The MA Program in French – Emphasis in Literature and Culture
I. Program Requirements
Required Coursework: The MA in French requires a minimum of 30 units. Only under exceptional circumstances (such as when a student is interested in a topic/area that is not addressed at all within regular course offerings), up to three credits of Independent Study (FREN 599) may be counted toward the MA, pending faculty availability and DGS approval. Students normally proceed through the M.A. program in four semesters, completing 5 courses or 15 units during each year in residence. Most often students in the Literature and Culture Emphasis will complete their coursework by taking the Core Courses (12 units) and Electives (18 units) outlined below; but in cases where these suggested classes are not available, or in instances where you and your advisors determine that a slightly different selection of courses would enhance your Plan of Study and/or better serve your academic and professional interests, substitutions may be approved. Please consult with both the DGS and your Faculty Mentor when registering for classes to ensure that the courses you have chosen will allow you to make normal and timely progress toward your degree. All MA students taking French courses taught in English must do all reading and written work in French whenever possible for all options.
The Plan of Study (POS): No later than their second semester in residence students must complete a Plan of Study with the assistance of their Faculty Mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies. The Plan of Study, which you will find online on GradPath, should list all courses that you have taken, are taking, and plan to take as part of your MA curriculum – for a total of at least 30 units. After completing the form online, and paying the fee, you should submit for approval by the DGS. Even if you are not completely certain which courses you will be taking during your final two semesters of the MA program, the Graduate College requires that you submit your Plan of Study during your second semester in residence. The Director of Graduate Studies and Graduate Service Coordinator for SILLC (Susana Ruiz, ruizs [at] email [dot] arizona [dot] edu) will revise the POS as needed in the event that your planned curriculum changes.
Satisfactory Academic Progress: Satisfactory progress is determined by the Department Head in consultation with the faculty, the Graduate Studies Committee, the Director of Graduate Studies, the Director of Basic Languages (for GATs), and the Graduate College. To demonstrate satisfactory progress, students must maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA as assessed at the end of every semester and must be making normal progress toward the degree. This typically involves completing at least 6 units per semester with at least a B average.
II. Completing the M.A.
Preparing for Your M.A. Written and Oral Exams: Just before the semester of the expected graduation date, the candidate and DGS should confer about the choice of an Exam Committee Chair, and the candidate should meet with the prospective Chair to make plans for the upcoming semester. No later than the beginning of the semester of the expected graduation date, the candidate, Exam Committee Chair, and DGS should also agree upon and contact the two additional Exam Committee Members, who will be formally appointed by the DGS. Early in this last semester of the MA program, the candidate (not the Department) is also responsible (1) for checking Graduate College deadlines and for completing, printing out, and submitting to the Director of Graduate Studies the Completion of Degree Requirements Form (see My Grad College); and (2) for providing Exam Committee Members copies of all course syllabi covered in the MA program, alerting them to the proposed date of your written examination, and ascertaining their times and dates of availability for the Oral Exam. You are responsible for communicating these times and dates to the DGS, who together with the SILLC and French and Italian staff will schedule a provisional time, date, and classroom for the Oral Exam. All fees must be cleared with the Bursar's Office.
The M.A. Written Examination: The M.A. examination is typically given twice a year, in November and April, and consists of two parts, written and oral.* The M.A. written examination will be based on the candidate's coursework in French and/or Francophone literature, culture, and/or theory, as well as related areas of the graduate curriculum when appropriate (as determined by the DGS and Exam Committee Chair). The written component of the examination will consist of three take-home exams (sent via e-mail) in French that typically take the following form: (1) an explication de texte; (2) an essay based on a specific work of literature (to be chosen by the candidate, the faculty member in charge of this part of the examination, and the Director of Graduate Studies at the beginning of your last semester in residence); and (3) an essay on a wider, more general topic in literary and/or cultural studies. All three essays should be written in French, typed, double-spaced, and 4-6 pages in length. The student has one week to complete all three exams and return them to the DGS, who will distribute them to the committee members for evaluation.
The M.A. Oral Examination: The candidate is not permitted to undertake the oral component of the MA Examination until s/he has performed satisfactorily on the written part. (Satisfactorily is defined as a passing grade on the written part from at least two of the three committee members). A student required to retake one or more parts of the written examination (normally in the semester following the one in which the original attempt was made, but not sooner) must do so before proceeding to the oral examination. The Oral Examination (1-2 hours maximum) will cover works on the candidate’s course syllabi as well as areas considered in the written examination.* The M.A. oral examination is usually scheduled within a week to ten days of the written examination. The Graduate College sets deadlines each semester for the completion of this examination. The examination committee shall be composed of the three committee members for the written examinations (one of them shall be designated chair by the Director of Graduate Studies). The examination committee shall meet prior to the oral examination to determine time limits and questioning sequences. It shall meet once more after the completion of the oral examination to determine if the candidate has:
2. Failed (in which case the student must wait until the following semester before retaking the oral examination). A second oral examination will take place no sooner than four months after the initial one.
Note: Two adverse votes result in failure. An abstention counts as a vote for failure. Ballots are tallied by the committee chair, who informs the committee and the candidate only as to whether the vote was Pass or Fail. The candidate will be informed verbally of the examination committee's decision immediately after the examination. The Director of Graduate Studies shall also provide the candidate with a copy of the Examination Report.
* In lieu of the written exam, students occasionally request the option of presenting an M.A. thesis, written in French, which demonstrates proficiency in concepts and methods of literary and cultural studies, criticism, and theory. For students presenting an M.A. thesis in lieu of a written examination, the oral examination will consist of 1) a defense of the thesis, and 2) questions on works and topics covered in the candidate’s course syllabi.
III. Financing Your Studies
Financial aid may take the form of Graduate Assistantships in Teaching (GATships), partial or full Graduate Tuition Scholarships, and/or Graduate Fellowships. For incoming students, these awards are contingent on the University and Departmental budget, the applicant’s academic record, and, in the case of Graduate Assistantships, our assessment of your readiness for teaching French. When continuing GATs make satisfactory progress and funds are sufficient, they may receive support for four semesters. In exceptional circumstances, support for a fifth semester may be requested. In addition to these academic requirements, Graduate Assistants in Teaching must have satisfactory teaching evaluations.
IV. Curricular Emphasis in Literature and Culture:
With the help of their Faculty Mentor and the Director of Graduate Studies, as well as other faculty members when appropriate, MA students have the flexibility to construct a Plan of Study that suits their own particular needs and interests. What follows is a sample Plan of Study for the Emphasis in French Literature and Culture. If one or more of the courses is not available in regular rotation when you would normally take it, or if you and your advisors determine that a different class would be better suited to your individual academic interests and professional goals, exceptions to this suggested Plan of Study may be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies on a case-by-case basis.
1. Core courses in Cultural and Literary History (12)
FREN 550, French Cultural & Literary History: Renaissance to Revolution
FREN 551, French Cultural & Literary History: Revolution-World War II
FREN 552, French Cultural & Literary History: Contemporary France (20th-21st)
FREN 553, Literature in Context: Focus on a Historical period
2. Electives in French (9 units) from:
FREN 532, French Translation
FREN 540, Topics in French Literature
FREN 542, French Narratives and Film
FREN 543, Contemporary Francophone Literature and Cinema
FREN 544, Topics in French Culture
FREN 545, Francophone Cultures and Traditions
FREN 547, Topics in Francophone Studies
3. Electives in English or French (9 units) from:
FREN 554, French Theory
FREN 555, French Cinema
FREN 556, Topics in the Maghreb and the Near East—Peoples and Cultures
FREN 557, Topics in SubSaharan Africa—Peoples and Cultures
FREN 558, Topics in the Francophone Caribbean—Peoples and Cultures
FREN 562, Linguistics and the Study of Literature
FREN 567, Topics in French Linguistics
FREN 573, Semiotics and Language
FREN 579, Issues/Methods in Post-Second Foreign Language Teaching/ Learning (required for GATs)
FREN 578, Literacy in L2/FL Classroom: Theory, Research, and Practice
FREN 581, Technology and Foreign Language Learning
FREN 583, Materials Design
FREN 584, Second/Foreign Language Learning and the Web
FREN 586, Language Learning in Study Abroad Context
FREN 593, Internship
FREN 599, Independent Study (1-4 units)
FREN 910, Thesis