French and Italian

Department of French and Italian
Department Information
3134 JFSB
Advisement Center
1041 JFSB

Admission to Degree Program

All degree programs in the Department of French and Italian are open enrollment.

The Discipline

The study of French or Italian language and literature sharpens analytical and communicative skills useful in a myriad of professional contexts. Students develop proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking, and they learn to use literature as a means to deepen their understanding of culturally specific as well as universal issues and values.

Career Opportunities

Italian and French are valuable research and communication tools for students in music, art, history, European studies, international relations, library science, and comparative literature. Many have chosen a major or minor in Italian or French in addition to a second major or minor in an area such as accounting or business management, or as preparation for professional programs in public administration, business administration, organizational behavior, dentistry, law, or medicine.

Many of our students have opted for a career in government service, working with an embassy, the State Department, the CIA, and other government agencies.

Other students have gone into travel and tourism, working with tour agencies, airlines, major hotel chains, or resort communities.

The computer industry also provides employment opportunity for our graduates. Many computer companies have expanded into foreign markets and hire people who can translate computer and software instruction and sales publications in a foreign language.

    General Information

    The Department of French and Italian strongly recommends that StDev 317, a 1-credit-hour course, be taken at the end of the sophomore year or the beginning of the junior year. Because liberal arts degrees provide preparation in a variety of useful fields rather than a single career track, this course is recommended to help liberal arts students focus on specific educational and occupational goals and to identify the career options or educational opportunities available to them. The course will introduce them to the resources needed for accessing information about graduate schools, internships, careers, and career development. Students will learn basic employment strategies, including the steps necessary for obtaining employment related to their own specialty.

    Internships Abroad. The Department of French and Italian in association with the French Embassy's Cultural Services and the Dante Alighieri School in Siena, Italy offers spring/summer internships in France and Italy in a variety of positions: businesses, corporations, industry, hospitals, research laboratories, national and local governments, cultural organizations, nonprofit agencies and nongovernmental organizations, hotels and tourism, etc. Job placements are made according to the student's language proficiency, previous work experience, field of study, and personal interest. Students may enroll for Fren and Ital 399R, 211R, 311R, or 411R, or other courses such as Fren 490R. The internship proves invaluable in strengthening language skills.

    Oral Proficiency Interview. All French-teaching majors and minors and all Italian majors are required to enroll in Fren 491 or Ital 491 and have an oral proficiency interview (OPI). French studies majors and French majors are required to take the OPI as part of the requirements for Fren 495. French teaching majors and minors are required to take the OPI before taking Fren 378. The minimum rating of Advanced is required of all teaching majors and minors. Appointments for the interviews are made through the department secretary. French students are strongly encouraged to complete Fren 411R prior to taking the OPI.

    When it is necessary to strengthen oral proficiency, students are encouraged to take conversation courses. They should also take advantage of Foreign Language Housing, Study Abroad programs, summer internships abroad, and support materials in the Humanities Learning Resource Center, such as CDs, videos, and satellite broadcasts. The department strongly encourages all majors to complete an internship prior to graduation.

    Instruction. All courses are taught in the target language unless indicated otherwise in this catalog.

    Language Certificate Program

    The Language Certificate Program is available in French and Italian for all matriculated BYU students who are pursuing any BYU undergraduate degree. A student who meets the proficiency and course requirements may earn the Language Certificate. The proficiency requirement is met through the nationally recognized ACTFL Oral and Writing Proficiency Exams.

    The Language Certificate Program is administered by the Center for Language Studies (3086 JFSB). For more information and course requirements, visit

    Graduation Requirements

    To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

    • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
    • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
    • A minimum of 120 credit hours
    • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
    • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

    Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

    Graduate Programs Available

    This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.