The Department of World Languages at Rowan University houses a rich program in French with language courses at all levels. We offer a Minor in French (18 credits) which recognizes students’ competence in language and culture; a CUGS in French (12 credits), which recognizes students’ competence in the language; and a Concentration in French within the Major in Modern Languages and Linguistics. Our instructors are either native French speakers or have lived in France for an extended period. They bring to the class not only a very high level of competence in the language but also much information on authentic Francophone culture.


French is a world language with more than 300 million people speakers on five continents. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the fifth most widely spoken language in the world. French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates an international network of cultural institutes with French-language courses for close to a million learners. Learning French is extremely enriching and there are many compelling reasons to choose it.



A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature. Writers such as Molière, Voltaire, Balzac, Hugo, Camus, Sartre and many others have produced an impressive number of great literary works. French literature and the French nation are also closely linked, and French writers have responded in interesting ways to social, political, and economic change. They have also examined such important ideas as idealism, modernism, materialism, trauma and memory. The French language is analytical and it structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill.


French is the international language of painting, theatre, film, song, dance and architecture. From Impressionism and the works of Monet and Renoir, to the songs of Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel, and from Notre Dame Cathedral to the Pompidou Center, French traditions in the arts are deep and rich. French museums and galleries in Paris and in regional beyond have achieved international importance, and the Louvre Museum contains one of the world’s great art collections. After its 20th-century remodeling, it received a dramatic steel-and-glass pyramid entrance. 



There can be no talk of French culture without mentioning French cuisine and the French love for la gastronomie. In France, eating is about celebrating the dishes, appreciating the flavors of the ingredients and above all, taking time to enjoy the moment with friends or family. English-speaking cultures simply have nothing to compare with the French approach to dining. And it's no coincidence that many of the words in English we use to talk about culinary matters, for example, “cuisine”, “chef” and even “restaurant”, all come from French.



France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 87 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France, and offers insights into France’s culture and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to French-speaking parts of the world. From ordering in a restaurant to buying tickets, knowing French makes things much smoother, and you will gain the locals’ respect for making an effort to speak their language.



Rowan University offers an array of study abroad programs in French-speaking countries. Study abroad is academically challenging, culturally transformative, and professionally relevant. The best way to enhance your language proficiency is to live and study in another country. All credits earned through study abroad fulfill Rowan program requirements, and scholarships are available. If you have questions about such opportunities, feel free to contact the Department Chair, Dr. Marilyn S. Manley, at