Offered by the Department of English and Modern Languages
Professors Pifer, Sornberger, Ulrich (chairperson),
Associate Professors Barton, Doerksen, Harris, Murphy, Rashidi, Sullivan-Blum, Washington Assistant Professor Guignard, Sanner
Modern Languages faculty: Associate Professors Blanco, Holtman, Keeth and Oyallon
Assistant Professor Arango-Keeth
The Language and Literature department offers B.A. and B.S.E degrees in French. The French program at Mansfield is small, but it provides very close contact with highly qualified faculty and a record of successful placement of students in study or work possibilities abroad.
A Mansfield major, dual major, or minor in French can increase a student’s job prospects. A U. S. State Department study shows that over 50% of international jobs require or prefer candidates to know French, because the language is spoken by 125 million people in forty countries and on every continent. France is the #1 tourist destination in the world, and French is an official language of neighboring Canada, America’s primary trading partner. Over 1,200 French companies have subsidiaries in the United States, and France is the largest recipient of American foreign investment. Over twenty African countries use French for government and business, and French is an official language of many international organizations, including the Red Cross, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, UNESCO, and the International Olympic Committee.
Because French is the language of so many literary masterpieces (Les Misérables, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Little Prince) and philosophers (Descartes, Rousseau, Sartre) as well as of mathematicians and scientists, and because France is such a prolific producer of international films, a knowledge of French offers students advantages in applying to graduate schools in the humanities, the arts, the sciences, the social sciences, law, medicine, and other areas.
MU French majors take at least 36 semester hours in French, including courses in pronunciation, conversation, and the history, geography, literature, and culture of France and other French-speaking countries. Some students combine a major or minor in French with one in business, English, history, biology, or another field. Some students do honors work in French. And some combine the study of French with certification for teaching in Pennsylvania’s public schools (explained in the Teacher Education Certification section of this catalog).
French majors and minors study in classrooms using the latest teaching technology. They practice their French skills in a comfortable thirty-seat Modern Language Learning Center outfitted with high-end PCs and T1 line internet connection. The Center webpage and its student staff guide them in using language-based software, the digitized audio materials of the Virtual Language Lab, and other media and web resources.
Mansfield French majors and minors usually spend a semester or a year studying or working in a French-speaking country. The university has a student exchange program with the Institute of Political Science in Toulouse, France. Through its membership in ISEP (the International Student Exchange Program) Mansfield can place students at universities in France or in French-speaking countries around the world. One recent MU student spent a semester at a university in Quebec City, Canada. And MU graduates continue to participate in the French government-sponsored teaching assistantship program. So far five of them have spent up to nine months teaching English at elementary schools and high schools in France.