UBC’s French Program Introduces New Major, Minors and Honours

As of June 2021, UBC’s French program is replacing the former Major, Minor and Honours in French with two new streams of specialization:

  • French Language, Literatures and Cultures:
    • Available as a Minor, Major, or Honours program
    • Designed for students with intermediate or advanced proficiency in French (CEFR B1 level or higher)
    • Ideal for students who are interested in developing their appreciation for Francophone literatures and cultures around the world
  • French Language:
    • Available as a Minor program
    • Designed for students with beginner proficiency in French
    • Ideal for students who are interested in developing a high level of communicative ability in French language for use in professional and academic contexts
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an internationally recognized guide that is used to grade individuals’ language proficiency. It helps facilitate credit transfers and determine student placement into language courses.

Learn more about the new requirements and how to declare a specialization:

Major in French Language, Literatures & Cultures (42 credits)
Honours in French Language, Literatures & Cultures (48 credits)
Minor in French Language, Literatures & Cultures (30 credits)
Minor in French Language (30 credits)

The program revisions and updates are pending final approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

Course Equivalency*:

Old Course Codes New Course Codes
FREN 220 & FREN 221 FREN 311
FREN 222 & FREN 223 FREN 352
FREN 328 FREN 331 or FREN 341
FREN 329 FREN 331 or FREN 341
FREN 353 FREN 353 (course title change)
FREN 355 FREN 321
FREN 371 Any 4th year literature course
*This course equivalency table is only to provide assistant with the transition from the old program. The learning objectives of the old courses are redesigned and adjusted to be aligned with the new upper level courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who are currently majoring or minoring in French (before the change), who have taken 300- and 400-level courses along with their prerequisites (e.g. FREN 328, FREN 353 or FREN 370), may not backtrack to taking FREN 401 and 402 for credits. However, if you have been progressing to the newly renumbered courses, such as FREN 401, you will earn upper-level credits since the course is now being taught as upper-level.

If you have already declared a minor or major in French Studies before the change, and if you already completed some required 300- and 400-level course along with their prerequisites, FREN 401 and FREN 402 may be waived so that you can register for 4th year courses.

For example, let's say you need to take FREN 442 to complete the minor, but the prerequisites are FREN 328 and FREN 402. If you have taken FREN 328, the prerequisite of FREN 402 is going to be waived because it is assumed that you have exceeded the B2 level. This process needs a manual adjustment in DN. Please contact fhis.undergrad@ubc.ca.

We understand that you may have already been preparing to do the minor or major based on the old program requirements and you have already been progressing quite a lot to complete the program. In this case, you have two options. If you prefer to stick to the old program, please contact our Student Programs Coordinator (fhis.undergrad@ubc.ca) so that we can assess your case. If you prefer to declare the new program, you can simply choose FREL when you declare it and follow the pathway. You may need to take one or two more courses, but you will benefit from the new curriculum to broaden your knowledge and perspective on French Studies.

Based on the course equivalency table, FREN 311 and FREN 321 will not count towards the old requirement of 300- or 400 level French courses. If you have already completed FREN 220, 221, 222, 223, you cannot retake FREN 311 or FREN 352. If you have completed FREN 355, you cannot retake FREN 321. But FREN 331 and FREN 341 are new courses, so you are welcome to take them if you are interested.

For students who declared a specialization prior to this curriculum change:

If you have already declared a Minor, Major or Honours in French, your requirements have not changed from those you see on your Degree Navigator report or the Calendar archive. We will continue offering the courses you need to complete your requirements.

However, if you would prefer to switch from your program in French to one of the new French Language, Literatures and Cultures programs, you are also welcome to do so. Whether you choose to remain in your French program or decide to switch to a French Language, Literatures and Cultures program, we are here to help you determine how the courses you’ve already taken apply to your requirements and to assist you with course planning for your upcoming registration.