French Language, Literature and Culture
The M.A. Program in French – Language, Literature and Culture
I. Program Requirements
- Students in the Literature and Culture Emphasis will complete their coursework by taking the Core Courses (12 units) and Electives (18 units) as outlined below; substitutions may be approved (subject to DGS approval).
- Up to three thesis units (FREN 910) may count toward the total of 30 units in all MA options. Thesis units (FREN 910) may not be combined with Internship units (FREN 593) or Independent Studies units (FREN 599) as part of the total of 30 units (they may be taken in addition).
1. Core courses in Cultural and Literary History (12 units):
FREN 550, French Cultural & Literary History: Renaissance to Revolution
2. Electives in French (9 units) from:
FREN 532, French Translation
3. Electives in English or French (9 units) from:
II. Completing the M.A.
Preparing for Your M.A. Exams
No later than the beginning of the semester of the expected graduation date, the candidate and DGS should agree upon the Exam Committee members, whose chair will be formally appointed by the DGS. The candidate is responsible for:
- checking Graduate College deadlines and submitting the Master/s/Specialist Committee Appointment Form through GradPath;
- meeting with the Exam Committee members and providing (e-mailing) each of them (+ the DGS) copies of all course syllabi covered in the MA program
- alerting the Exam Committee members to the proposed date of the written examination, ascertaining their times and dates of availability for the Oral Exam, and communicating these times and dates to the DGS, who will schedule a provisional time, date, and classroom for the Oral Exam;
- clearing all fees with the Bursar's Office.
The M.A. Written Examination
The M.A. examination is given twice a year, usually in October-November and March-April. It 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. 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:
- a textual or cinematic analysis;
- an essay based on a specific work of literature (to be chosen by the candidate and the faculty member in charge of this part of the examination);
- 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; students are responsible for knowing these deadlines and scheduling their exams accordingly. The examination committee shall be composed of the three committee members for the written examinations. 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. Results are tallied by the committee chair, who informs the candidate only as to whether the vote was Pass or Fail.
The M.A. Thesis:
In lieu of the written exam, students may present 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.
ll-updated and approved by the faculty on Dec. 2, 2016