French and Francophone Studies

French is spoken by more than 200 million people throughout the world, well beyond the borders of France and Europe. African and Caribbean nations, Canada, and numerous Latin American and Asian countries with historical ties to France are French-speaking.

Fluency in French can provide a career advantage in all types of professions including business, medicine, law, the arts, politics, government work, and more. The country of France is a leader in science and high-tech, architecture, fashion, and cuisine, making French fluency valuable in these industries as well.

French is a romance language with many similar roots to Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Many students find it beneficial to also study these related languages to broaden their knowledge and skills.

At UWM, language students receive an education in not just language fluency but also in the culture surrounding that language. Context matters in communication, and we believe it is important for students to understand the history, literature, and customs of native speakers of French in order to successfully apply their fluency.

Students are also encouraged to participate in UWM's well-established study abroad program. Destinations are available in more than 70 sites around the world and vary in length from a few week immersion, to semester-long, to even a full year. Because of the complexities of planning a study abroad experience, students are encouraged to start planning early in sophomore year. Most students engage in study abroad during the second half of sophomore year or during their junior year.

Read more about our French major by downloading our fact sheet to the right. Three minors are also available: French, Business French for Business Majors, and Business French for Non-Business Majors. For individuals more interested in French culture and history rather than French fluency, the Certificate in French and Francophone Studies, may be of interest.