Department of French

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Previously named: French and German; French and Spanish, Romance Languages, Modern languages, English and French Languages and Literature

Established: 1982

History: Beginning in 1859, the study of French at the University of New Brunswick was a mandatory part of the curriculum for all three years of a Bachelor of Arts degree, falling under the Department of Modern Languages. Historically, the study of various languages and cultures has been shuffled around between different departments. In 1886, when the University switched from a three to four year Bachelor of Arts program and German was offered once again as an elective course, it was in conjunction with French, falling into the Department of English and French Languages and Literature. The study of both German and French continued at the University and the two languages remained connected well into the twentieth century. In 1945, the Department of Modern Languages was sub-divided into two headings: Romance Languages, which included French, Spanish, and Italian; and Germanic Languages, which included German and Dutch. At this time, there were fourteen classes in French. This remained the same until 1948 with the creation of the Department of French and Italian and the separation of the study of German and Spanish.

In 1950, the Department of Modern Languages was re-constituted and beginning in the 1951-52 academic calendar, French was once again listed together with German, Italian, and Spanish. The course offering was limited with seven French, six German, four Spanish, and one Italian. In 1953, Modern Languages changed its name to Romance Languages and eight French courses were offered with four Spanish and one Italian, and German was dropped from the heading. The Department of Romance Languages grew slowly until 1971 when Italian was dropped as a field of study at UNB; by that time there were twenty-one French courses and fourteen Spanish courses. For the next decade, this department remained the same until French, along with Spanish, were each given their own independent chairs in 1982. That first year there were thirty-five French courses offered at the university. The Department of French from that time forward has been an autonomous entity. The department grew over the years and by the mid-nineties offered over ninety courses. In 2012 the academic calendar listed ninety-three French courses.

Physical location: Tilley Hall

Faculty: Arts

Notes: The year that a certain department was established can be a subjective figure. For the purpose of this wiki, the year that a department is considered first established is the first year it was listed in the academic calendar as an independent chair with no other affiliation, unless documentation can demonstrate otherwise


  • UA Case 111; Section 3.
  • UNB Calendars (UA RG 86), 1862, 1872, 1876, 1886, 1940, 1945, 1948, 1952, 1953, 1971, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2012, 2013.

--TonyGoss 26 March 2013 (ADT)
© UNB Archives & Special Collections, 2014