French Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.


The department does not admit students for the MA degree, but will award the MA to a PhD candidate if deemed in the student's best interest. At least two years of graduate courses, plus any supplementary courses recommended by faculty, are required.

Other MA Degree Requirements:

  • Examinations: Two translation examinations, one from French to English and another from English to French; four two-hour written examinations in fields determined in consultation between student and Director of Graduate Studies; one-hour oral examination
  • Research/Projects: None specified
  • Master's Thesis: None specified


Minimum eighteen credits for candidacy, including a minimum of 13 credits in French and Francophone Studies (including French 596, Thesis Tutorial); up to 5 courses may be taken outside the Department.  Of the required French courses, one must be French 495 (Practicum in Scholarly Writing) and two in the first year must be units of French 493 (the Program’s introductory theory course) with different content.

Courses Units
First Year 3
Nine courses in French and Francophone Studies and other departments, as follows:
Fall quarter:2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective 3
Winter quarter:2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective 3
Spring quarter:2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective 3
Total Units (Year 1) 9
Second Year
Six courses in French and Francophone Studies or other departments 6
FRENCH 498 Independent Reading (teaching assignment) 3
Total Units (Year 2) 9
Third Year
Fall Quarter: 2 courses in French and Francophone Studies or other departments 2
Spring Quarter: FRENCH 596 PhD Thesis Tutorial 1
FRENCH 590 Research 3
FRENCH 498 Independent Reading (teaching assignment) 3
Total Units (Year 3) 9
Total Required Units (by end of Year 3) 27
Other PhD Degree Requirements 9

Other PhD Degree Requirements:

  • Examinations: For admission to candidacy, written examinations conducted in three phases: 1) a first-year exam, based on a critical theory reading list, conducted prior to the beginning of fall classes in the student’s second year; 2) a second-year exam based on a list of works of French and Francophone literature and film; 3) a third-year qualifying/prospectus exam, focusing on methodological issues and a corpus of primary texts related to the student’s prospective dissertation project, conducted in the winter of the third year. There are three possible outcomes of the qualifying/prospectus exam. If the student does not pass the exam on the first try, he or she will be given the opportunity, during the following quarter, to rewrite the section(s) of the exam that were deemed unsatisfactory. If, however, on the second attempt the results are still unsatisfactory, the student will not pass and may be granted a terminal master’s degree at the discretion of the faculty.
  • First- and Second-Year Review: These reviews are conducted at the end of the spring quarter of the first and second year. The student’s performance is assessed based on a dossier including the student’s self-­evaluation, evaluations by instructors, and a seminar paper submitted by the student.   
  • PhD Dissertation: Original and significant contribution to French and Francophone studies; may be written in English or French.
  • Oral Defense: Defense of the dissertation before dissertation committee. The student may decide to opt for a public defense.

  • Other: Teaching assignments or graduate assistantships starting in year two.