Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

112 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

languagesdepartment@etal.uri.edu401.874.5911 (p); 401.874.4694 (f)

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French is spoken as a native language in more than two dozen countries on five continents, making it one of the top 12 most common native languages in the world, with almost 80 million native speakers and another 190 million secondary speakers. French is the second most commonly taught second language in the world (after English), so speaking French will come in handy just about anywhere you travel.

French is also the official language of the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, European Community, International Olympic Committee, International Red Cross, and Universal Postal Union.

Why French at URI?

Join a smart, friendly community.
URI has one of the largest French programs (over 130 majors) in the country, but you’ll still receive personalized attention from our outstanding faculty. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with your peers through French conversation hours, French language movie nights, mentorship program, and French graduation ceremony.

French pairs well with everything.
At URI, we encourage you to double or even triple major with French. In fact, French has been paired with 47 different majors here, and the majority of students finish in four years. We’ve also got some unique and customized dual degree programs, where you can combine your degree with pharmacy, fashion, engineering, or business.

Immerse yourself.
Everyone knows the best way to master a language is to spend some time immersed in its culture and people, so we offer lots of great study abroad opportunities, both during the school year and over the summer. In addition, we offer a French Summer Immersion Program right here in Rhode Island for French teachers from around New England.


Our graduates are employed in a wide range of fields in North America and Europe, and are offered admission (often with full financial support) in some of the most prestigious graduate programs in the world. As a French major, you will be well suited to a variety of different careers when you graduate. Some of the industries/areas that have a high demand for French majors include:

  • Banking
  • Computer/software firms
  • Communications
  • Fashion
  • Food and wine industry
  • Insurance companies
  • Media
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Public relations firms
  • Restaurants and hospitality
  • Retail
  • Teaching

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