Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The master’s degree program in French requires that the candidate have a bachelor’s degree with a major in French or demonstrate equivalent knowledge. Master of Arts (MA) degree plans are available with a concentration in French studies or linguistics and may be awarded en passant to the PhD provided that the student fulfills the requirements described below.  

The program in French studies requires 36 semester hours of coursework, including two courses outside the department. Coursework is designed around three main organizing structures: Historic Periods, Literary/Artistic Genres, and Theoretical Approaches. Students are expected to gain breadth of exposure in the various areas and begin to develop a depth of knowledge in a specific field.

Completion of the program in linguistics requires four semesters or 36 semester hours of coursework with a minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework in French linguistics.

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program is offered in French studies and linguistics. Information about required courses in each of these areas is available from the department. An examination committee is formed for each candidate; with the graduate adviser, the committee oversees the student’s progress and eventually administers a comprehensive examination based on coursework and reading lists. The comprehensive examination will consist of a one- to two-hour oral examination conducted by three to four faculty members. One of the faculty members conducting the examination may come from outside the program. Eighteen to 36 semester hours of coursework beyond the master's are normally required for the degree. An approved dissertation prospectus is required for all doctoral candidates before they may begin to write the dissertation. A final oral defense of the dissertation is required of all candidates.

In French studies, the candidate is expected to take courses outside of the department in related areas of interest, such as French history, art history, comparative literature, and anthropology. Candidates must pass a comprehensive exam on three areas of expertise before beginning work on the dissertation. For the concentration in French studies, students must demonstrate competency in Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic, or any other modern language approved by the graduate adviser at a fourth semester level. 

In French linguistics, students are expected to take courses that provide a thorough understanding of both the theory and the practice of their subject. Coursework for the PhD normally consists of 60 semester credit hours of graduate content courses. The precise nature of the courses will vary with the needs of the individual student, and must be approved in consultation with the graduate adviser. Coursework completed for the master’s degree may be counted toward this requirement.  Students who are admitted with an MA in French from another institution should expect to take a minimum of 30 to 36 semester hours beyond the MA level. Students must demonstrate competency in Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Arabic, or any other modern language approved by the graduate adviser at a fourth semester level. The content of the comprehensive exam will be established by the members of the students' committee in accordance with degree requirements and consist of two research papers based on problems proposed by members of the committee.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the spring 2020 semester.

David P Birdsong
Marc Bizer
Carl S Blyth
Benjamin Claude Brower
Barbara Ellen Bullock
Mounira M Charrad
Judith G Coffin
Patience L Epps
Zenzi Margareta Griffin
Julie Hardwick
Lars Hinrichs
David D Kornhaber
Richard P Meier
Sofian Merabet
Martha G Newman
Herve Picherit
Marc Pierce
Cinzia Russi
Almeida J Toribio
Alexandra K Wettlaufer
Lynn R Wilkinson
Hannah Chapelle Wojciehowski