Phi Sigma Iota 
Foreign Languages Honor Society 

Applications are available at any foreign language department office and online and must be submitted no later than the end of the
4th week of classes, fall or spring semester.  An unofficial transcript with class enrollment through current semester must accompany application.


  1. Completed 54 or more credits toward the bachelor's degree
  2. 3.0 or better overall cumulative average for all work at Rutgers University
  3. 3.5 or better average for all courses taught in the foreign language (minimum 4 courses at Rutgers University)
  4. Current registration in a 300 or higher-level course given in the foreign language

For more information on Phi Sigma Iota, please go here:

Please direct completed applications and questions to:

Prof. Ana Pairet, Advisor
Al Lesitsky, Coordinator
c/o Rutgers University Department of French
131 George Street
RAB 103
Douglass Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1414

"Diplôme du français des Affaires"

  • Certificates are awarded by the Chambre de Commerce de Paris to students passing special examinations in May.
  • Students must first take French 324 and are advised to take French 401 and 405, or courses with equivalent cultural and historical background.

Secondary Teaching Certificate

  • A teaching certificate is awarded to students completing a French major and the five-year teaching education program.
  • For more information, contact the the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, Office of Teacher Education.

Certificate of Basic Knowledge in French

  • For students who are not majoring or minoring in French.
  • Student must demonstrate an ability to comprehend, speak, read, and write French as attested by a grade of B or better in two courses (must equal 6 credits or more) at or above the 200-level (conducted entirely in French).
  • Note:  The certificate is awarded only with or subsequent to the awarding of a baccalaureate degree in an approved major.  
  • There will be no notation on the academic transcript.  Application available upon request in the department.

Associated Programs

  • Courses in French are occasionally cross-listed in other programs such as: Medieval Studies, Film Studies, Women's Studies, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics.  Courses on French topics are also taught in History and Art History.

History / French Double Major

  • The History / French double major is an interdisciplinary program designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of France and its history. 
  • For more information, please click here.


Juniors with a cumulative average of at least 3.0 and 3.4 or above in French courses, become eligible to apply for the Departmental Honors Program. The Departmental Honors Program is a unique opportunity for in-depth, challenging, and self-directed work in an area of one's own interest. Honors is not only a distinction awarded at graduation and an excellent preparation for graduate and professional work. It serves as the intellectual and personal capstone to undergraduate studies.  

The Honors project

The Honors project will be an in-depth study of a literary or cultural problem of interest to the student. The student does background reading and research, writes a substantial paper, takes a written examination on the material covered, and discusses the work done in an oral examination with his or her Honors committee (consisting of the Director and two other professors chosen for each project). Each Honors student works closely with a faculty member of his or her own choosing to develop and pursue a project for which 6 hours of credit are earned, 3 counting towards major requirements. For further options concerning eligibility, topics, and credit, see reverse side.

Sample Calendar

Spring semester of Junior year: The student begins by consulting the chair, the undergraduate director, or the Honors coordinator about potential topics and the selection of a director and an Honors committee, in the spring of the junior year. The student meets with his or her director to define the topic and develop a reading list of primary and secondary readings related to the topic and to begin preparing the formal proposal. As the student needs to work closely with the director, the choice of the best professor for the project is extremely important. Understanding and communication (along with hard work) are the key to a successful honors project. Once the student has found a director, he or she registers for 420:495 Honors project for the fall semester.

If possible, the student begins reading and develops preliminary drafts of the topic proposal during the summer.

September 6, 2017
Confirm registration with Honors coordinator.
October 4, 2017
A description and justification of the topic (2-3 pp.) and the reading list (or program of research) are submitted to the Honors coordinator and to each member of the Honors committee for approval.  During the fall semester the student must demonstrate to the director significant progress.  In most cases this means doing most or all of the necessary reading or other research, and submitting a draft of a portion of the essay.  The kind of writing to be appropriately submitted at this point will vary from project to project, and should be determined in consultation with the director.  Regular meetings during the fall semester between student and director to keep track of progress and to evaluate the development of research are very important.  Students making satisfactory progress register for 420:496 for the spring. 
March 9, 2018
A full draft of the paper should be submitted to the director.  Often it is when the whole argument has been put into place that both problems and strengths become fully apparent, and the director may be able to give the student particularly valuable advice at this point in time.  The student and the advisor should also come to a clear understanding about formatting of the final submission (particularly the system to be used for citations and references) at this time.
March 23, 2018
The completed paper is submitted, typed, in four copies. Normally the paper will be 30 or more pages, in French.
April 2, 2018
The student completes the three-hour comprehensive written examination on the reading list.
April 6, 2018
The candidate takes the oral examination with the director and the Honors committee on the Honors paper.  The director and the Honors committee determine the level of Departmental Honors: Highest Honors, High Honors, Honors, or credit, with no Honors.  Course grade is assigned by the director.  Of the 6 credits earned in 495-6, 3 may be counted towards major requirements.  Credit is contingent upon completion of both semesters of work.


The French Department Honors Program provides a variety of options for students in special circumstances or with differing interests, and encourages them to participate in Honors. These are some of the most frequent cases:

Students graduating in January; students doing student teaching; part-time students.Non-traditional Degree Paths are encouraged to participate in Honors if eligible. They should consult the Honors coordinator well in advance in order to establish a calendar like the one above, usually covering the last two semesters of residence.

Junior Year Abroad

Eligible students in Tours for Junior Year Abroad should consult the Director there about their interest in developing an Honors project. They should notify the Honors coordinator of their interest and, if possible, contact a potential director and advisors by mail or phone. They should also plan to consult with the Honors coordinator or their director immediately upon return to the U.S., if possible before the start of the fall semester.

Interdisciplinary Projects

Students who are double majors and who are eligible for Honors in two departments, or who for other reasons wish to undertake an Honors project with an interdisciplinary focus, should consult the Honors coordinator well in advance to define how their project may be arranged to meet Departmental Major and Honors requirements.

Research Thesis Option

Advanced students who wish to engage in a project of exceptional depth and breadth may elect the research thesis option. Depending on the scope of the project, 8 or 12 credits are earned (determined by Sept. 3). In some cases, funding can be obtained through S.A.S. to assist with costs of conducting special research projects. For the most part, the calendar corresponds to that on the previous page:

By April 27, 2017 of the junior year, the qualified student presents to his or her director, to a second reader, and to the Honors coordinator a topic with a broad outline of the research to be done. The student registers for 420:497 for the Fall. Under the director's guidance, the student refines the topic and does background reading over the summer. During the Fall semester, the final research design and the first chapter are submitted to the director as evidence of progress and the basis of the grade for 420:497. No later than March 30, 2018 the completed thesis (50 or more pages) is presented to the director, the other two members of the Honors Committee and the Honors coordinator. An oral defense takes place before the Honors Committee during the first week of April. The examining committee then assigns the final grade for 420:498 and the level of Honors.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of French at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The French House Living–Learning Community
Location:  Jameson Hall,
Douglass Campus

The French House (Maison Française) on Douglass is a Living–Learning Community that explores gender in French language and culture.  The French House provides students the opportunity to improve their language skills through immersion in daily foreign language activities.  This includes speaking French in the house on a regular basis and exposure to French films, art, politics, music and food.  Specialized programming, events, and travel opportunities are offered each year.

Eligibilty & Requirements: 

  • Applicants to the French House must show a basic proficiency in French (level 131 or above).
  • Students enroll in a year-long 3-credit course (1.5 credits each semester), which is taught in-residence by a native French-speaking instructor.
  • Douglass Residential students are required to live in assigned Global Village housing in Jameson Hall.

For more information and an application, please contact:

Gwendolyn Beetham
Director, Global Village
College Hall, Room 207
(848) 932-3025
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The French Language & Culture Living–Learning Community
Location:  Leupp Hall, College Avenue Campus

The French Language & Culture Living–Learning Community on College Ave. offers a variety of activities around French themes.  These include: French Club events, film screenings, and field trips to museums, music, and theater productions, as well as informal lunches, dinners, and conversational groups where French is spoken.

In addiiton, the French Cultural Experience course helps develop conversational skills and explores various aspects of life in France and other French-speaking regions.  The course takes place once a week in the evening.  Each semester the course explores a different, overarching topic, so that students may continue to take it each term as long as they are participating in the Community. 

Eligibility & Requirements: 

  • Applicants must have completed one year of college French or attained the equivalent level on the placement exam.
  • Students enroll in the French Cultural Experience course, a year-long 3-credit course (1.5 credits each semester); the course number is 420:297(fall), 420:298(spring).  There is no limit to the number of times the course can be taken.  Two of these courses can be applied toward the French minor.
  • Students are required to live in Leupp Hall. 

For more information and an application, please contact:

Ghada Endick
Director of Learning Communities
Bishop House, 115 College Avenue
(848) 932-7444
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The department's goal is to place you into a course that matches your ability and helps you rapidly progress. In order to get course credit for any French course, you are required to take the French placement test, which determines your skill level in French and the appropriate course level for you to start with at Rutgers. 

Entry-level:  Our basic, entry-level course is Elementary French 101.  Note:  According to university policy, students who have had two or more years of High School French cannot receive course credit for Elementary French 101 & 102.  Students with some experience in French and relatively lower placement scores are placed into 121, a refresher course. 

Intermediate:  Intermediate level students begin with 131.

200-level:  Students who place at the "FFW" (or 200-level) are encouraged to take the Advanced Grammar courses (213 & 214) as well as the Introduction to Literature sequence (215 & 216).

300-level:  Students who place at the "FFH" (or 300-level) or who have advanced placement credit can choose among 300 level courses but are also advised to take the Honors Introduction to French Literature sequence (217 & 218).

Students are encouraged to contact the Undergraduate Director with any questions about placement.

The department is happy to help identify the correct placement for students who have special circumstances.  Examples include:  a native speaker, a creole speaker, courses taken at other universities, non-academic experience in France, desire to accelerate program, et cetera.

The Placement Test is an on-line program.  Please click here to proceed.




Contact Us

Academic Building, 4th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901