Louvre Museum

The UWM French Program allows students to develop their proficiency in French and explore the cultures, arts, literatures, histories, and politics of France and other Francophone countries around the world.

French students at UWM develop a global perspective and a better understanding of cultural diversity on a global scale. Many students studying French at UWM spend time studying abroad in a French-speaking country and often find that immersing themselves in the language and culture of another country can be an extremely enriching intellectual and personal experience. 

Students interested in French can earn a major, a minor, or just take classes of interest as part of their slate of electives. Non-degree students and auditors are also welcome to join us in exploring the French language and the Francophone world. 

Studying a second language has been demonstrated to improve a person’s overall reading and listening abilities, critical thinking skills, reasoning and logic which are important and skills across fields of study and careers. 

At UWM, different language programs are offered through different departments. Through the Department of Global Studies, we offer French and Italian. Other available languages can be browsed via our World Languages web page. And, we offer retroactive credits to students who are able to begin their college study of Italian in second-semester Italian or higher based on the results of a placement test. Up to 14 retroactive credits are available if a student takes a higher level class and completes it with a grade of B or better.

French Contacts

Prospective Students (not yet enrolled at UWM)

Prospective students, contact our admissions counselor at let-sci@uwm.edu or 414-229-7711.

Current Students

General questions such as how to declare, how to change a major, general education requirements, etc. should be directed to the College advising office at ls-advising@uwm.edu or 414-229-4654.

Specific questions about French, such as research opportunities, internship opportunities, major requirements, etc., should be directed to Prof. Larry Kuiper.

Undergraduate Programs in French

UWM offers a French major and a French minor. We also offer an accelerated program for first-year students who enter UWM with advanced French language skills. In the accelerated program, students can earn both the bachelor’s degree in French and a Master’s degree either in French and Francophone literatures and cultures or in translation and interpreting studies in five years instead of six. Students interested in this option should consult with their advisor by the middle of their first year. 

Major, Minor, and Accelerated Degrees

Ready to Declare?

Select the declaration that’s right for you, and you will find more instructions on how to declare and what to expect.

Recommended Resources for French Students

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Understand who your advisors are and the ways they help you successfully navigate college life.
View Advising
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See all the options for electives and upcoming courses.
View Courses
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Understand how to create a scholarship application and sources of funding.
View Scholarships & Awards
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There are additional programs at UWM outside of the Department of Global Studies that cover global topics.
View Related Programs
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Tutoring, accommodations, mentor programs, and more.
View Help
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See what our alumni have done with their Global Studies degrees.
View Resources & Outcomes
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Find friends with similar interests through career-oriented organizations, social clubs, and community activities.
View Organizations
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Earn honors in the major or join the UWM Honors College.
View Honors
Opportunities abound around the world for students to live and study outside of the U.S. for a few weeks, a semester or a full year.
View Study Abroad
Experience matters just as much as a degree. Learn about international internships and domestic internships with international companies for students in Global Studies.
View Internships
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Students who place beyond the first-semester of a language can earn up to 16 retroactive credits, depending on the language.
View Retro Credits

Why Study French?

French language skills and cultural competency provides tangible benefits!

  • Become an attractive job candidate for various government or business jobs that require these characteristics. France has the fifth largest economy in the world and more than 4,500 French companies operate in the U.S. Plus French is an official language of other countries and regions including parts of Africa.
  • French is the second most common world language taught in U.S. high schools – prepare for a high school teaching career!
  • Enjoy and appreciate many works of literature and art and performance art in their native language.
  • Gain confidence and competence as a world traveler.
  • Knowing French will improve your English language skills since so much of English is derived from French origins.

French-Related Resources for Students and the Community

Showcasing well-know and independent French films annually from across the world. Films are free and in recent years have been available to stream from home in addition to the cinema showing.
Visit the FFF Site
The national French honor society welcomes exceptional UWM French students to become members of the Mu Gamma chapter. Membership benefits include scholarship opportunities and networking.
Visit the PDP Site
This local nonprofit very near to UWM’s Milwaukee campus hosts events and programs that promote the culture, language and friendship of the French-speaking world.
Visit the AFM Site
The Consulate is a friend of the UWM French program as part of their mission to develop ties and advance partnerships between France and the Midwestern United States.
Visit the CGFC Site

French Highlights

French is the language of300million people worldwide
English language derived45%from French roots
Official language in29countries

French News

French Events

There are no upcoming events.

Campus Resources

UWM offers a wide range of on-campus resources, such as academic support and mental health resources. Students also find community within our student centers.

Photo of UWM Campus from above looking south, with downtown Milwaukee in background.