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French and Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD)

Dual Degree! Earn a B.S. in TMD and a B.A. in French in 4 years!

France is one of the world leaders in the luxury fashion market. Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design may earn a second degree in French (Bachelor of Arts). Students must complete the requirements for both degrees. With careful planning, no extra semesters are required. Students who double major in French and TMD are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program experience and/or a professional internship in France or in another Francophone country. The Office of International Education and the respective departments help students arrange semester-long programs with affiliate universities and institutes. In addition, URI students may study fashion at the University of Fashion's four week Summer Session in Lyon, France (courses taught in English).  Students who graduate with double degrees in French and TMD are well prepared to compete in the global fashion industry.

Student Experiences, In Their Own Words...

Both of my passions emerged as a teenager when I began to study French. Somehow I just couldn't get enough of French! I loved to learn the language, I watched movies, listened to music, learned whatever I could about the culture and society. But when it came time to fill out college applications, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to study apparel design. I was stuck on design and vintage clothing, and my love of French wasn't going to sway my decision. But it was always in the back of my mind.  In fact, I ended up at URI because I couldn't imagine going to an art school where language studies wouldn't go past an intermediate level. And once at URI, my very first class was oral expression with Prof. Durand. Within a week, he managed to convince me that doing a dual degree was entirely possible and really quite simple. And he was right. During my four years at URI, I was able to finish both degrees, study abroad in France, help in the Historic Textile and Costume Collection and finish a tailor shop apprenticeship with Nordstrom in Providence. What I most love about my college studies, is that I was able to mesh my varied interests: language, literature, sociology, philosophy, film studies, design, historic costume and practical apparel construction. And the professors in both departments were endlessly helpful. Both fields have given me something practical to carry with me the rest of my life. I now have the ability to express myself in two languages on topics as diverse as existentialism, music, psychology, politics, agriculture and film. And I was able to work with Peace Corps in francophone Guinea with an assurance that many struggle to acheive. Knowing the language beforehand gives you the opportunity to create more lasting relationships and help people more readily on a technical level. You can gain the trust of people more easily and also appear more knowledgable and professional in whatever field you enter. As for my textile and apparel background, nothing is more basic to a people's way of life than clothing and textiles. In many areas it is the one truly expressive art form they use on a daily basis; and tailors and weavers are found in every village. My time in Guinea motivated me to keep French an integral part of my life and solidified my desire to return to URI to continue studies in textile conservation.

Rachel Lomonaco
TMD/French Dual Degree (Marguerite Yourcenar French Class of 2005)

I decided to become a dual degree major in French and TMD during my first French class taken at URI. I had taken French throughout high school and needed to fulfill my language requirements for my already decided major, Textiles, Merchandising and Design. It was an idea proposed to me by my professor and I decided to take up the opportunity. I met with Professor Durand and we sat down to discuss some future opportunities. I realized that France has not only made a major impact in fashion, but it is the fashion capital of the world. Deciding to major in French along with a TMD major seemed like a great combination. Fashion is worldwide industry and having a second language behind me, especially French, is wonderful asset to obtain. For future opportunities such as studying abroad or working post graduation, having this dual major will allow me to have the option of going to English or French speaking countries. I am planning to study abroad in Orleans to better my comprehension and speaking of the French language. I think that knowing a second language is extremely beneficial, especially in an industry so highly international.

Per my decision to dual major in a foreign language and TMD, I have received a lot of support and help from my professors in making sure that I am fulfilling all of my requirements. The URI French & Francophone Studies Program works well along with my TMD requirements. To any students who are considering dual majoring in a language combined with TMD, or any other major, it is a wonderful opportunity and a great advantage for any individual.

Christine Gayant
BS in TMD with a Minor in French (Edith Piaf French Class of 2008)

Because of the number of free and professional electives built into the TMD program, I found it very easy to complete my minor in French. The freedom to choose the classes that I wanted to take outside my major even allowed me to spend a semester studying in Paris, France, long regarded as the fashion capital of the world, in the spring of my junior year and still graduate in four years.  While I was in Paris, I took a class on 20th Century Fashion, which included visits to multiple textile and fashion museums, as well as to such famous fashion locals as Rue de Faubourg St Honoré, a street lined in boutiques offering the wares of most major Parisian designers.  In my experience, the two areas of study also intersected in more subtle ways; for instance, my knowledge of French has always assisted me in correctly pronouncing a variety of fabric and designer names.  I only graduated from URI a few months ago, so I am as yet unsure how much I will use my French professionally.  Perhaps one day I will have a job that requires me to attend Paris Fashion Week, or the Premiere Vision textile show, and then my skills in French will surely be an asset.  Even if I never have need of speaking French in my future career, I will still be glad to have studied it, if only for the wealth of culture which it has allowed me to explore.  I feel that good designers can always benefit from new inspirations, and one of my favorites is the architecture and atmosphere of new places, and I have found my knowledge of French to be greatly beneficial when traveling.

Sarah Smith
BS in TMD with a Minor in French (Jacques Cartier French Class of 2006)

Useful Links

French Fashion: Why Did France Become A Leader in Fashion?
Haute Couture Fashion Definition
Paris Digest's Fashion Selection in Paris
Cultural Services of the French Embassy
Consulate of France in Boston
République Française
Quebec Delegation in Boston
Europa - The European Union On-Line

Useful Texts (available in the URI library)

GO. Le guide des opportunités de carrières. GO Editions, 2003. HF5382. 75 G654
Pierre-Eric Fleury. Guide du CV et de la recherche d’emploi. First Editions, 2002. HF5382.7 F548
Florence Le Bras. Lettre de motivation, mode d’emploi. Marabout, 2001. HF5549.5 M63 L437
Florence Le Bras. CV, mode d’emploi. Marabout, 2001. HF5383 L437