Acquire fluency in French and become familiar with contemporary approaches to the language, literature and culture.

As a French major or minor, you will rigorously study French language, literature and culture in class discussions that stress the use of French in real-life situations with practical vocabulary, an inductive approach to grammar and hands-on activities.

Your courses will be interdisciplinary, exploring history, film, visual arts, philosophy, political theory, feminism, psychoanalysis, cultural and film studies, and the latest in Francophone popular culture. You may spend a semester abroad in France, Cameroon, Senegal or Morocco.

You will graduate as an effective French speaker and writer and a critical reader of the great works of French literature, including Molière, Proust, Beckett and Sartre.

  • In class with Professor Margaret Waller
    In class with Professor Margaret Waller
  • Games at the annual French retreat
    Games at the annual French retreat
  • Divita French Class
    In class with professor David Divita

What You'll Study

  • Advanced grammar and composition
  • An introductory course in literary analysis
  • Courses on aspects of French culture
  • Courses in Francophone literature across the centuries
  • Senior thesis or senior paper with oral presentation
220 million
More than 220 million people speak French.

Learning at Pomona

  • Pomona College French Research: Absinthe, the Temperance Movement, and French Drinking Culture
    Absinthe, Temperance and French Drinking Culture

    Luke Miller '15 examined "absinthe, the Temperance movement in France and the subsequent transformation of French drinking culture” as a summer research project.

  • Le Chateau d'eau. Creative Commons, Wikipedia
    Literature and Art of the Belle Époque: Natalie Dennis ’15

    Studying Proust with Professor Virginie Pouzet-Duzer, with in-depth literary and visual analyses, revealed interconnected themes within various art forms that arise at different historical periods.

  • Literature and Labs: Rebekah Lim ’15

    A French and pre-med major, Rebekah has had opportunities both to refine literary analysis skills and work abroad in a lab in Paris.

Julie Shrieve ’15

For me, French is one of the most beautiful languages in the world, and being able to read some of the greatest works of all time in their original language has been incredibly fulfilling. In both literature and critical theory, I've gained impactful new perspectives from great French thinkers.

Faculty & Teaching

Our French language professors are experienced, distinguished and multidisciplinary. Their wide-ranging areas of expertise include Enlightenment thought, text and image, interactions in the Avant-garde, gender studies and film analysis. Class size is limited, so you will receive their close attention.

Professor Margaret Waller

Bonjour! You won’t find a friendlier and more enthusiastic group of professors anywhere. Our courses are highly varied—from beginning French to the most advanced courses in French and francophone literature, culture, arts, cinema, history and linguistics. All of them will engage, surprise and enlighten you. What better way to prepare for our study abroad programs in France, Cameroon or Senegal?