All undergraduate students taking courses in the French department are encouraged to ‘like’ the Undergraduate Facebook Page—it’s where the department posts information about upcoming classes, about French and Francophone events happening at NYU and around the city, etc. It’s the place to catch a glimpse of, and participate in, the life of this large and varied department!
Our faculty and students are always doing something exciting in the classroom. Check out what they're up to on the Papiers-Mâchés and Play French websites, as well as what a French major can do for you in our spotlight on French major alumni!
Letter from the Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Why Study French?
Welcome to the French Department!
My name is Professor Ludovic Cortade. I’m the current Director of Undergraduate Studies and I’d like to tell you a bit about the Department of French.
NYU’s Department of French is one of the biggest and most highly respected in the country. We offer a wide range of undergraduate courses in all levels of French language, as well as in the literature, film, culture, and thought traditions of France and the Francophone world. The department is full of passionate and engaged instructors, many of whom are internationally known scholars and authors.
Whether you don’t (yet) speak a word of French or you’re already fluent, whether you want to take French to meet NYU’s language requirement or you’ve already decided to minor or major in French, whether you’re interested in French sonnets, New Wave film, the literature and politics of the French-speaking Caribbean, French philosophy, or something else, you will feel immediately “chez toi” in the department!
There are many reasons to minor or major in French. Learning to think in a new language makes the world a bigger, more complex place! Thoughts and ideas “fit together” differently, opening up spaces for creativity, excitement, and innovation. But why French in particular? Historically and geographically, the French-speaking world is huge. The world currently contains more than 200 million French-speakers spread out over all five continents. And not only was French the main international lingua franca in times past, it is still one of the official languages of institutions like the United Nations. According to a recent study by the investment bank Natixis, discussed in Forbes magazine, French is moreover destined to become the most-spoken language in the world by 2050, ahead of both English and Mandarin!
Students who minor or major in French master the skill of speaking a foreign language and of understanding the cultures and thought traditions of the French-speaking world. This both changes how you see the world and is a skill that employers recognize to be highly important in today’s globalized economy. Whether you’re hoping to work in a global corporation, in a non-profit institution, in editing and publishing, in education, in arts management, as a lawyer, a doctor, or as something completely different, the skills you learn as a French major (eloquence in speaking and writing, cross-cultural competency, global awareness) will be essential!
The New York-based department has close ties with NYU-Paris, NYU’s fabulous French campus situated right in the heart of Paris’s Latin quarter on the Boulevard Saint-Germain, a stone’s throw from the Sorbonne and the Jardins du Luxembourg. With breathtaking views of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame and the Panthéon, NYU-Paris offers students the opportunity of living and studying in one of the world’s most exciting capital cities.
In New York, the Maison Française (16 Washington Mews) is a major forum for cultural and intellectual exchanges relating to the French-speaking world. It offers a rich program of lectures, symposia, concerts, screenings, exhibitions, and special events that provide an invaluable resource to students studying French.
If we haven’t met already, I look forward to meeting you!
Ludovic Cortade (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Meet our Undergraduate Ambassadors to NYU Paris:
Brock Hislop: Email: email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Major(s): Global Liberal Studies (Politics, Rights and Development) and French
Studying French has allowed me to find a greater home at NYU within the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture and given me the incredible opportunities to attend cultural activities at La Maison Française, watch French films in Cinéclub, connect with unparalleled professors and even study abroad. I knew that learning the language would be an indispensable tool in my efforts to be a global citizen, and it has now led me to the reality of living and working in beautiful Paris, France.
Suleikha Sutter: Email: email@example.com
Major(s): Global Liberal Studies and French with a minor in History.
Since I was little I have always been enthralled with French language and culture, and its highly global influence, especially pertaining to the francophone world of Africa. In the future, I hope to apply my French studies to working on international development and gender mobility in French speaking West Africa.