The Department offers a doctoral program in French that gives students an opportunity to achieve a high level of scholarly competence and to develop the capacity to contribute original knowledge to the field. The goals of the Ph.D. in French are the following: 1) to provide students with the analytical tools and research skills necessary to conceive, create, and publish original and significant research in their chosen fields; 2) to train students to become effective post-secondary teachers in their fields through workshops, observations, apprenticeships, and the opportunity to teach a variety courses; and 3) to prepare students to become leaders in their future institutions of employment and scholarly fields through seminars, workshops, and service opportunities that expose them to the administration of departments, universities, and professional organizations. With the innovative coursework and wide range of experiences in research, teaching, and service our program offers, students may expect to become competitive candidates on the job market and successful working professionals.
The path towards the Ph.D. degree follows a natural progression from course work to candidacy to dissertation. For students entering without an approved Masters degree in French Studies, the Ph.D. is a five-year program. Students take courses for approximately two and a half years then take their candidacy examinations in spring of their third year or autumn of their fourth year. Upon successfully passing the candidacy examinations, students submit and defend a dissertation prospectus in autumn of their fourth year, then engage in the writing of the dissertation. For students entering the Ph.D. program with an approved Masters degree in French Studies, the program normally takes four years. Students take courses for one and a half years then continue on as above. Students in the program who are making good progress but who have not finished their dissertation by their last year of regular funding may apply for an additional year of funding, but such funding is awarded on a competitive basis and is in no way guaranteed.