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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Program Requirements

(For Admissions requirements, see also French MA (in the Graduate Bulletin)

I. General Requirements (Effective August 2011)

Credit Hours: All candidates for the M.A. will complete a minimum of thirty-three hours of graduate credit, exclusive of FREN 777. A minimum of eighteen of those hours must be at the 700-level or above, exclusive of thesis credits. No more than six thesis credits may be counted toward the degree.

FORL 776 Basic theoretical principles of foreign language teaching in college is a requirement of all graduate teaching assistants. Those who are not graduate assistants may take it as an elective or choose another 700-level seminar.

FREN 700 is required of all graduate degree candidates in literature. Those choosing the Linguistics option must take LING 600, FREN 516 and FREN 517.

Cognate: With the permission of the Graduate Advisor, students may take as part of their M.A. program one three-hour graduate course in linguistics, comparative literature, English, or another foreign language.

Language reading requirement: Candidates must satisfy the reading requirement in one language other than French and English. The language reading requirement must be satisfactorily completed before the candidate will be admitted to take the comprehensive examination or register for thesis credits.

The program of study must be filed no later than the end of the second semester of graduate study. It is the candidate's responsibility to complete the form and obtain the necessary signatures.

II. Comprehensive Examination

Written and oral comprehensive exams will be administered once a year on dates to be announced by the Graduate Director. They will not normally be offered during the summer session. Each candidate will prepare a reading list based on four courses taken in the French Program on which to be examined. The four professors who taught those courses will constitute the examination committee for that candidate and will prepare and rule on the exam. The written exam will consist of four essay questions, one provided by the professor of each course chosen. The candidate will select two of these questions and will write an essay on each one. At least one essay must be written in French. The Graduate Director or his/her designate will monitor the exam, which will last three hours.

Any candidate failing to pass the written exam will be required to retake and pass the failed part before proceeding to orals. Candidates may choose to retake the failed exam part or parts during the same semester as the original exam or during the semester following, with scheduling determined by the Graduate Director. If the second examination is failed, the student will no longer be a degree candidate.

A one-hour oral exam may be taken only after the written exam has been passed. The candidate will be examined on all four of the chosen courses. At least two of the four question/answer periods will be conducted in French. If all or any part of the oral exam is failed, it cannot be retaken until at least two weeks after the original exam, and it must be retaken prior to the next administration of the written exam. A candidate failing the oral exam a second time will no longer be a degree candidate.

It will be the responsibility of the Graduate Advisor to inform each incoming M.A. candidate as to the format of his/her exam.

III. Thesis

For those students on the thesis option: The candidate may not register for thesis credits until at least half of the other required course work has been completed. The comprehensive examination must be completed before the thesis approaches final form. Students should follow the guidelines for submitting drafts and final copies of the thesis as stated in the Graduate Bulletin.

The topic of the thesis is to be chosen by the candidate in consultation with the professor especially competent in the area of the candidate's choice. The candidate chooses the second reader in consultation with the thesis director. There will be a final oral examination in the form of a defense of the thesis. This defense may not be scheduled until after the successful completion of the written comprehensive examination. The defense committee will be composed of the two readers.

The Graduate School now requires the electronic submission of all theses. Please consult the Graduate School website for specifications and submission procedures.

For those students on the non-thesis option: Candidates who elect to replace the M.A. thesis with extra course work must complete 33 hours of graduate-level courses (of which at least 18 must be at the 700 level or above), and they must submit a substantial research project, typically a revised and expanded version of a paper written for one of the M.A. courses.

Suggested chronological checklist:

1. Language reading requirement before the completion of no more than eighteen hours of course work.

2. Before the end of the second semester, submit program of study form to the Graduate Director.

3. Application for degree.

4. Comprehensive examination must be completed at least fifteen days prior to the end of the semester of graduation, and before the thesis approaches final form.

5. File an electronic copy of the thesis with the Graduate School as indicated above.