French

Degree Type Bachelor of Arts
Department Romance Languages
Academic Division The College
Offerings
The Romance Languages faculty at W&L foster an intellectual and vital interest in the French language itself, to provide students with the skills and motivation to use French in a multiplicity of contexts, and to promote cultural fluency through the examination of literary, historical and cultural texts, as well as other forms of expression.

Why Study French at W&L?

French majors at Washington and Lee learn to speak the language fluently, explore the history and culture of French speakers through coursework and study abroad, and gain expertise in the literary arts by reading and analyzing texts produced from the medieval to the post-colonial periods. Recent students have taken positions teaching in France or working in finance, business, accounting and other fields; others have gone on to competitive graduate programs in French language and history.

Completing the World Language FDR

One of the Foundation and Distribution Requirements at Washington and Lee is proficiency in a world language. The Romance Languages Department offers coursework towards language proficiency in French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. 

Opportunities for Students

Romance Languages is affiliated with study abroad programs in most of Spanish America, Portugal and Brazil, Italy, Spain, France and Francophone Africa. An extended study abroad experience sets students on the road to linguistic and cultural fluency and is strongly encouraged by our faculty. Students in French have many opportunities to study abroad. Recent students have studied in Toulouse, Paris, Dakar and Montpellier.

Back in Lexington, language tables such as Table française meet twice a week and are a great way for students to practice languages with W&L’s native teaching assistants and faculty. Students in French are also involved in the Francophone Student Organization, whose aim is to educate the W&L community about French-speaking communities all over the world.

Other opportunities include annual dramatic performances in French and Spanish, Romance Languages Poetry Night and the National Symposium on Theater in Academe.

Students are encouraged to participate in our honors program, which allows engagement in original research with a faculty member on a topic of interest. Completed projects are invaluable assets for graduate or professional school.

Matthew Bailey

Department Head

Shirley Richardson

Administrative Assistant

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