The French Department offers a wide-ranging course of study leading to the M.A. and Ph.D. degree. Students may choose to do research in literature, linguistics, or cultural studies, according to their areas of interest. M.A. students are expected to complete a minimum of 10 seminars (40 units), chosen in consultation with the Graduate Advisor or another faculty advisor. Ph.D. students are expected to complete a minimum of 12 graduate seminars, chosen in consultation with the Graduate Advisor or another faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to take courses in a variety of areas in order to develop:
1) a comprehensive knowledge of French
2) the ability to use specific critical methods
3) a mastery of the chosen field of concentration.
M.A. and Ph.D. candidates must also demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language (through coursework or examination) in addition to English and French.
During the spring quarter of the first year of study, all doctoral students are required to take a preliminary exam designed to assess their strengths and weaknesses and to facilitate course selection and advising. Within one year of completing all course work, students advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. by passing a qualifying examination and by demonstrating in-depth knowledge of the history of French literature or the subfields of linguistics. Ph.D. candidates must also complete a successful defense of their proposed dissertation topics during the qualifying exam. Ph.D. work concludes with the writing and acceptance of the dissertation.