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Program Overview

French Language

French Language Certificate

With more than 200 million people speaking French on the five continents and in 68 states and governments, French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the ninth most widely spoken language in the world. The French Language Certificate offers students specializing in all professional and academic fields a valuable credential for their proficiency in French and their knowledge of French-speaking cultures, expanding their horizons to the French-speaking world. 

Whether learners are job seekers interested in working for an international corporation or organization; world travelers who want richer, more immersive experiences; or are interested​ in exploring politics, the arts, gastronomy, fashion, and literature; the French Language Certificate gives them the tools to be able to communicate in French in non-specialized settings. The program also develops familiarity with the contemporary French-speaking world, its cultures, and literatures. As students engage in interactive communicative activities, they learn to participate in a French-speaking environment, preparing them for travel and work in French-speaking countries.

The program’s Northwestern University curriculum is practical and learner-centered, taught by current faculty from Northwestern’s foreign language departments. All courses are offered weekday evenings in the fall, winter, and spring quarters on the Northwestern University campus. Students in the program acquire language and cultural competence through dynamic courses that incorporate multimedia and online teaching tools and real-time classroom interactions. All courses offer one unit of undergraduate credit.

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About the French Language Certificate

French Language Certificate Goals and Activities

French Language Certificate Courses

All of the following are required:

  • French 101-A Elementary French I
  • French 101-B Elementary French II
  • French 101-C Elementary French III
  • French 102-A Intermediate French I
  • French 102-B Intermediate French II
  • French 102-C Intermediate French III

Placement in more advanced courses in the curriculum is possible based on the student’s level of proficiency, which is assessed by program instructors prior to course registration. Students may enroll in courses in the third-year sequence based on assessment. Third-year courses are offered by the Northwestern Department of French and Italian during the daytime; enrollment will be based on both assessment and student availability.

A minimum of four courses are required for a certificate. At least two of those courses must be at the intermediate level.

The recommended start time for this program is fall quarter.

 View French Language courses

 

Admission for the French Language Certificate

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found at the Admission page.

 

French Language Certificate Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

 

French Language Certificate Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

 

Find out more about the French Language Certificate


Program Courses:Course Detail
Elementary French <> FRENCH 101-A

French 101-A is the first quarter of a three-quarter sequence of Elementary French. The aim of the course is to build skills in speaking, understanding, writing and reading French through class activities, practice, and study. A variety of class activities are designed to help students acquire knowledge of the basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. It uses a multimedia approach that incorporates texts, songs, videos, and the internet and helps students acquire linguistic as well as cultural competence. Classes include a variety of activities designed to help students acquire knowledge of basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. By the end of the three-quarter sequence, students will be able to create with the language to talk about familiar topics related to daily life and to express personal meaning.

Schedule note: this is a hybrid course, which meets once every week for two hours (6:15-8:15 pm) on campus, and requires a weekly one-hour online session that students can complete on their own time. An online workbook manual will be used for homework.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: French 101-A is the first quarter of a three-quarter course for students with less than two years of high school French or with no previous study of French. 

Note: FRENCH 101-A is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View FRENCH 101-A Sections
Elementary French II <> FRENCH 101-B

French 101-B is the second quarter of a three-quarter sequence of Elementary French. The aim of the course is to build skills in speaking, understanding, writing and reading French through class activities, practice, and study. A variety of class activities are designed to help students acquire knowledge of the basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. It uses a multimedia approach that incorporates texts, songs, videos, and the internet and helps students acquire linguistic as well as cultural competence. Classes include a variety of activities designed to help students acquire knowledge of basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. By the end of the three-quarter sequence, students will be able to create with the language to talk about familiar topics related to daily life and to express personal meaning.

Schedule note: this is a hybrid course, which meets once every week for two hours (6:15-8:15 pm) on campus, and requires a weekly one-hour online session that students can complete on their own time. An online workbook manual will be used for homework.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: FRENCH 101-A or equivalent. This course is for students with less than two years of high school French or with no previous study of French. 

Note: FRENCH 101-B is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View FRENCH 101-B Sections
Elementary French III <> FRENCH 101-C

French 101-C is the third quarter of a three-quarter sequence of Elementary French. The aim of the course is to build skills in speaking, understanding, writing and reading French through class activities, practice, and study. A variety of class activities are designed to help students acquire knowledge of the basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. It uses a multimedia approach that incorporates texts, songs, videos, and the internet and helps students acquire linguistic as well as cultural competence. Classes include a variety of activities designed to help students acquire knowledge of basic French vocabulary and structures along with the ability to use what they have learned in situations of communication. By the end of the three-quarter sequence, students will be able to create with the language to talk about familiar topics related to daily life and to express personal meaning.

Schedule note: this is a hybrid course, which meets once every week for two hours (6:15-8:15 pm) on campus, and requires a weekly one-hour online session that students can complete on their own time. An online workbook manual will be used for homework.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: FRENCH 101-A, -B or equivalent. This course is for students with less than two years of high school French or with no previous study of French. 

Note: FRENCH 101-C is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View FRENCH 101-C Sections
Intermediate French <> FRENCH 102-A

This course is the first quarter of the three-quarter Intermediate French sequence for students who have completed French 101-C or a similar elementary French course.

The Intermediate French sequence is scheduled in a hybrid format, meeting weekly in a combination of one, two-hour in-class session on campus and an hour-long online session that students can complete in their own time. The sequence aims to strengthen and expand oral and written communication and comprehension skills as well as cross-cultural competence by immersing students in authentic cultural contexts and materials through class activities and regular practice and study. We use the textbook Réseau and its accompanying online program MyFrenchLab, and incorporate a variety of texts, music, video clips and the Internet. Through discovery of the contemporary French-speaking world, its cultures and literature, this course enables you to actively participate in a French-speaking environment, preparing you for travel in French-speaking countries and further studies in French. It provides those who wish to complete their language requirement with a path to proficiency. Classes are conducted in French except when explanation of grammar or other material may necessitate the use of English. Active participation and homework time outside of class are essential.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: FRENCH 101-C or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Note: FRENCH 102-A is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
Intermediate French II <> FRENCH 102-B

This course is the second quarter of the three-quarter Intermediate French sequence for students who have completed French 102-A or equivalent French course.

The Intermediate French sequence is scheduled in a hybrid format, meeting weekly in a combination of one, two-hour in-class session on campus and an hour-long online session that students can complete in their own time. The sequence aims to strengthen and expand oral and written communication and comprehension skills as well as cross-cultural competence by immersing students in authentic cultural contexts and materials through class activities and regular practice and study. We use the textbook Réseau and its accompanying online program MyFrenchLab, and incorporate a variety of texts, music, video clips and the Internet. Through discovery of the contemporary French-speaking world, its cultures and literature, this course enables you to actively participate in a French-speaking environment, preparing you for travel in French-speaking countries and further studies in French. It provides those who wish to complete their language requirement with a path to proficiency. Classes are conducted in French except when explanation of grammar or other material may necessitate the use of English. Active participation and homework time outside of class are essential.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: FRENCH 102-A or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Note: FRENCH 102-B is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
Intermediate French III FRENCH 102-C

This course is the third quarter of the three-quarter Intermediate French sequence for students who have completed French 102-B or an equivalent French course.

The Intermediate French sequence is scheduled in a hybrid format, meeting weekly in a combination of one in-class session on campus and an hour-long online session that students can complete in their own time. The sequence aims to strengthen and expand oral and written communication and comprehension skills as well as cross-cultural competence by immersing students in authentic cultural contexts and materials through class activities and regular practice and study. We use the textbook Réseau and its accompanying online program MyFrenchLab, and incorporate a variety of texts, music, video clips and the Internet. Through discovery of the contemporary French-speaking world, its cultures and literature, this course enables you to actively participate in a French-speaking environment, preparing you for travel in French-speaking countries and further studies in French. It provides those who wish to complete their language requirement with a path to proficiency. Classes are conducted in French except when explanation of grammar or other material may necessitate the use of English. Active participation and homework time outside of class are essential.

Carries humanities credit (two-course limit for language courses). Prerequisite: FRENCH 102-A or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Note: FRENCH 102-C is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
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