BACHELOR OF ARTS
Gain a new perspective through language and culture.
At Mercyhurst, we believe in helping our students build skills in communication, critical thinking, and navigating cultural diversity, which is exactly what a French major will do. While mastering your command of a language spoken by more than 270 million people on four continents, you’ll build expertise in French literature, culture and society while experiencing the world from a different point of view. The French Education major offers the opportunity to combine these skills with the coursework necessary to earn a teaching certificate in Pennsylvania.
Entrance into the major is determined by the successful completion of the Introduction and Intermediate sequence or by the demonstration of equivalent skills on the CLEP, A.P., International Baccalaureate examinations.
Studying a foreign language is excellent preparation for careers in many different fields, such as business, education, government or international relations, as well as graduate school
We strongly encourage our French majors to study abroad, whether it is through our own university or one of the programs affiliated with Mercyhurst
One of our highest honors is induction into Phi Sigma Iota, the international honors society for the study of foreign languages and cultures. Students are nominated in their junior or senior year and inducted at an annual spring dinner
The Bachelor of Arts in French pairs well with many other degree programs for a double major
Students may pursue a minor in this area by taking eight courses, a minimum of four in Arabic language, and the rest in related coursework in religious studies, political science, history, archaeology, etc., and must maintain a 2.5 in the minor.
Mercyhurst University's Asian studies minor program (formerly East-West studies) is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental minor in Eastern cultures. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA overall to remain in this minor. In addition, Mercyhurst students must take at least three courses in Asian language and five related courses in either Asian cultures, Japanese literature, Buddhism, Hinduism, Asian politics, world geography or modern Eastern history.
Mercyhurst students who are interested in pursuing a minor in language, may choose to minor in Chinese, French or Spanish. These minor programs offered through Mercyhurst University's World Languages and Cultures Department offer students courses in language, literature and culture in the student's respective field of study. In addition, Mercyhurst students will have the opportunity to delve into the history of the culture they choose to study.
Students minoring in a Chinese, French or Spanish program must take eight core courses and two upper level courses. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the minor.
Mercyhurst students who are interested in pursuing a minor in language, may choose to minor in Russian studies. This minor program offered through Mercyhurst University's World Languages and Cultures Department offers students courses in Russian language, literature and culture. In addition, Mercyhurst students will have the opportunity to delve into Russian history.
Students minoring in Russian studies must take eight core courses and two upper level Russian language courses. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the minor.
Whether you’re planning to work in school districts in the U.S. or travel and work overseas, the ability to effectively teach students the English language will open employment opportunities across the board. Students in the Teaching English-Language Learners minor will learn not only the methods for teaching English as an additional language, but also the language acquisition theories, socio-cultural influences, and program development strategies that make for more culturally sensitive and effective instructors (and leaders) of English language education. The minor includes six core courses, one elective, and more than 60 hours of practicum experience working with trained education professionals in preK-12 and adult education.
- Speak and understand French at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
- Read and write in French at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
- Demonstrate cultural proficiency in cultures that use French
- Discuss in both spoken and written French literary and visual texts or cultural artifacts of the target culture
- Conduct and produce research in French
Phi Sigma Iota, international honors society for the study of foreign languages and cultures, is one of the highest honors one can achieve in the field. Language majors and minors are nominated in their junior or senior year based on:
- the completion of a 300 level language course (or equivalent)
- GPA of 3.0 or higher
- recommendation of the language faculty
Induction is held each spring at the annual dinner.
For more information, go to the society's official website at www.phisigmaiota.org.
All majors must maintain an overall 2.5 GPA and at least a 2.75 GPA in world language major courses. World language education majors must also meet all the requirements of the education program. All majors and minors, as well as those students seeking teaching certification, are expected to maintain a portfolio, which will be important for assessment at Sophomore Review, before a student is permitted to student teach, and prior to graduation. An outline of requirements for the portfolio, which includes written and oral work, can be obtained from the student's language adviser or from the department director.
After winter term of the sophomore year, the department reviews the student's academic record, their language portfolio, and recommendations from professors to determine academic progress. At this time, students are formally invited into the major and are informed in writing of the department's decision.
Break out of the classroom by studying abroad in France, Quebec, or Africa and practicing your knowledge of the language and culture firsthand. Or, use your skills for service opportunities lto better the world, like one of our students who spent time in the Peace Corps in Cameroon (where French is an official language).
Kate is a French Education major who had the opportunity to study-abroad in Paris.
The Vivetta G. Petronio Scholarship Fund was created at The Pittsburgh Foundation by Gail Gerono in honor of honor of Vivetta G. Petronio, a French professor at Mercyhurst University who had a positive impact on Gail’s college experience and her life. In honor of Professor Petronio, this fund will provide scholarships for full-time students enrolled at Mercyhurst University who are studying abroad in France in their sophomore, junior or senior year.
The following eligibility criteria apply:
- Attend Mercyhurst University as a full-time student as a rising sophomore, junior or senior.
- Pursue a major or minor in French and seek to expand French language education.
- Plans to study abroad in France for one academic term (16 weeks) during the student’s sophomore, junior or senior year.
- Demonstrate financial need.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Demonstrate ability to overcome obstacles.
- Answer four short essay questions.
- Submit your Student Aid Report (SAR). If you have not already received your SAR, you can do so by applying for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Submit one letter of recommendation from a French professor.
- Submit your unofficial college transcripts.
One to two scholarships, average award of $4,000, will be offered annually. Scholarships are not renewable; students may only receive this scholarship once.
Final selection of the scholarship winners will be decided (subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of The Pittsburgh Foundation) by a Scholarship Advisory Committee. No member of the Advisory Committee, or his or her immediate family, is eligible for scholarship assistance during his or her tenure on the Advisory Committee.
Interested students should contact Dr. Douglas Boudreau, Chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.