Does the University of California Have a French Program?

[Disclosure: I am a UC employee and an alum of the UC Davis French A.B. degree program. Endorsement of a specific campus or program is not implied. This post is not sponsored by the University.]

I bought this book from a bouquiniste in Paris


Going to college and thinking about studying French, the language of Molière? Maybe you’re wondering:

Does the University of California have a French program?

Short answer:

Yes! Currently, all nine undergraduate University of California (UC) campuses offer French language and/or French literature courses.

Long answer:

While all nine undergraduate UC campuses offer French language and/or French literature courses, only eight of them currently offer French degree programs.

So be sure to read program descriptions carefully, and note that:

  • Some UC campuses require French placement tests
  • Some UC campuses offer French programs as concentrations or specializations within their literature or linguistics departments
  • Students are encouraged to take advantage of study-abroad opportunities

Although I am not a college admissions coach, I hope you’ll find this link roundup helpful in your search and comparison of French programs offered at each of the nine undergraduate UC campuses.


UC Berkeley

The French Department

4125 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720


UC Davis

Department of French and Italian

One Shields Avenue, Sproul Hall, Room 213, Davis, CA 95616


UC Irvine

European Languages and Studies

243 Humanities Instructional Bldg., Irvine, CA 92697



The Department of French & Francophone Studies

212 Royce Hall, Box 951550, Los Angeles, CA 90095


UC Merced 

Foreign Languages Program

5200 North Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343

*Currently, there is no French degree program at UC Merced


UC Riverside

Department of Comparative Literature and Languages

900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521


UC San Diego

Department of Linguistics – Language Program

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093


UC Santa Barbara

Department of French and Italian

5206 Phelps Hall, Santa Barbara, CA 93106


UC Santa Cruz

French Language Programs

1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064

French dictionary: my constant companion in college


If you do decide to apply to a UC, here’s a friendly reminder: the filing period for the UC admissions application is November 1-30!

Bonne chance

Congratulations on your decision to go to college and study French. I wish you all the best – Bonne chance! Bon courage!



  • The content provided here is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only

  • Do your own research and contact the campuses directly if you have any specific questions about their programs

  • Information is current as of October 1, 2019 and is subject to change

  • The links point to websites administered by the Regents of the University of California

  • This post does not reflect the opinions or policies of the University


  1. I studied at UCLA and minored in French. The department is relatively small, but it allowed me to get to know the professors, TAs, and classmates on a more-personal level. We also had a weekly French club that was a great way to learn about French culture and practice speaking the language. Fond times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that smaller departments and classes provide a deeper learning experience. Using instructors’ office hours is helpful, too (wish I had known this when I was a student at UCD!) Thank you for sharing your experience and fond memories of UCLA!

      Liked by 1 person

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