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French Degree

About The Degree

This degree will provide an intensive study of French language, literatures, and cultures, in both academic and professional applications.

French is one of -- if not the -- fastest growing languages in the world.  French is spoken on all 5 continents.  Population data forecasts 750 million French-speakers by 2050, which, Forbes reports, could put French ahead of English, and even Mandarin Chinese, as the most spoken language in the world. Read the report.

Whether on land, underwater, in the skies, in outer space, or in cyber space, you will find that French is everywhere -- even in Missouri.  Missouri has its own dialect of French, and in 2015 Missouri conducted $4.5 billion of trade with Canada ($2 billion more than its other foreign trading partner, Mexico).

What Can I Do With This Major?

Your Future with Our French Degree

As a graduate of Missouri Southern's French program, you'll harness your passion for language into a fulfilling, life-long career. More opportunities exist than we can list. Picture yourself in one of these positions:

  • Translate for healthcare and international organizations, or freelance.
  • Work for a number of tourist agencies as an interpreter.
  • Get a job in international business, as French is the second most in-demand language in business.
  • Teach French in America or abroad.
  • Choose from a variety of airline and airport positions in need of bilingual persons.

What You'll Learn

  • To speak/converse in a target language with ease and confidence when dealing with routine tasks and social situations with moderate control in the present, past, and future tenses. 
  • To write in the target language in a variety of styles such as taking notes on familiar topics, writing uncomplicated letters, simple summaries, and compositions related to work, school experiences, and topics of current and general interest at the Intermediate High level.
  • To read and comprehend simple, connected texts in various time frames that deal with basic personal, historical, and/or social needs about which the reader has personal interest.
  • To listen/understand main ideas and most details of connected discourse on a variety of topics and time frames.
  • To identify cultural information or patterns, such as major geographical features, historical events, institutional characteristics, social-linguistic behaviors, and major literary/art forms of the target culture.

This Degree Is Great For You If want to go into:

The Bloomberg Rankings, ABC News reports, finds French to be the second most useful language for business, after only Mandarin Chinese. Read the report.

Robert Lane Greene, writing for The Economist, explains why he thinks French (and not Mandarin Chinese) is the most useful language to learn for business. Read the report.

French-speakers are in high demand in the medical field, for example at the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), and Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World).

Science and Technology
In 2008, the United States and France committed to significant collaboration in the fields of civil space, global health, innovation and research exchanges, the environment, and protecting our citizens through homeland security. Check out the White House brief.

French-speakers are also in high demand across all assignment sectors of the Peace Corps, for example (Environment, Agriculture, Health, Business, Education, and Community/Youth Development).

International Law and Diplomacy
French is one of the official and predominant languages of the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO, among other international organizations, including international courts.

An endless career field of opportunity... translate governmental documents, business communications, works of literature, film dialogue into subtitles....

Teach French at home or abroad, or teach English in France and/or Francophone countries.

Fine and Performing Arts
Our students write, sing, and act theatrically in French.  Other of our students, inspired by their French studies and travels abroad, also draw and paint. Check out the findings of the Kellogg School at Northwestern University on the association between living abroad and increased creativity.

Pursue advanced degrees in graduate school
Most graduate programs require their students to demonstrate proficiency in at least one other language than their maternal one.  Why? -- Because no one language holds claim to all knowledge in the world.


Current Catalog


French Certificate in Language Competence

Questions about the MSSU French program?

Please contact Professor Michele Holt, Master Instructor of French and director of the MSSU French program, at or 417-625-9635.