Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

French Ph.D.

French & Italian
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of French and Italian, 314 Folwell Hall, 9 Pleasant Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-626-0418; fax: 612-624-6021).
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 78
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The French program, which offers MA and PhD degrees, covers all areas of French literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Traditional areas of study and scholarship are inflected by the faculty's interests, expertise, and research in areas that are shaping the discipline of French studies. The program, which fosters interdisciplinary research, has particular strengths in literary and cultural studies, critical theory, feminist studies, medieval studies, cinema studies, and francophone studies.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
For the PhD program, an MA in French (or equivalent) is required.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
A bachelor of arts in French (or equivalent), with a literary emphasis, is required for the MA programs. Applicants have generally completed at least 18 credits in French literature and culture. Prospective students whose undergraduate degree is in another field, but who have taken substantial coursework in French and are strongly motivated to pursue literary studies, are invited to contact the director of graduate studies in French.
Special Application Requirements:
Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with their scholarship and research potential, a complete set of official transcripts, a sample of their academic writing, evidence of spoken French proficiency (audio sample or phone interview),, and a written statement of research interests and goals. International student applicants should also submit scores for the TOEFL or equivalent English proficiency testing program. The program offers funding packages of five years for those admitted at the M.A. level. Submission of all application materials submission by January 10 ensures consideration for other fellowships and graduate instructorships for the next academic year. New teaching assistants and fellowship recipients are only admitted for fall semester; others may be admitted in mid-year.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
45 credits are required in the major.
9 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Proficiency in foreign language other than French
Required Courses (6 credits)
FRIT 5999 - Teaching of French and Italian: Theory and Practice (3.0 cr)
FREN 5995 - Directed Teaching (1.0 cr)
FREN 5265 - Graduate Proseminar in French Studies (2.0 cr)
Major Electives (39 credits)
13 seminars in the major, for a minimum of 39 credits, are required. Electives must include at least one seminar in each of three periods: pre-1500; 1500-1800; 1800-present; Francophone/Global French.
FREN 5xxx
FREN 8xxx
FRIT 5xxx
FRIT 8xxx
Outside Coursework (9 credits)
Take at least 9 credits outside the major, not including foreign language credits.
Thesis Credits
Take exactly 24 credit(s) from the following:
· FREN 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral (1.0-24.0 cr)
Optional Emphases
Medieval Emphasis
The medieval emphasis comprises coursework in Old French and Latin. With the exception of LAT courses, credits can be applied toward the emphasis and the 45-credit major electives requirement. Students may be exempt from coursework by passing a department-specific examination. Confer with the adviser and director of graduate studies regarding options for completing the emphasis. Successful completion of the emphasis satisfies the foreign language requirement.
Early Modern (Pre-1600) Emphasis
The early modern emphasis requires the demonstration of intermediate knowledge of Latin. LAT courses cannot be applied toward both the emphasis and the 45-credit major electives requirement. Students may be exempt from coursework by passing a department-specific examination. Confer with the advisor and director of graduate studies regarding options for completing the emphasis. Successful completion of the emphasis satisfies the foreign language requirement.
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FRIT 5999 - Teaching of French and Italian: Theory and Practice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theoretical and practical aspects of language learning and teaching applied to French and Italian. Includes history of foreign language teaching in 20th-century United States. Taught in English.
FREN 5995 - Directed Teaching
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Directed teaching.
FREN 5265 - Graduate Proseminar in French Studies
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course introduces new graduate students to the goals, skills, practices, standards and other components of academic careers in the fields of French and Francophone studies, mostly in the US context. It is an introduction to all major aspects of our profession. The seminar combines readings, lectures and presentations by the instructor and guest lecturers, collective discussions, individual and group research, and writing assignments. The final product of the seminar is a talk ready to be delivered at a graduate or national conference, or a book review or short article ready to be submitted for publication.
FREN 8888 - Thesis Credit: Doctoral
Credits: 1.0 -24.0 [max 100.0]
Grading Basis: No Grade
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
(No description) prereq: max 18 cr per semester or summer, 24 cr required