French Programs at UAB

The French track at UAB teaches you not only to speak French but to learn about the cultures, civilizations, and literatures of the French-speaking world. If you study with us, you will learn skills that will enable you to communicate globally and also benefit you in your future career.

Here Is How French Can Help You

If you're asking yourself how knowing French can help you after college, you are asking the right question. The answer is that it can be very helpful. Here are just a few examples.

If you're interested in the sciences and medicine...

At UAB, French majors have a 100% record of admission to medical school. If you want to continue your education abroad, France and Canada offer scholarships in many disciplines, from architecture to medicine — but you have to speak French. Higher education in France is some of the best in the world and is absolutely free. You can go to medical school, engineering school, etc. and pay no tuition. But again, you have to be able to attend classes in French. The excellence of French research labs are known throughout the world. Dr. Montagnier (Pasteur Institute) and his team received the Nobel prize for the discovery of the HIV virus.

UAB students in France. If you're interested in business and industry...

France is a leader in aeronautics with Airbus (it has a plant in Mobile, Alabama) and Dassault Aviation (maker of the fighter jet Rafale). It is a major player in the automobile industry with PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault, which owns 40% of Nissan. Other French leaders in industry include Michelin, Air Liquide, and Schlumberger. Although agriculture is no longer a major employer in North America or Europe, it is still a globally vital industry and France is the fourth largest agriculture exporter in the world. France is a world leader in the three Fs — Fragrance, Fashion, and Food — with companies such as L'Oréal and Danone.

If you're interested in international relations and making the world a better place...

French is the official, administrative, or working language of most international organizations, second only to English. French and English are the official languages of the United Nations, the Olympic Committee, the World Health Oranization, the International Labour Organization, NATO, the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and many other non-government agencies such as Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, and FIFA. Since French is largely spoken in sub Saharan Africa, knowledge of French facilitates humanitarian work.

If you're interested in books and movies...

France has more winners of the Nobel prize in literature than any other country in the world, and prints more books than any other western nation with the exception of the US. The US translates more books from French than from any other language. And the French movie industry is one of the largest of western world, second only to the US.

And there's more...

There is no indigenous French speaking population in the US, so you don't have to compete for education opportunities and jobs with Americans who are also native French speakers! Of course, knowing French can be a benefit in more than just your career. Knowing it lets you communicate with other French speakers around the world, boosts your academic skills and options, and helps you understand the world from different perspectives. Read more about how speaking French can help you.