French @ Lehman, CUNY
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French @ Lehman, CUNY
French @ Lehman  Department of Languages & Literatures Lehman College, CUNY



The French Program at Lehman College, CUNY


French is spoken on five continents, in over forty countries and by over two hundred million people. It ranks fourth in languages spoken in New York City, and is the lingua franca of the United Nations, the European Union, and many other top-tier international institutions. Worldwide, French is the most commonly taught second language (after English), and is deemed the third most useful language for business.

The French Program at Lehman College provides students with the cultural wealth and professional opportunities of the Francophone world. We provide a liberal arts education grounded in the great traditions of French critical thinking, offering courses in language, linguistics and literature, including the study of French and Francophone cultures and literature. Based in one of the world’s most diverse and dynamic cities, our program is tailored to fit today’s reality, to offer a preparation for careers in a competitive job market, and to transform our students into global citizens.

Courses offered by the French Program attract French majors or minors as well as students majoring in many fields, including anthropology, nursing, accounting, education, psychology, biology, history, and those preparing advance degrees and careers in business, journalism, law, medicine, diplomacy, the travel industry, art, fashion and teaching. Our wide range of courses provide students early in their academic careers an in-depth knowledge of Francophone multiculturalism, history, urbanism, art, cinema, literature, and translation.

Study Abroad

For over forty years, the popular CUNY/Paris exchange program has welcomed students from CUNY campuses, including Lehman, for a semester or a year of study in France. The exchange program also permits us to welcome students from Paris who study at Lehman. Students of the exchange program inevitably improve their language skills while also taking advantage of the many opportunities studying in the public university system in Paris, the enriching cultural discoveries of the French capital, and travel opportunities elsewhere in France and Europe. Numerous other opportunities for study abroad include popular summer language programs in Quebec, and diverse CUNY exchange programs in over 50 countries, including faculty-led and affiliated programs elsewhere in France and in Francophone countries.

For more information:

The Elizabeth S. Peters Prize

The Elizabeth S. Peters Prize for Excellence in French is awarded yearly to selected French majors or excellent minors who have demonstrated exceptionalism in their academic careers, graduating with top GPA, or taking part in the French Honors Program at Lehman.

Francophone Community on Campus and Online

The student experience in Lehman’s Francophone community – in classrooms and on campus – is by nature multifaceted and interdisciplinary. We encourage students of all levels to take advantage of the student-run Francophone Club at Lehman College, which organizes regular campus meetings, outings, movie nights, degustation of crepes and French pastries, as well as a yearly French creative writing contest.

A pioneer in archiving Francophone resources available online, the French Program at Lehman includes two primary web sites:

French @ Lehman - Ressources Internet Francophones
Links to hundreds of French and Francophone internet resources, organized by theme (news, literature, language, arts) and region. Online since 1996.

Île en île
An internationally recognized archive presenting the literature of the world’s French-speaking islands, Île en île features hundreds of authors with biographies, bibliographies, texts, and original audio and video recordings. Online since 1998.

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Portraits of alumni from the French Program at Lehman illustrate the many career paths available to graduates with degrees in French.

Majors in French

The Department of Languages and Literatures offers a Bachelor of Arts in French (FRE-BA) and Bachelor of Arts French Teacher Education 7-12 (FRET-BA).

30-Credit Major in French, B.A.

The required courses and credits are distributed as follows:

Credits (30)

  • 9 credits in required French courses FRE 300 and 303, and either 301 or 302.
  • 21 credits selected from other 300- or 400-level FRE courses.

Students who anticipate graduate work in French should take at least 18 credits of French literature.

30-Credit Major in French (Teacher Education 7-12), B.A.

The required courses and credits are distributed as follows:

Credits (30)

  • 9 credits in required French courses FRE 300 and 303, and either 301 or 302.
  • 6 credits in required French courses (or equivalents) FRE 3180 French Sociolinguistics and Dialectology and FRE 319 Francophone Cultures.
  • 15 credits selected from other 300- or 400-level FRE courses.

Students declare a minor in the Department of Middle and High School Education in Foreign Language Education after completing 50% of required courses in the major.

Students should seek advisement each semester from both the Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures and the Undergraduate Coordinator of the Department of Middle and High School Education.

12-Credit Minor in French

The Department of Languages and Literatures offers a Minor in French.

A Minor in French can be completed with twelve (12) credits of study in French at the 200 level or above, with at least two courses at the 300 level or above.

Course Listing

Courses in French offered at Lehman (see pages 286-290 from the 2019-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin).

Language Requirement

The 6-credit Foreign Language requirement at Lehman can be fulfilled by completing one year’s study of a new language (for example, FRE 111 and 112), or one course at the 200 level or higher, with the second course from several options (see details here). If a student is placed directly in an intermediate or advanced course (200-300 level), two such courses fulfill the language requirement, and may also be used toward the completion of a French Minor or Major.

Elective Courses

Students at Lehman, in any major, are required to take 12 credits of elective courses for the completion of their degree. Students are encouraged to take these courses in the French Program. If taken as elective courses (and not as requirements for a major or minor, or to fulfill general education requirements), these courses can be taken with the Pass/Fail option.

See the Lehman Undergraduate Bulletin (and the complete 2019-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin) for further information.

French @ Lehman, CUNY
French @ Lehman, CUNY

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