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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in French Studies

The graduate certificate in French studies is primarily for secondary teachers of French and anyone wishing to further their knowledge of the linguistics, culture, literature, and film of France and Francophone countries. Through graduate-level seminars, you will explore in-depth aspects of French and Francophone literature, culture, and language while also enhancing language skills. An additional benefit is the potential for professional advancement. The certificate can be completed in two years (at one course per semester plus one summer course), but may be completed in up to four years.


The postbaccalaureate certificate advisory committee consists of two faculty: 

  • Professor Betsy Kerr serves as the advisor-of-record. In consultation with Professor Kerr, you select the second faculty member.

Off-Campus Immersion Options

Consider combining the certificate program with a summer immersion program, transferring up to 6 credits, for example, from the Middlebury College summer immersion program or similar programs.

Courses taken in France from American-accredited graduate programs, such as the CIEE (Council on International Educational Exchange), Critical Studies Program in Paris, or the New York University Program in France, may also be transferred, subject to your advisor’s advance approval (6 cr. max.).

In addition, one of your three electives could be fulfilled through the independent study option. This involves contracting with a program faculty member to pursue a research project, which may be done in France or a Francophone country.

How To Apply


Admission decisions are based on a completed application, college transcript, and written essays. You must have a BA in French or equivalent (BA/BS in another field but relevant professional experience or academic preparation in French language and culture), with a preferred grade point average of 3.0.

If you have considerable teaching experience or other relevant professional experience (publications, translations, work experience in France or a Francophone country), but with a grade point average below the preferred average of 3.0, you are encouraged to make inquiries to the Certificate Program Coordinator, Betsy Kerr, 612-624-5807.

Elements of the Application

Applications to the Certificate in French Studies program are completed online through ApplyYourself.

In addition to completing the application, you will need to upload all of the following material directly to the Graduate School application website:

  • Personal statement: Explain (in English) how this program responds to your personal and/or professional goals.
  • Writing sample: This should be a 500-1,000 word essay (in French) on a topic of your choice.
  • Official transcript(s): If the originals are in a language other than English, certified English translations must be provided.
  • 3 letters of recommendation: Letters should be from individuals who can knowledgeably comment on your interest and abilities in French studies.
  • Application fee: May be paid online.

Application Deadlines

Applications must be received by:

  • April 15 to be considered for fall semester
  • October 15 to be considered for spring semester


You may enroll for the certificate at the University's Graduate School rate per credit. Please note that financial support such as graduate instructorships are not normally granted to certificate students.

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