Academic Programs

Possible career options:

  • Teacher or professor
  • International business or banking professional
  • Translator or interpreter
  • Writer or editor
  • Diplomat

Where our graduates study:

  • Emory University
  • Indiana University
  • New York University
  • Syracuse University
  • University of Chicago
  • Vanderbilt University

Where our graduates work:

  • Affinion Group
  • AmeriCorps
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Leyhausen International Services
  • Ministre de l’Education Française
  • U.S. State Department

French Overview

Studying French at Transylvania is about so much more than imparfait or plus que parfait. Many of the French classes incorporate cultural studies of historical periods, literary or artistic eras, social and political movements, architecture, philosophy, and theater. Students will have the opportunity to study films as well as original texts and learn to argue a position in French as well as describe a memorable scene.

Study may focus on France or other countries around the world where French is a primary language. Depending on student interest, there are ample opportunities for practical applications, internships, special projects in the community, and study abroad.

Knowing French increases career options in many fields—from business to medical research—and improves students' prospects for admission to graduate programs in fields such as anthropology, philosophy, history, and law.

The French program at Transylvania offers a wide range of courses drawing on the expertise of its faculty. Professor Simonetta Cochis specializes in the literature and culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and is an avid enthusiast of French theater and medieval manuscripts. Professor Brian Arganbright specializes in the literature and history of France since the Revolution and also teaches courses in French cinema and Francophone literature.

French students complement their study at Transylvania with many experiences abroad. Most recently students have studied in Madagascar, Nice, Paris, Nantes, and Dijon and completed summer paid internships in Normandy.

French majors recently conducted faculty-guided research projects in Vietnam, Senegal, and Quebec. Many students of French also take advantage of Transylvania's May term travel courses to French-speaking regions of the world, studying art in Paris, cycling in the south of France, or completing a French immersion course in Montreal.

Did you know?

  • With over 200 million speakers, French is the only language other than English that is spoken on every continent.
  • French is the official language in 33 countries, and 55 countries officially belong to La Francophonie.
  • French is the second most commonly taught language in the world (after English).
  • Nearly 47 percent of Kentucky's exports went to French-speaking countries.
  • Kentucky's top two trading partners are Francophone countries: Canada and France.
  • Kentucky has nearly 66,000 residents of declared Franco-American heritage and nearly 8,000 of French Canadian heritage
  • In 1798, Charlotte Mentelle and her husband, Augustus Mentelle, who had escaped from France during the Revolution, opened a French School in Lexington. Mary (Todd) Lincoln attended from 1832–1836.


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