French Studies

Le Département d’études françaises offre trois programmes d’études au 1er cycle (de la mineure au baccalauréat spécialisé), deux certificats de compétence (intermédiaire-avancé), ainsi que des cours destinés aux débutants, le tout dans une atmosphère collégiale et chaleureuse. Vous pourrez améliorer votre compétence en français, ou étudier la littérature et la culture de langue française. Il est également possible de participer à un programme d’échanges au Québec ou en France. Cet échange peut se faire au courant de l'été ou pendant l'année scolaire et peut alors être de une ou deux sessions.

The French Studies department offers three undergraduate concentrations (a Minor, a Medial and a Major), two certificates of competence (intermediate and intermediate-advanced) as well as elective courses for beginners. Areas of study include oral and written language as well as French literature and culture. Courses are offered in a supportive and collegial atmosphere. It is also possible to study French in either Québec or France during the summer, one semester or through year-long exchanges.

See our Major Map to learn more

Kingston Hall
Room number: 
Departmental Assistant: 
Agathe Nicholson
Graduate Chair: 
Michael Reyes
Graduate Assistant: 
Lynda Reid
Undergraduate Chair: 
Monique Defresne
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Agathe Nicholson

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in French Studies
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline. Access to this Plan in your second year is a grade of B- in FREN 150.

Medial in French Studies
A dual course of study in French Studies and any other Arts discipline. Access to this Plan in your second year is a grade of B- in FREN 150.

Minor in French Studies
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline. Access to this Plan in your second year is a grade of C in FREN 150.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

French - PhD
French - MA

Job and Career Opportunities for French Studies Grads

One of the world's global languages, French is spoken or understood by 200 million people, and is the most frequently taught second language after English. It is one of Canada's two official languages, and an essential prerequisite for work in the federal context. The Department of French Studies aims to help students to develop a high degree of competence in the French language, both written and spoken, starting from the various levels they have achieved before entering university. Those who complete a concentration in French study both language and literature, with the possibility of adding courses in linguistics making them more employable in a variety of fields.

Where could French Studies students go after graduation?

  • Administration
  • Advertising
  • Banking and commerce
  • Broadcasting - radio and TV
  • Civil service
  • Communications
  • Community development
  • Curriculum development
  • Diplomatic service
  • Editor
  • Foreign service
  • Fundraising and event management
  • Government and politics
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Immigration services
  • International development
  • Interpreter
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Language industries
  • Management consulting
  • Marketing
  • Media and publishing
  • Mediation and labour relations
  • Political analyst
  • Professor
  • Public relations
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Teaching French as a second language
  • Technical writing and translation
  • Research in the field of humanities

Note that some of these careers may require additional training.

Certificate of Competence in French Language

Students who are not registered in a French Plan but have taken certain courses in French at Queen’s or received transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere are eligible for a Certificate of Competence in French Language.  Note that this is not a Senate-approved Certificate Program and therefore will be noted as an Academic Milestone on the transcript.  The Certificate will be issued by the French Department on behalf of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL   18.0 units in French.  Required courses include FREN 150/6.0, FREN 250/3.0 and three units from the Communication and Culture series of courses.  All courses taken for the certificate must be at a level equal to or above FREN 150/6.0, with the exception of FREN 118/3.0. 

INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED LEVEL  24.0 units in French.  Required courses include FREN 150/6.0, FREN 250/3.0, FREN 330/3.0 and three units from the Communication and Culture series of courses at the level of FREN 219/3.0 or above.  All courses taken for the certificate must be at a level equal to or above FREN 150/6.0.

Only 6.0 units from Communication and Culture courses (FREN 106/3.0, FREN 107/3.0, FREN 118/3.0, FREN 219/3.0, FREN 320/3.0) or the equivalent transfer credit can be counted towards the Certificate of Competence (Intermediate and Advanced).

For both levels, students will be required to take an examination (written and oral) at the end of the Winter Term of the student’s graduating year.  Granting of the Certificate of Competence will be based on a mark of at least B- in the written and oral examinations.

Applications for the Certificate should be received by the Department of French Studies before the Departmental deadline.

What it takes to get into French in your second year>>

Click here for the complete list of Courses in Arts and Science

Certificate in French for Professionals (FRPR)

Designed to provide students with the necessary language skills to effectively work in a bilingual professional environment, the Certificate in French for Professionals will help both new learners and current professionals establish the written and oral communication skills required to meet the specific needs of their workplace. Students will enhance their effective communication skills by applying new vocabulary and expressions in daily interactions, learning how to tailor language for specific business contexts, and constructing documentation necessary for workplace success. Through core courses, students will analyze case studies, participate in role-play activities, and create collaborative projects that simulate real work situations. Offered in partnership with Arts and Science Online.

Delivery Mode: Online or on-campus

Number of Units: 12 units (3-4 courses)

Open to:

  • Current Arts and Science students (online or on-campus)
  • Current Engineering, Business, Health Science students
  • Alumni
  • Future Queen's students
  • Choose from:
    • FREN 107/3.0 and FREN 118/3.0 OR
    • FREN 150/6.0
  • FREN 225/3.0
  • Choose one 3.0 unit course from:
    • FREN 236/3.0
    • FREN 237/3.0
    • FREN 238/3.0
  1. Students with no French language ability will need to take one of FRST 105/3.0 or FREN 106/3.0 prior to enrolling in FREN 107/3.0. These students will need to complete 1 5.0 units to be eligible for the Certificate.
  2. No more than 6.0 units of core and option courses may be counted toward the requirements of both the Certificate and another program.
  3. No more than 6.0 units of core and option courses may be transfer credits from outside Queen’s University.
  4. FREN 107/3.0 must be taken prior to FREN 118/3.0.


Current Arts and Science (online or on-campus) Students

Current Arts and Science (on-campus or online) Students Simply send an email  to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Current Engineering, Business, Health Science Students

Simply send an email to the Student Services Team in Arts and Science and they will get it added to your student account.

Part-time, Off-campus, Future Queen's Students

If you aren't a Queen's student (yet) but would like to take this Certificate, it is available online, part-time through Arts and Science Online. Click here to apply.

Queen's Alumni

If you are a former Queen's undergraduate student, or if you have earned an undergraduate degree from Queen's, please request your Certificate by filling out the Return to Studies Form found here.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

French Studies courses are much more than just language courses. Take courses such as Auteurs et thèmes en littérature québécoise and discover francophone or indigenous authors from Québec, or Montréal interculturel: une métropole en représentation that explores significant texts representing Montréal's diversity from a migrant perspective. Or consider more internationally focused courses such as Histoire culturelle et littéraire de la France moderne et contemporaine that discusses French 19th Century and contemporary literature and explores predominant trends in different media such as painting and cinema or Histoire culturelle et littéraire de la francophonie et du Québec that looks at the history of ideas and cultural evolution in French Canada, African and Caribbean culture and literature, from the colonial period to the present day.

Undergraduate Admission for French Studies

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities' Application Centre) website ( Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. A language placement test is available to determine your appropriate starting level in French Studies. Visit for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Graduate Studies

Pre-modern (Ancien Régime), Modern and Contemporary French Literature and Culture; Canadian, Quebec and Francophone Literature and Culture; Linguistics Supervisors will be determined within the first 6 months of your degree for the MA and the first 24 months for the PhD.

  • Johanne Bénard: 20th-century French literature; Céline; autobiography; pragmatics, theatre.
  • Agnès Conacher: Early Modern Literature (end of the 16th century and 17th century), mysticism, identity, memory in the 17th century.
  • Catherine Dhavernas (Department Head): 20th Century French literature; Duras, Yourcenar; Literary theory; Philosophy of history; Benjamin; Interdisciplinary studies.
  • Monique Dufresne: Diachronic linguistics; syntax & morphology of medieval French; history of French; creation and use of annotated corpora.
  • Stéphane Inkel: Québec literature; political philosophy and literature; history and literature; French literature, 20th century; Réjean Ducharme; Jacques Ferron; Victor-Lévy Beaulieu; Samuel Beckett.
  • Greg Lessard: Lexicology and semantics; natural language generation; Second language acquisition; computer-aided text analysis. • François Rouget: Medieval and Renaissance literatures ; Poetics ; literary history.
  • Elisabeth Zawisza: Eighteenth-Century Novel, Diderot, sociology of literature, feminist theories.

Alumni Profile

“I have recently returned from an international exchange to France. Living my everyday life using the French language further enhanced my knowledge and confidence in speaking another language. I was able to make international friends, travel, and communicate in a classroom setting as well as in a local atmosphere in French. I returned to Canada and became aware of how important and beneficial it is to know the French language and was excited about continuing to pursue my French studies degree at Queen’s. “

Melissa McCoy in Annecy, France during her Winter 2014 exchange at Université Stendhal – Grenoble III as part of the Ontario/Rhône-Alpes program.