The Department of French & Italian offers certification in French at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For more information about the undergraduate certificate, see the Certificate in Advanced French page.

Graduate Language Requirement in French or Italian

You may determine the language requirement, if any, for your major field and degree by consulting your department’s website, your advisor, or your Director of Graduate Studies. When a major field requires a language, the Graduate School monitors the fulfillment of language study.

Our department certifies two levels of language proficiency. 

Fulfilling the basic language proficiency requirement:

  • Completing two semesters of graduate or undergraduate language courses with a grade of B or better. If you have already studied French or Italian, keep in mind that the coursework necessary to fulfill the requirement must have been taken within five years of proficiency certification.
  • Passing French 100 (Reading French in the Arts and Sciences) or Italian 100 (Reading Italian in the Arts and Sciences), usually offered one semester per year and as a distance-learning course. 
  • Passing an aptitude test arranged with the director of graduate studies in French or the director of the Italian program.

Fulfilling the higher proficiency language requirement:

  • Taking upper-division undergraduate (topics level) or graduate coursework within five years of applying for certification. 
  • Passing an aptitude test arranged with the director of graduate studies in French or the director of the Italian Program.

Proficiency in French or Italian can be certified in one of two ways. 

  • Your language is certified by the department your major is in once you have met that department's requirements. This information is recorded in your file—not on your transcript. This process will be unique to your department.
  • You complete the Language Department Certification of Foreign Language Proficiency form, indicating that you have met proficiency according to the language department's criteria, and either email it to fritgrad@umn.edu, or bring it to Folwell 314. This is recorded in your file and on your transcript. This certification becomes part of the official record and can be used in the future to certify your knowledge. This form provides information on what you did to achieve proficiency.