French and Italian

Department of French and Italian


Chair: Daryl Patrick Lee

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

The study of French and Italian language and literature are excellent preparation for a variety of career fields. 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 of our students 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. Others have opted for a career in government service, working with an embassy, the State Department, the CIA, and other government agencies. Still others 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 in the field of localization and translation. Many computer companies have expanded into foreign markets and hire skilled workers who can translate computer and software instruction and sales publications in a foreign language.

General Information

The Department of French and Italian urges students to take HCOLL 310, Humanities in Professional Life, a 1-credit-hour course, during 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 articulate the value and relevance of their study in the humanities.

Internships. The Department of French and Italian, in coordination with International Study Programs, offers 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. For Italy, internships typically take place spring term. For France, internships take place winter, spring, summer and fall. 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 and pre-professional skills.

Language Proficiency Assessments. All French, French Teaching majors and Italian majors are required to complete language assessments as administered by BYU or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL): the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Writing Proficiency Test (WPT), for Italian and French; in addition, students in French may complete adaptive reading and listening comprehension tests. Students complete language assessments by enrolling in Fren 495, Fren 491 (for French Teaching Majors) or Ital 491. 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.

When it is necessary to strengthen oral proficiency, students are encouraged to take conversation courses, such as Fren 411R. They may also take advantage of the Foreign Language Student Residence, Study Abroad programs, and internships abroad. Department and College of Humanities scholarships are available for each of these opportunities. Additionally, support materials in the Humanities Resource Center are also available for improving language skills on campus. 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 or by a course instructor.

Language Certificate Program

The Department of French and Italian strongly encourages all majors and minors to complete the Language Certificate. This 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.

  • 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.