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6 Flexible Online French Courses for College Credit

There are some great benefits to earning college language credits online.

In this post, I’ll show you some of the best online French courses  you can take to boost your skills and get college credits.


Online French Courses for College Credit

1. University of Maryland University College

University of Maryland University College logo

This school offers some great beginner courses ideal for learners with little or no previous French experience.

For learners who hate theory, you’re in luck: these online courses emphasize concrete and practical uses of French. The courses are recorded and available whenever you want, but some live interactive involvement is required.

If you’re a complete novice and worried about your French sounding like Arabic when you speak, these courses include pronunciation training. Just be sure you have a microphone and some speakers (a headset would probably work, too). There’s also some cultural teaching about France.

Once you’re done, you’ll be blessed with three credits for each completed course.

2. Indiana University Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington logo

Beginners who are experiencing growing pains and in that weird limbo between “not quite a novice but not quite intermediate” might be suited to Indiana University’s online program. With these elementary and advanced-elementary courses, it may make the transition to intermediate French easier.

These online courses cover basic concepts, but as with other schools, also teach you about French culture so you’ll be well-prepared when you’re making your way downtown, walking fast, in Paris.

Each course is worth three to four credits and there are typically between 20 and 30 students per class.

3. Durham College

Durham College logo

Durham College’s online French courses are available for beginner to advanced students, with different topics covered in each. Style and substance.

Topics include vocabulary training, sentence structure and verb tenses, as well as practical uses of French in everyday and specific situations. In a surprising twist, course materials relate to French-Canadian culture and traditions, but also cover international topics.

As with several other online courses, there’s no textbook required, so you’ll be able to ask for extra guacamole at Chipotle. There’s also an interactive component, where you’ll need a headset or microphone and speakers to submit recordings via YouTube, Windows Media Player or other systems.

4. Oregon State University

Oregon State University logo

If you’re looking to become a Benny Beaver, Oregon State is for you. There are nine online French courses ranging from beginner to advanced.

Unlike many schools, you’ll learn about francophone cultures and French-speaking cultures beyond France. OSU also provides a message board you can use to interact with your peers, so if you have nothing to do on a Saturday night, why not head over there?

You can request a syllabus or access a sample syllabus to have a better understanding of what it entails. The first- and second-year courses are four credits, while third-year courses are three credits.

Note that OSU runs on a quarter system, where the academic year is split into four parts, not three, so the registration dates may be different than your home university’s.

5. University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Austin logo

The University of Texas at Austin’s French Online Program is a “semi-intensive” course that is made up of three semesters, with each of them designed to introduce you to the French language, and help you to improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

You would be expected to spend approximately 8-10 hours a week working your way through the course materials provided to you and the assignments you are given.

The course aims to help you reach an intermediate level by the end of the three semesters. While taking the course, you’ll be able to engage with the classmates on your course, and you will also receive instructor feedback regularly to keep you on track.

6. Humber College

Humber College logo

Humber College offers a unique professional French program consisting of six courses—three “everyday” language courses and three business-focused ones.

Themes include home, dining, travel arrangements, banking and business transactions, among others.

You can  earn a French certificate while taking your courses: the Everyday French Language Certificate or the Professional French Language Certificate.

Just keep in mind you’ll have to take a placement test to determine your appropriate level and avoid starting with the basic courses if you don’t need them.

These courses involve a lot of interaction, where you “enter” a class and talk to your peers and teachers, so make sure you practice your best smile.

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What to Know Before Enrolling

  • You’ll probably be required to take the host university’s online placement test to determine your level.
  • In many states and provinces, the numerical grades you receive at a host school don’t appear on your home school’s official transcript. You may instead see a “pass” or “fail,” but no indication of your letter grade. If there’s a grade, many schools don’t count it towards your overall GPA.
  • Therefore, if you plan on applying to grad school, you’ll probably have to submit your alma mater’s transcript and a copy of your host school’s transcript for the online course, which will contain the actual grade.
  • Remember to confirm that your home school will accept credits from another institution. Many schools will require you to fill in a form with your host school’s course codes in order for them to verify the courses and give you the green light.
  • Online courses aren’t the same as MOOCs (massive open online courses), which provide open and typically free access to academic materials and lectures, but usually not a transferable credit.

What Makes an Online French Course Worth It?

  • Location, location, location. You can study whenever, wherever, while earning your degree. Live attendance isn’t necessary because courses are usually recorded and saved on the school’s virtual campus.
  • You can learn at your own pace by pausing and replaying.
  • Learning through a screen is less intimidating than being in class because you don’t need to worry about answering in front of your peers. Even if your course has a live component, it’s less daunting when you’re not physically together.
  • Though these courses are outside of the classroom, you can still practice your speaking skills. The reality is that many of these options (and online French programs at large) involve either a recorded or live interactive element.


The next time you crack open your laptop, instead of immediately going onto Netflix, you might just be logging into your French online college course.

And one more thing...

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FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:


FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.


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All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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