • Interpreter 
  • Intelligence Agent 

Arts, Media, Entertainment

  • Journalist 
  • Foreign/overseas correspondent 
  • Film producer 
  • Art dealer 
  • Overseas manager 
  • Translator/interpreter 


  • Employee of overseas non-governmental organization
  • United Nations agency and project employee
  • UNtranslator/interpreter
  • Overseas medicalor agricultural worker
  • Peace Corpsvolunteer
  • Missionary

Travel and Tourism

  • U.S. based travelagent 
  • U.S. hotel staff 
  • U.S. tour guide for foreign visitors 
  • Writer of tourist literature 
  • International airline employee 
  • International hotel staff 
  • International tour guide
  • Agency for International Development (AID)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Immigration &Naturalization Service (INS):
  • U.S. CustomsService
  • National Security Agency (NSA)


Approximately 100,000 people in this country work in the field of foreign language teaching. Over two-thirds teach in Jr. & Sr. High Schools, and the rest in colleges and universities, elementary schools and commercial and government - operated language schools with the greatest number teaching Spanish. In addition, a substantial number teach English to those who speak other languages as their native tongue. The teaching of English to speakers of other languages also offers expanding opportunities for employment abroad in government, academic & volunteer programs.

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Laurenn York  110 Student Services Building  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Roger Thomas  233E Stevenson Hall  (309) 438-7982 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA


Middle 50% GPA

2.62 - 3.40

Required Courses


Recommended Courses

  • Foreign language equivalent to Illinois State’s 115 level or higher
  • Introduction to psychology (PSY 111)
  • Introductory-level composition (ENG 101)
  • Introductory-level speech (COM 110)

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Laura Edwards  Stevenson Hall 231B  (309) 438-3279 

Middle 50% GPA

2.62 - 3.40

Plans of Study and Progress Tracking

Application Period

Applications are always accepted.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Laura Edwards  Stevenson Hall 231B  (309) 438-3279 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016