Jun 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Francophone Studies, PhD

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The doctoral program in Francophone Studies is designed to provide a broad knowledge of the Francophone world, including France, Francophone Europe, Quebec, Acadia, Louisiana, the Antilles and Haiti, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Maghreb, and the Mediterranean. The program offers a variety of approaches: literary, linguistic, critical, ethnographic, and historical. Courses offered through the departments of History, Sociology and Anthropology, and English (Folklore) complement those taught in the French and Francophone Studies Program.


Applicants to the doctoral program in Francophone Studies should normally possess the M.A. degree in French. Foreign degrees will be evaluated individually for equivalency. Students must remedy any content deficiencies before taking the comprehensive examinations. Applicants must submit a dossier composed of their Master’s Thesis in French or two research papers in French dealing with critical interpretations of literary, linguistic or ethnological issues. The dossier should include a list of special certifications or diplomas obtained, articles published and papers presented. A sound recording demonstrating oral proficiency in French is also required for non-native speakers. Applicants must also provide official undergraduate and graduate transcripts demonstrating solid academic preparation for advanced work, as well as three letters of recommendation. Students lacking adequate preparation in literature or language may be admitted conditionally until they remedy any deficiencies. The GRE is not required for admission.


The graduate coordinator initially acts as the student’s primary advisor until the student selects a dissertation director and, in consultation with the director, forms a dissertation committee. The student’s committee then serves as an additional source for advice and academic planning through the completion of the degree.


  1. In order to attain an appropriate level of competence in Francophone literature, culture and civilization, candidates for the doctorate must complete a minimum of 72 post-baccalaureate semester credit hours including 24 hours of dissertation. At least 21 hours of the minimal 48 hours of course work must be taken after the M.A. comprehensive examinations or after completion of the M.A. thesis.
    Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average with no grade lower than C. A student with two grades of C or any grade below a C becomes ineligible to continue graduate work.
  2. A minimum of 48 hours past the bachelor’s level must be in courses at the 400(G), 500 and 600 levels. At least half of these hours must be earned at the 500 and 600 levels.
    Students must complete at least 21 graduate credit hours past the M.A. level. All students are required to take FREN 540 Critique Littéraire  (3 credits). Deficiencies in these areas must be made up during the first year.
  3. Students will be responsible for mastering a basic list of required readings in each of five selected areas. In all other areas, students will be responsible for mastering a minimum list of required readings.
  4. In addition to a command of French and English, the student must demonstrate reading proficiency in two other languages or advanced proficiency in one other language. The language requirement for each student will be determined by the student’s graduate committee; the other language(s) selected for study should be relevant to the student’s specific area of research.
  5. After completing the coursework and the language exam, all students will take the comprehensive examination which will include written examinations in each of five selected areas of concentration based on the student’s coursework and the department’s reading list. On the basis of performance on these examinations, the student will be (1) passed unconditionally, (2) required to take additional written examinations in areas found to be deficient, or (3) dropped from the program. Students dropped from the program may appeal to the Francophone Studies Graduate Faculty for reconsideration. Students may retake these examinations only once. Successful written examinations will be followed by an oral examination which will focus on the five selected areas of concentration and which may also cover other areas of the reading list.
  6. After completing the comprehensive examination, a student will select an area of specialization and, in consultation with the appropriate faculty members in that field, a topic for research, as well as a director for the dissertation. The student and the director will then select the student’s dissertation committee. After successfully completing the comprehensive examinations, the student must also submit a dissertation prospectus. The director and all members of the student’s dissertation committee must approve the prospectus. When the dissertation is completed and approved by the dissertation committee, the committee will conduct a final oral defense of the dissertation.

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