Studies in French at UPEI

Together with English, French is one of two official languages in Canada and outside of Canada it is spoken in Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco), as well as in over 20 African countries.

The study of French language and Francophone cultures complements a variety of other subjects in Arts such as History, Philosophy, English or Anthropology, Sociology, Political Studies, and Psychology but also studies in Business for students who intend to work with a Francophone market.

French language skill sets are highly sought after in the labour market and our program helps prepare students for further academic study, research, and the world of work in general.

What you'll learn as a French student

  • How to speak, write, and interact in French
  • Cross-cultural awareness, relating language to social, cultural, and historical contexts
  • Local and global perspectives, working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Communication skills to learn and develop the complexities of additional languages
  • Strategies for presenting information in speech, writing, and social contexts
  • Research skills including data collection, exploiting digital resources, and compiling and comparing information
  • Critical thinking
  • Abilities in interpreting spoken and written language within various contexts, identifying patterns and comparing interpretations

two students talking indoors

At UPEI we focus on

  • small size classes with individual attention for each student
  • developing oral skills through labs and conversation classes which accompany the courses (the department usually welcomes a Language Assistant from France to lead conversation classes)
  • organizing activities in French outside regular class time to create opportunities for French communication and a strong sense of community among students and professors.

Students in UPEI's French program have the opportunity to be hired as lab assistants, offering valuable teaching experience.

Meet Trish Van Bolderen, professional translator and UPEI Modern Languages graduate

Trish Van Bolderen
Trish Van Bolderen and her husband, Michael
Trish Van Bolderen on a Zoom call
Alumni, Success Story, Students
Trish Van Bolderen

Trish Van Bolderen lives in Dublin, Ireland and works full-time as a freelance translator (from French and Spanish into English) and English-language reviser. She also works as a Translation Studies scholar, having obtained a PhD in that area.


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Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Note: As per Academic Regulation 1h, all undergraduate degree programs require successful completion of IKE-1040 (new for students beginning or returning after re-application in Fall 2022); one of UPEI-1010, UPEI-1020, or UPEI-1030, and a Writing Intensive Course. 



Requirements for a Major in French

  1. A major consists of a minimum of 42 semester hours of French.
  2. French 2410 and French 2420 are required courses.
  3. At least 24 semester hours must be taken from upper-level courses above 2420.
  4. In the case of students transferring credits for courses taken elsewhere at least 6 semester hours at the upper level must be taken at UPEI.


Students must include at least 12 semester hours in a modern language or modern languages other than French. In addition to the University’s requirement of  one of UPEI 1010, UPEI 1020, or UPEI 1030 and one writing intensive course, they should also include courses in History and Philosophy. Students should discuss these courses or other alternatives with the Chair of Modern Languages as early as possible.




Requirements for a Minor in French

  1. A minor in French consists of 21 semester hours of courses.
  2. French 2410 and French 2420 are required courses.
  3. At least 9 semester hours must be taken from among upper-level courses above French 2420.
  4. In the case of students transferring credits for courses taken elsewhere, at least 6 semester hours at the upper level must be taken at UPEI.
SDU Main Building
SDU Main Building
What can you do with an Arts degree? Anything you want!

UPEI provides a solid education in the liberal arts, committed to rigorous study and inquiry, belief in the value of knowledge, lifelong capacity-building, and the development of the whole person.

Admissions Criteria
What's Required for Arts Admission?

High School Graduates

Canadian High School Equivalency Chart

Successful completion of Grade 12 examinations in a University Preparatory Program with an overall average of at least 70% (75% for Quebec Secondary V students) in the following subjects:

  • English;
  • one Social Studies or Language;
  • any 3 other academic courses. Grade 12 math recommended.
    Note: Grade 12 Math is a prerequisite for some 1st year Arts courses.

Please refer to the UPEI Academic Calendar for complete admissions information.

Student Opportunities
Careers and Opportunities

Graduates of UPEI's French program work in many sectors, industries, and roles, including: 

  • Translation
  • Teaching
  • Government Civil Servant (RCMP, Immigration Officer, Public Health, Veterans Affairs)
  • Politics
  • Bilingual Customer Service
  • Public Relations and Communications
  • Import/Export Coordination
  • Foreign Service
  • Acadian and Francophone Human Resources 
  • Researcher
  • Speech Language Therapist

French students can also take advantage of unique opportunities in other countries. UPEI has established exchanges with two institutions in Europe:

  • Université Saint-Louis de Bruxelles (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Université de Bretagne Sud (Lorient, France)

UPEI student Abby Gibson in front of the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium

We also encourage our students to participate in the "Explore" Summer Language Program, where they can obtain French credits transferable to their degree at UPEI. For students seeking a longer stay in a francophone milieu, the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) offers an excellent opportunity to live and work in France.

students in UPEI quad
students in UPEI quad
Millions in scholarships and awards

Each year we award over 3,000 scholarships and awards to qualified students. Our comprehensive program—valued at over $8 million—includes some awards that are equal to full tuition and renewable!

Fees and Funding
Faculty of Arts Programs Tuition

UPEI's undergraduate tuition is the second-lowest in the Atlantic region, and we offer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards.


$6,828 per year, based on 30 credit hours ($682.80 per 3 credit course).
International students pay $8,010 per year in addition to full-time student tuition.

For a complete breakdown of part-time or full-time study as a student in the Faculty of Arts, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

Scholarships and Awards

UPEI supports you and your educational goals. We administer millions of dollars in scholarships and awards to our undergraduate and graduate students every year. Depending on your faculty or program, and year of study, you may be eligible for available awards.

Search the complete list of scholarships for information and application forms.  

Celebrating Student Achievement

Including Guaranteed Entrance Scholarships and Academic Excellence Awards, these awards recognize the academic achievements of all students who meet the eligibility criteria while studying towards their first undergraduate degree.

Visit the Scholarships site for complete information.

Faculty Members
Your mentors. Our professors.

UPEI has about 250 faculty—exceptional scholars, teachers, and mentors, with more being hired each year as we open new, progressive, and unique programs. But the story isn’t just in the numbers. It’s in the quality of our people. Award-winning faculty from around the globe have made UPEI home. Here, you’ll learn directly from these world-class professors and researchers in small classes where you’ll have easy access to them.


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