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Requirements for Completion

The M.A. program in French allows students with a B.A. in French to further their studies in the French language, culture, and literature, while preparing them to further their career. Most of our M.A. graduates continue on to a Ph.D. program at MSU or elsewhere, or become certified high school teachers. Others pursue careers in translation, sustainable development, editing, advising study abroad programs, among others.

Those who are interested in full consideration for a Teaching Assistantship must apply by February 1. Further considerations for financial support after that date will depend on resources available. Candidates should also consult the Graduate School for other funding possibilities (https://grad.msu.edu/msu-graduate-school-fellowships). Note that for these, applications must be received by December 15.

  1. Candidates for the Masters degree in French must complete 33-34 credits that include:
    • 6 required credits in ROM 803 (Current Approaches to Foreign Language Instruction), and a course on Critical Theory.
    • 18 credits in three fields: Medieval and Early Modern French Studies; Post-Revolutionary and Modern French Studies; Contemporary French and Francophone Studies.
    • Additionally, 3-4 credits in either one of : FRN 899, FRN 897, or FRN 898.
    • Additionally, 6 credits of elective (at the 400-level or above), approved by the program graduate advisor.
  2. Candidates for the Master's degree in French must complete one of the following during their second year of residency:
    • Plan A: Thesis and Oral Examination (4 credits of FRN 899).
    • Plan B1: MA Written and Oral Examinations (3 credits of FRN 897)
    • Plan B2: MA Project and Defense (3 credits of SPN 898)
  3. Candidates for the Master's degree must be in residence for at least three semesters.

See French Graduate Handbook, Section II.A M.A. in French for additional information.

Financial aid: Students in the Master's program have an opportunity to apply for appointment as a teaching assistant to teach in the French language program.


Requirements for Completion

The Ph.D. program in French Language and Literature offers several options which allow the doctoral students to work with a truly personalized degree, while retaining a strong foundation in French literature and culture. In recent years, dissertations have focused on Rabelais, 17th-century Theater, 20th-century holocaust writings, francophone children literature, the language in the banlieue, and the effect of text genre on reading comprehension. All of our recent Ph.D. graduates have successfully been placed in tenure-track or temporary positions in colleges and universities.

  1. Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must be in residence for at least four semesters.
  2. The candidate must complete one of the three emphases listed below. Courses completed prior to enrollment in the Doctoral program in French may be used to satisfy this requirement:
    • Emphasis in French Literature.
    • Emphasis in the Romance Languages and Literatures.
    • Emphasis in Interdisciplinary Studies.
  3. The candidate must complete additional courses as required by his or her guidance committee. No more than 9 credits of independent studies can be earned in the program.
  4. The candidate must demonstrate reading proficiency in two languages other than French or English that are relevant to the student's area of specialization, as determined by the student's advisor.
  5. Candidates for the Ph.D. must teach at least one college-level course in French. Students who have been awarded a teaching assistantship and who have not already completed a similar course as determined by the Coordinator, must complete ROM 803, "Current Approaches to Foreign Language Instruction," or equivalent, the first time it is offered.
  6. Students are required to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 in all courses counting toward the Ph.D. degree.
  7. The candidate must pass a set of Comprehensive Examinations which include: (a) A three-hour written examination in the student's primary field, (b) A three-hour written examination in the student's secondary field (c) a 25-page dissertation prospectus, plus an extensive bibliography (minimum: 100 items), and (d) an oral examination of one hour or more, related to parts (a), (b), and (c). These parts must all be completed before the oral examination may be taken.
  8. The candidate must write, submit, and defend a book-length doctoral dissertation based on original research that demonstrates sound critical judgement, and mastery of subject matter. All doctoral students must complete a minimum of 24 credits and not more than 36 credits of doctoral dissertation research (course number FRN 999).

See French Graduate Student Handbook, section II.B. PhD in French Language and Literature for additional information.