Division of Department of Global Humanities Department of French Literature

Learning French sophistication through books and conversations

At the Department of French Literature you can master the French language and culture under the guidance of four professors (including a native speaker). Undergraduate students study reading and speaking in French for three years, and during their fourth year they write a graduation thesis on a topic related to France. The topic is freely chosen and might concern French novels, poetry, or drama; cinema; fine arts; the history and society of France; French philosophy; or similar topics. Some students compare the Japanese and French languages, explore French teaching methods, or investigate French magazines.
Also, starting with their second year students can spend up to a year studying in France. Tohoku University holds student exchange agreements with many educational institutions, but the University of Strasbourg, the University of Lyon, the Université Grenoble Alpes, the University of Rennes 2, and the École normale supérieure de Lyon are the most popular choices. Being involved in so many programs, our department has accumulated much know-how about student exchange. Proficiency in French is not required to enter our department, but we advise you to finish introductory French courses during your first year, if possible. Recently more and more of our graduates have been finding work in the public service sector and university administration, but the range of employment opportunities is much broader, including teaching positions, jobs in trading companies, publishing and banking, and so on. Some students choose to enter graduate school to pursue academic careers.

Message from Senior


3rd grade, Humanities and Social Sciences
High school : Yamagata Prefectural Yamagata-Minami

Recommended book : The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Reason : One phrase from the novel sticks in my mind: “what is essential is invisible to the eye”. The story might look like a children’s tale, but something in this novel resonates in the hearts of grown-up readers. I would like all of you to read the book and experience that feeling for yourself.

Highlights of the Faculty of Arts and Letters

At the Faculty of Arts and Letters you can study not only literature, but also psychology, archaeology and many other disciplines. Members of our department, too, engage with a wide range of topics in addition to French literature itself, including cinema, drama, and French culture at large.
The Faculty of Arts and Letters also stands out for its structure, since it is divided into departments, rather than seminars. Students and professors, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from our department maintain very informal relations. You can always come to the department room in your free time to study, have a friendly chat, or to seek advice from other members. This warm atmosphere greatly enriches our time here.

To everyone aiming for the Faculty of Arts and Letters

You can test yourself in many areas as a university student, not only in the classroom, but as a part of various extracurricular activities. Take, for instance, exchange programs offered by our department. This autumn I will go to the University of Rennes 2 under such a program. Some of us wish to study English in addition to French, and so they travel to the United States. What I want to say is that there is only one task you must accomplish while you are still in high school.
You must thoroughly enjoy this period of your life, because you will never be able to go back to your school years. You should put your heart and soul into the activities only available to you now. Trust me, many of those opportunities will be lost after you enter university. Apart from studying, you should join a club, participate in cultural festivals, and so on. Your endeavors and experiences as a school student will surely come in handy not only during your university years, but at various other stages of your life.
I hope that you will truly enjoy your school and university years. Bon courage! (“Good luck!”)