French and Francophone Studies PhD

Degree Requirements

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


Minimum eighteen credits for candidacy (including FRENCH 596-0 PhD Thesis Tutorial), a minimum of 13 credits in French and Francophone Studies; up to 5 courses may be taken outside the Department. Of the required French courses, one must be FRENCH 495-0 Practicum in Scholarly Writing, Publication, & Research and two in the first year must be units of FRENCH 493-0 Topics in Literary Theory (the Program’s introductory theory course) with different content.

Total Units Required (by end of Year 3): 24

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Nine courses in French and Francophone Studies and other departments, as follows:
2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective
2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective
2 French and Francophone courses, 1 elective
Total Units (Year 1): 9
Second Year
Six courses in French and Francophone Studies or other departments; must take 4 seminars offered by the department not in the theory sequence.
FRENCH 498-0 Independent Reading (teaching assignment)
Total Units (Year 2): 9
Third Year
Fall Quarter: 2 courses in French and Francophone Studies or other departments
FRENCH 596-0 PhD Thesis Tutorial
FRENCH 498-0 Independent Reading (teaching assignment)
Total Units (Year 3): 6

Other PhD Degree Requirements

  • Examinations: For admission to candidacy, written examinations conducted in three phases:

    1. A theory exam, based on a critical theory reading list, conducted prior to the beginning of fall classes in the student’s second year;

    2. A literature 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.


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 and/or examinations recommended by faculty, are required.