French and Francophone Studies
The Department of French and Francophone Studies at Bryn Mawr College has been called “a jewel of a program” and “one of the mainstays of French education” in the States. *
- Prospective students: Check out the French and Francophone Studies page in Majors, Minors, and Concentrations
The excellence of the program and of the students it attracts can be gauged by the latters’ success in winning postbaccalaureate awards: Every year but one for the past fifteen years, at least one of our senior majors has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in France. In 2004, five students won this coveted award. Eight recent alumnae are recipients of Rhodes, Watson, Mellon, and Jacob K. Javits Fellowships for subsequent study. Every year, two or three of our majors who are interested in university teaching are accepted by the top doctoral programs in French, comparative literature and political science. They often have been admitted to our demanding four-year A.B./M.A. program, which is one of few in this country and hence attracts gifted students of French to the College.
Many of our majors apply for entry-level positions in international affairs (e.g., ElfAquitaine, Certainteed) and international relations (e.g., the U.N., where two of our A.B./M.A. students have interned or work, and The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy). Many opt to prepare for careers in the international arena by applying to graduate programs in international studies or public health and to law school; in the latter area, our graduates have found that the rigorous training they have in dissecting texts and analyzing discourse is excellent preparation. One or two majors each year head to medical school, where the need for bilingual doctors is more and more apparent in this hemisphere and in world health organizations active in Francophone Africa, Eastern Europe and the Far East. Often our graduates have chosen a double major, e.g., French and Political Science, French and Economics, French and Anthropology, French and Comparative Literature, or French and a hard science (Physics and Mathematics most recently); some opt to minor in a related field (Art History) or concentration (International Studies: Economics, Politics or Ethics).
Yet one other component of our French program is the well-known and highly selective Institut d’Etudes françaises d’Avignon, our summer institute in France which annually admits five to ten Bryn Mawr students among its 40-50 advanced undergraduates and graduate students from American and European universities.