If you consider yourself a global citizen, have a passion for learning, want to see the world through new eyes, or give yourself an amazing edge in today's competitive job market, St. Ambrose has a program to help you achieve your goals.

Our graduates work at St. Norbert College, St. Thomas More High School, and attend prestigious graduate programs at the University of Iowa, DePaul University, Washington University, and the University of Connecticut.

Ambrose Advantages

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Robust Program Options
  • A Creative and Compelling Education

professor in front of students

student in class


You will grow your linguistic and cultural proficiency and deepen your appreciation and awareness of global perspectives through one-on-one guidance, unique courses, and opportunities abroad. Your St. Ambrose education and experience will set you apart in the global job market or graduate studies.

See our French Major Fact Sheet (pdf)

What Will I Learn?

Immerse Yourself

Courses will hone your reading and writing skills, grammar, stylistics, and vocabulary, but there is so much more. You’ll learn conversation skills through French cinema, television, and radio. You’ll dive into social issues by studying the role France has played – and continues to play – across the globe.

More Information on the French Program

What will I learn?

Courses will hone your reading and writing skills, grammar, stylistics, and vocabulary, but there is so much more. You'll learn conversation skills through French cinema, television, and radio. You'll dive into social issues by studying the role France has played - and continues to play - across the globe.

Our faculty work hard to offer students creative and compelling courses and seminars on topics such as comics and sequential art, media representation of violence, popular culture, and film.

All French majors are required to study abroad for one semester, giving you the opportunity to be fully immersed in the language and culture while earning credit toward your degree.You can spend a semester in Quebec, Canada, or a semester at Central College in Paris, France. Or, spend a summer abroad in Quebec or at the Institut Français des Alpes.

We do all we can to make your time abroad a valuable and affordable learning experience. Our Modern Languages department offers scholarships to assist with study abroad expenses. Contact us to learn more about study abroad scholarships.

Proficiency in more than one foreign language is very beneficial if you want a career in International Studies, Criminal Justice, Education, or healthcare. 

SAU graduates who double major in modern language and another specialty – such as business, social work, engineering – have been very successful. We live in a global world, and experience with world cultures makes our graduates more adaptable – something employers highly value. Contact us to learn about your dual major possibilities.

What are some possible career opportunities?

Foreign language majors can pursue careers in education, translation or interpreter, international sales, foreign media, diplomatic corps, immigration and customs, and with international aid organizations.

Foreign language skills are highly desired by government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Foreign Service Institute, CIA, Homeland Security, and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

A second major in a foreign language is especially beneficial for those pursuing careers in International Studies, International BusinessCriminal Justice, Education, or healthcare.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016), the job market for interpreters and translators will grow by 29 percent by the year 2025. The growth is driven by increased emigration and immigration to the U.S. The average median salary for interpreters and translators was $46,120 in May 2016.

Foreign language majors have an entry point into international business and international finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cited $121,750 as the 2016 median average salary for international finance managers and $127,560 for international marketing managers.

What have alumni of this program done?

Lisa Davila '13 – who double-majored in French and Biology – continued her education with a master's degree in Biology. She is an environmental scientist for Stantec Consulting Services in Independence, Iowa.

Morgan (Schmitz) Reyes '15 is studying for her master's degree in Spanish Language and Lit at DePaul University.


Bachelor of Arts Degree in French
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours of French (at the 300-400 level);
  • One full semester study abroad. The study abroad program - and all course work taken abroad for credit toward a French degree - must be approved by the French advisor or the department chair;
  • Classes on campus: A minimum of 9 hours at the 300-level at SAU;
  • FREN 400 (Capstone);
  • Classes abroad: A minimum of 9 hours in French. Courses abroad to be chosen in consultation with the French advisor.

Teaching majors:
Complete EDUC 344 and a program of study approved by both their French and Education advisors.

Minor in French (12 credits)

12 semester credits of French in courses at the 300-level, at least six of which must be taken at SAU.

Study Abroad
A short-term study abroad experience in a program approved by the faculty of the Modern Languages Department. Coursework will be selected in consultation with the French advisor.

Click here to read the descriptions of French courses

French Study Abroad

Advisor: Scot Heisdorffer

Programs approved for French Majors & Minors:
Paris, France (Central College semester)
Quebec, Canada (semester)
Quebec, Canada (summer)
Institut Francais des Alpes (summer)

Program for Beginning French (101 & 102):

Courses taught in English in other disciplines are also available.

Your study abroad experience will require assistance from these offices on campus:

1. Modern Languages Dept:

  • List of approved programs and some information about them· Help choosing the right program for you
  • Help determining the courses you will take abroad
  • Determining transfer equivalencies for Spanish courses taken abroad (for transfer credit in non-Spanish courses, work with the Office of International Education and Study Abroad)
  • Study Abroad scholarships from the Modern Languages Dept ONLY

2. Financial Aid Office:

  • Information about applying your financial aid package to study abroad
  • Which of the programs we offer would be most affordable for you
  • How any study abroad scholarships will be credited to your account (see info about scholarships for study abroad on Modern Languages homepage and inquire about other scholarship opportunities in the Study Abroad office)

3. Office of International Education and Study Abroad

  • Additional Information about your program
  • Application procedures (fees, deadlines, etc) and most paperwork involved
  • Program Prices· Deadlines· Travel trips (getting there, etc.)
  • Documents (visa, passport, etc.)
  • Scholarships (non-Modern Languages scholarships)
  • Pre-departure Orientation (mandatory)
  • Approval of transfer credit

Meet One of Our Alums

When Brandon Peiffer '15 talks about his Ambrosian experience, a few common themes emerge: Discovery. Diversity. Opportunities. Growth. And, he proudly admits his undergraduate education and experiences at SAU were beneficial as a student – and now as a professional.

Read More About Brandon
Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021

Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

See My Story

Apply Visit Info


Arturo Meijide Lapido, Associate Professor and Chair

Modern Languages and Cultures
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!