Additional Information for Graduate Students

Advising Guides (comprised of the required sections of coursework) are available for Graduate Students. Current FRIT Graduate Students should always plan in consultation with their Faculty Advisors, the Chair of Graduate Studies, and the Academic Program Coordinator.

AY24 Graduate Studies Committee members:

The Department of French and Italian awards a number of Graduate Teaching Associateships each year to students who are preparing the PhD. The position of Graduate Teaching Associate carries with it important responsibilities. Chief among these is the maintenance of a proper balance between studies, the first priority for the Associate, and teaching. In order to retain an Associateship, the student must, in the opinion of the faculty, be making reasonable progress towards completion of the degree and have demonstrated effective teaching.

Teaching Associates must seek permission from the Director of Graduate Studies and their advisor before accepting any other employment beyond their teaching associateship (whether within the university or outside of it). If permission is granted, this additional employment may not under any circumstances exceed ten hours per week.

The Department of French and Italian is proud of its commitment to teaching. Ohio State offers one of the most extensive, full-immersion workshops on foreign language teaching in the United States.

In addition, the Department provides:

  • Systematic, rigorous training in language pedagogy, including ongoing reviews and support throughout a student's program
  • Teaching apprenticeships with faculty mentors in cinema, literature, culture, and language
  • Opportunities to participate in the annual conference of the French and Italian Graduate Student Association (since 1994)
  • Support for study and research abroad in cities such as Rennes and Dijon, France; Lecce, Italy; and Quebec City, Canada
  • Support for travel to present at professional conferences
  • Professional development workshops and seminars in teaching, technology, and research

About the Council of Graduate Students

CGS is the branch of student government that represents graduate students at the main and branch campuses. It is our main purpose to improve the graduate student experience at The Ohio State University. Officers and Delegates are from every department at Ohio State and serve as advocates during university policy-making decisions. Our competitive funding programs and "graduate-only" social events support the development of all graduate students. Further information can be found at the Council of Graduate Students website.

Introducing the Graduate Student Research Abroad Grant

The application window will open early February. Keep checking the website for the exact dates.

More information can be found at the Council of Graduate Students website.

Office of International Affairs Partnership

The Council of Graduate Students and the OSU Office of International Affairs are forging a new partnership. Spearheaded by the CGS ICC Chair, James Crowsley, CGS is looking for ways to improve the international student experience at OSU. For further information, or to learn how to be a part of this program, please contact James Crowsley(.1). Further information can be found at the Office of International Affairs website.

The Ohio State University Graduate School has purchased a subscription to the Versatile PhD, a web-based resource that helps graduate students explore how to pursue non-academic career options. You may access this resource through Ohio State’s authentication page, which will lead you to an internal Graduate School webpage. To start this process, go to the Versatile PhD website where you will be prompted to authenticate that you are a member of the Ohio State graduate community.

History of The Versatile PhD
Founded by Paula Chambers, a PhD alum in English from Ohio State, The Versatile PhD is a web-based resource that provides a confidential community for graduate students to network and to explore resources relevant to this type of career exploration. The key concept is versatility: the ability to apply skills and interests in a wide variety of careers, so that Ph.Ds. have options both in and out of academe.
  1. All Graduate Associates must be enrolled in the Graduate School. Applicants for an Associateship who are not enrolled must make simultaneous application for admission. The awarding of an Associateship is contingent upon such admission. In the Spring semester of each year a faculty committee evaluates all applications, taking into account academic achievement, letters of recommendation, previous experience either in the use of the language (travel, study abroad, etc.) or in teaching (elementary, secondary, tutoring, etc.), and any other information which seems useful and pertinent.
  2. Offers for new Associateships are normally made in early Spring for the following academic year. A student who accepts an appointment is still free to resign until April 15, after which he or she is obligated not to accept another appointment without obtaining formal release from this Department. At times, the Department may have to make additional appointments after this date, in which case an effort will be made to complete all arrangements by the end of the Summer session.
  1. It is expected that a graduate student who is a Graduate Associate will register for three courses in the Department each semester. In most cases this will mean 9 hours. (GSH - Course Registration)
  2. Unless the student is on fellowship, in Autumn semester of their first year of residence Graduate Teaching Associates must enroll in 7600 (Teaching World Language at the College Level), visit demonstration classes regularly, and consult periodically with teaching supervisors about their progress as teachers.
  3. A Graduate Teaching Associate is normally assigned to teach one four-credit course per semester. This is called a 50% appointment. GRAs, GAAs, and GTAs are expected to work approximately 20 hours per week for a 50% appointment.
  4. After their first year, Graduate Teaching Associates may submit a request any given semester to have a 75% appointment for the following semester, which means that s/he would have two teaching assignments and would earn 1.5 times the stipend received for teaching one course. Such assignments are usually to teach two sections of the same course or to teach one course and to serve as a grader for a large lecture course.
  5. Graduate Teaching Associates work under the direction and with the guidance of faculty supervisors. For each section to which they are assigned, they have the responsibility of preparing classes, holding office hours, attending staff meetings, grading, and, in general, performing those tasks which are expected of a university teacher. Such out-of-class duties require about fifteen (15) hours per week.
  6. When circumstances warrant, the Chair may invite post-candidacy students to teach at the 2000- or 3000-course level. To be eligible to teach such a course in the department, students must have successfully completed a relevant 8303 Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship course and have achieved an excellent record of teaching. Such appointments are made on the basis of merit and not necessarily on seniority and are not guaranteed.
  1. Graduate Associates' teaching contracts are renewed by the Chair of the Department upon the recommendation of the faculty of the Department, which meets for this purpose during each Spring semester. These recommendations are based on evaluations of the Associate’s performance as both teacher and student. If an Associate’s performance is not satisfactory in one or both of these areas, s/he will be warned. If performance does not improve the following semester, s/he could lose his/her Associateship and/or be dismissed from the graduate program at the end of that semester.
  2. Graduate Students are required to update their Advising Guide every semester. Graduate Students are also required to update regularly (at least once per semester) the Dossier Documents Excel spreadsheet.
  3. All Graduate Teaching Associates are periodically visited in their classrooms by a teaching supervisor. The purpose of such visits is to evaluate the Associate's performance as a teacher and to offer helpful advice when this is deemed necessary. After each classroom visit, the supervisor meets with the GTA to discuss his/her performance and fills out a GTA Teaching Evaluation. The report is then discussed with each GTA by his or her supervisor. Thereafter, it is retained in Departmental files. During each Spring semester, a summary of the Teaching Evaluation Reports for each GTA is presented by the supervisor to the faculty of the Department.
  4. GTA Academic Evaluation Reports are also prepared for each GTA by their professors. The primary purpose of these reports is to provide graduate students with specific information about their performance in courses taken during the year, but they also assist in the evaluation of such performance as a basis for recommendations for the renewal or termination of GTA contracts. Like the Teaching Evaluation Reports, these evaluations are also forwarded in summary form to the faculty for their Spring meetings, in this instance by the GTA's faculty (MA or PhD) advisor.

After the Spring meetings have taken place, the advisors meet with the GAs to discuss the Academic Evaluation Reports, Advising Guide, and Dossier Document Excel spreadsheet, and to pass along any advice or suggestions that the faculty may have for the GAs.

Students receiving a first-year or a dissertation-year fellowship do not teach during that year. They must hold no other appointment or outside employment during the fellowship year, except for approved supplemental appointments or fellowships (GSH 10). Pre-candidacy fellowship recipients must register for at least 12 hours of graduate credit (5000-level or higher) during any semester in which the fellowship is held, and 6 hours during summer session. Audited credit hours do not count toward these totals. Dissertation-year fellowship recipients must register for 3 hours of graduate credit (usually 8999) each semester and during summer session. First-year fellowship recipients may choose to take 7600, Teaching World Language at the College Level, during Autumn semester of either their first year or their second year of the PhD.

When its budget permits, the Department may award on a competitive basis an additional semester of graduate teaching associate funding to one to two students total who can demonstrate that they will successfully defend their dissertation by the end of that semester. Students in good standing may apply for one of these grants during their last semester of funding.

Applications (submitted to the Academic Program Coordinator) should include the following components:

  1. A three-page summary of the dissertation project and its chapters;
  2. A statement on exactly where the student is in the writing process (how many chapters have been turned in to the advisor and how many have been revised at the time of the application submission) and a plan for completion; and
  3. A letter of support from the applicant’s dissertation advisor.

Deadline: December 24

Minor/GIS

In addition to their major area of study, FRIT graduate students will also organize a set of focused courses in and outside the Department to earn a Graduate Minor or Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization (GIS). Students should work with their Faculty Advisors and the Graduate Studies Director to select their minor/GIS. Once selected, students should apply for their minor/GIS through GradForms as soon as possible. Each minor/GIS has a specific advisor in the home Department. Students should work with their minor/GIS advisor after declaring. Once completed, the students should submit the “Transcript Designation” request through GradForms.

Third language requirement

Graduate Students are required to demonstrate at least a reading knowledge of one other professionally relevant language beyond French/Italian and English, such as French, Italian, Latin, German, Spanish, Arabic, or any other language related to the student’s areas of study, subject to the approval of the student’s advisor. Proficiency through coursework or exams in the professionally relevant languages will be required by the end of the second year. While speaking proficiency in the designated languages will certainly be encouraged, reading proficiency (above the second-year level) will be seen as the more important requirement. Students can demonstrate proficiency in one of three ways:

  1. By passing the graduate reading proficiency exam given by a Department;
  2. By passing a level II examination in German;
  3. By taking and passing German 6101 and 6102, French 6571 an 6572 or Latin 5890 and 5891 (reading courses);
  4. By taking and passing the 1101-1103 series in other languages with a grade of "B" or better (the 1000-level series may not be substituted for 5000 and 6000- level reading courses in Departments where the latter exist, although students are free to take any additional courses on their own). 

Students may demonstrate proficiency in a native or heritage language relevant to their field of study via a translation examination administered by the Department offering instruction in that language within the University. Non-graduate credit hours taken to satisfy a language requirement cannot be counted toward those required for the degree. See specific courses in GSH §4.0/§7.1.

Students who participate in the Rennes exchange program are strongly encouraged to use that year (during which they will be teaching only part-time) to devise and/or finish their candidacy examination lists, to write their dissertation prospectus, and/or to do research for and write sections of their dissertation. Graduate Advisors are willing and able to work with you remotely.

The Department of French and Italian invites applications from graduate students in French and Francophone Studies to participate in the Rennes exchange for one academic year (appointment date begins on September 1). This is a wonderful opportunity to live in France for a year and acquire teaching experience (language of instruction is English). Please note that according to rules set by Rennes, participants must be native speakers of English. Applicants should send the following to the Academic Program Coordinator:

  1. A letter of application that details the motivations to participate in the exchange, accomplishments made in research, teaching, and service while in the Department, and progress made to date on the degree (maximum 2-pages, single-spaced; and
  2. A CV; The student’s Advisor should send to the APC a brief letter of support. Applications will be reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee, and decisions will be conveyed by early February.

Deadline: January 10

Objective

The objective of the Qualifying Exam is to prepare students as generalists in French & Francophone Studies.

  • Through surveying a broad list of what are collectively recognized as “major works” students will become conversant in historical developments in themes, genres, rhetorical styles, and audiences,
  • rendering them capable of interacting competently with scholars of diverse specialties, making connections regarding lines of influence and reactions to previous works and cultural events, and teaching a variety of courses.
  • The qualifying exam will prepare students to narrow their research focus in a fully-informed manner.
  • All stages of exam preparation (e.g. list construction; immersive but strategic and instrumental reading; the tracking of themes and articulation of critical narratives across wide swaths of French and Francophone culture) will sharpen and augment students’ analytical toolkit, and ready them for doctoral study.

Exam Structure

Students entering the program without an approved MA in French & Francophone Studies will take comprehensive written and oral qualifying exams at the end of the fourth semester of study. The qualifying examination is based on three lists of a combined minimum of forty entries that span the entire breadth of French & Francophone cultural production. Students should begin to develop their lists toward the end of their first year of study and plan on intensive reading during their first summer. Final lists must be submitted for approval to members of the Qualifying Exam committee by the 3rd week of the semester of the exam. Faculty must respond with approval by the 5th week.

When compiling the three lists, students should consult the comprehensive list (available from the Chair of Graduate Studies) for entries on literature and film. Students may substitute entries not on that list with the advisor’s approval. The number of entries will vary (at a minimum of forty) depending upon complexity and length. Students are encouraged to include items from the visual arts (painting, architecture, sculpture, bandes dessinées) and the performing arts (dance, music, opera, theater) as well. And while the authorship of French canon has historically been construed as predominantly white and male (especially in certain time periods), students should also include as diverse a range of voices as possible by opening spaces for female and non-white authors (broadly construed) when such sources are available. The lists should be balanced in terms of coverage and genres and must be arranged into the following three categories:

  1. French and Francophone Culture through the Ages. Approximately fifteen to twenty entries (depending on the length of texts) covering the 12th century to the New Millennium, spread across at least eight centuries. In addition to literary entries, students are strongly encouraged to include at least one entry from each of the following areas: film, linguistics, performing arts, visual arts.
  2. Genre and/or Media (e.g. poetry, le conte, le roman, drama/ performing arts, autobiography, didacticism, the popular, philosophy). Approximately fifteen to twenty entries (depending on the length of texts) covering the 12th century to the New Millennium, spread across at least eight centuries.
  3. A Critical Question and/or Theme in the history of French culture (e.g. material culture, popular culture, French in the Americas, colonization/ decolonization, gender and sexuality, migration, travel, the environment, war, love, power, fashion, gender and sexuality, ideology/politics, class, etc.). Students with a declared specialization in SLA may do this preparatory exam on the history of French language acquisition practices. Approximately fifteen to twenty entries (depending on the length of texts) spread across multiple centuries.

Written Examination

  • At least one of the three exams will be written in French. It can be one of the two proctored exams or the take home exam. This decision will be made by the student in consultation with their committee.  
  • The exam will have two main components:
    • two proctored exams of three hours each covering on one day list #1 and on the other day list #2 without notes or books (a dictionary is permitted).
    • The second part is an open-book, take-home examination covering list #3 picked up at the Department on a Monday at 12:00pm and returned to the Department by 12:00pm the following Monday. The completed version of this part of the examination should be roughly 13-15 typed pages in length (Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced, one-inch margins) accompanied by a list of works cited and consulted (not included in page count).
    • Both parts of the exam must be completed by the 12th week of the semester.
  • Written examinations must be done on computers. During the period between the written and oral examinations, students should re-read all sections and prepare to discuss and defend them during the oral examination.

Oral Examination

  • The Oral Examination will last between 60 and 90 minutes.
  • Students must bring a copy of their written examinations to the Oral.
  • During this final part of the examination, students will be examined on items on their readings lists and on the results of their written exams.
  • All members of the Qualifying Examination Committee will be present during the entire oral portion.
  • At the conclusion of the oral portion of the Qualifying Examination and in the absence of the student, the Qualifying Examination Committee will determine if the student has satisfactorily passed the Qualifying Examination.
  • In the case of a negative decision, the student will be allowed to take the exam only one more time.

Qualifying Examination Procedures

1. The Chair of Graduate Studies chairs the Qualifying Examination.

2. The Chair of Graduate Studies is responsible for soliciting and collecting the questions for the written examination from the other members of the examining committee. If necessary, the Director of Graduate Studies may solicit questions from area specialists other than those who sit on the examining committee.

3. The Qualifying Examination Committee is appointed by the Chair of Graduate Studies and normally consists of two to four faculty members. All members of the Qualifying Examination Committee will be present during the entire oral portion.

4. The Qualifying Examination Committee is fully responsible for evaluating the three written exams using rubrics to score each exam in the areas of content mastery, mastery and accuracy in chronology, articulation of connections and themes, writing style and quality of expression, and language proficiency. These scores will be averaged by the Chair of Graduate Studies to determine a composite grade of “fail = does not meet expectations,” “developing = does not fully meet expectations = insufficient to pass,” “meets expectations = pass,” “exceeds expectations = high pass.” The oral exam will be scored using a similar rubric, and the scores of the written and oral exams will be averaged to calculate the final score.

5. Only the Qualifying Examination Committee members are to be present for the discussion of the student’s performance and the decision about the outcome. The student will be informed of the decision in the presence of the committee. All other regulations pertaining to the Qualifying degree will be those of the graduate school.

6. Conduct of the written and oral examinations:

  • The first written part of the Qualifying Examination (the two exams lasting three hours each) will be monitored.
  • For the proctored written part of the Qualifying Examination, no pre-written materials (books, notes, class handouts, study guides, etc.) or internet use will be allowed. Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic conduct. All suspected cases of misconduct will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct as required by University rules.
  • Dictionaries will be allowed during the proctored written part of the Qualifying examination.
  • For the second (take-home) part of the Qualifying Examination, students may consult pre-written materials (books, notes, class handouts, the internet.) Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic conduct. All suspected cases of misconduct will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct as required by University rules.
  • The oral examination will take place no longer than two weeks after the written examination.
  • The oral examination will be 60 to 90 minutes long. It will not be restricted to the material treated in the written part of the examination and may cover any topics on the Reading List.
  • The oral examination will be split between French and English.

7. The three possible outcomes of the Qualifying Examination are:

  1. the granting of an MA and an invitation to continue on to the PhD
  2. the granting of a terminal MA to those students whose qualifying exams, oral exam, and/or overall performance in the program are deemed adequate but not of a quality sufficient to continue on to the PhD
  3. the dismissal from the program of those students whose performance on the written and/or oral component of the qualifying exam, and/or general academic performance to that point are considered inadequate to earn the MA. Successful students who enter with an approved MA will not receive an additional MA, but will be invited to continue in the program.

Members of the Qualifying Examination Committee must use GradForms by 5:00 pm on Friday of the 2nd week of April to mark the exams as “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”.

Students who wish to apply to continue on to the PhD program the following year may apply internally to the department by November 30 of their third semester. In making their decision concerning admission into the PhD program, faculty will consider the applicant’s performance in courses, in teaching, in departmental citizenship, and on progress towards the qualifying examination at that point. Students who are admitted to the PhD program will begin their third year of that program (see below) the following autumn and will receive three additional years of a Graduate Teaching Assistantship to fund their studies.

Students entering the program without an approved MA in Italian will take comprehensive written and oral qualifying exams at the end of the fourth semester of study. The qualifying examination is based on three lists of a combined minimum of forty entries that span the entire breadth of Italian cultural production and must be submitted for approval to members of the Qualifying Exam committee at least two months before the exam. When compiling the three lists, students should consult the comprehensive list (available from the graduate advisor in Italian) for entries on literature, film, and linguistics and students can substitute entries not on that list with the advisor’s approval. The number of entries will vary (at a minimum of forty) depending upon complexity and length. At least eighteen of the entries must be literary sources, broadly considered, at least five must be films or television programs, and at least two must be related to linguistics. Students are encouraged to include items from the visual arts (painting, architecture, sculpture, photography) and the performing arts (dance, music, opera, theater) as well. The list should be balanced in terms of coverage and genre and must be arranged into the following three categories:

  1. Italian Culture through the Ages. Fifteen or so entries covering the Duecento to the New Millennium, spread across at least seven centuries. In addition to literary entries, students are strongly encouraged to include at least one entry from each of the following areas: film, linguistics, performing arts, visual arts.
  2. Genre and/or Media. (e.g., the visual arts, the novel, tragedy, lyric, autobiography, linguistics, comedy, performing arts, the popular, philosophy). Fifteen or so entries covering the Duecento to the New Millennium, spread across at least seven centuries.
  3. A Critical Question and/or Theme in the history of Italian culture. (e.g., otherness, the environment, war, love, power, gender and sexuality, ideology/politics, class, migration). Fifteen or so entries covering the Duecento to the New Millennium, spread across at least seven centuries.

Written Examination

At least one of the three exams will be written in Italian. For native Italian speakers, at least one of the exams will be written in English. In either case, the examinee can choose any one of the exams (either one of the two proctored exams or the take home exam) to write in their non-native language. This decision will be made by the student in consultation with their committee. The exam will have two main components: the first is composed of two proctored exams of three hours each covering on one day list #1 and on the other day list #2 without notes or books (a dictionary is permitted.) The second part is an open-book, take-home examination covering list #3 picked up at the Department on a Monday at 12:00pm and returned to the Department by 12:00pm the following Monday. The completed version of this part of the examination should be roughly 13-15 typed pages in length (Times New Roman, 12-point font, double spaced, one inch margins) accompanied by a list of works cited and consulted (not included in page count). In cases where a weekend proves inconvenient, the examination may be taken over any other comparable two- day period.

Written examinations must be done on computers. During the period between the written and oral examinations, students should re-read all sections and prepare to discuss and defend them during the oral examination.

Oral Examination

The Oral Examination will last between 60 and 90 minutes. Students must bring a copy of their written examinations to the Oral. During this final part of the examination, students will be examined on items on their readings lists and on the results of their written exams. All members of the Qualifying Examination Committee will be present during the entire oral portion. At the conclusion of the oral portion of the Qualifying Examination and in the absence of the student, Qualifying Examination Committee will determine if the student has satisfactorily passed the Qualifying Examination. In the case of a negative decision, the student will be allowed to take the exam only one more time.

Qualifying Examination Procedures

  1. The Graduate Advisor chairs the Qualifying examination.
  2. The Graduate Advisor is responsible for soliciting and collecting the questions for the written examination from the other members of the examining committee. If necessary, the Graduate Advisor may solicit questions from area specialists other than those who sit on the examining committee.
  3. The examining committee is appointed by the Graduate Advisor and normally consists of two to four faculty members. All members of the Qualifying Examination Committee will be present during the entire oral portion.
  4. The examining committee is fully responsible for evaluating and scoring the three written exams with a score of “fail,” “low pass,” “pass,” “high pass.” Scores on the three exams can both increase or decrease as a result of performance in the oral examination. Only the Qualifying Examination Committee members are to be present for the discussion of the student’s performance and the decision about the outcome. The student will be informed of the decision in the presence of the committee. All other regulations pertaining to the Qualifying degree will be those of the graduate school.
  5. Conduct of the written and oral examinations:
  • The first written part of the Qualifying examination (the two exams lasting three hours each) will be monitored.
  • For the first written part of the Qualifying examination, no pre-written materials (books, notes, class handouts, study guides, etc.) or internet use will be allowed. Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic conduct. All suspected cases of misconduct will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct as required by University rules.
  • Dictionaries will be allowed during the first written part of the Qualifying examination.
  • For the second (take-home) part of the Qualifying examination, students may consult pre-written materials (books, notes, class handouts, the internet.) Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic conduct. All suspected cases of misconduct will be reported to the Committee on Academic Misconduct as required by University rules.
  • The oral examination will take place no longer than two weeks after the written examination.
  • The oral examination will be 60 to 90 minutes long. It will not be restricted to the material treated in the written part of the examination and may cover any topics on the Reading List.
  •  At least one part of the oral examination will be conducted in Italian and at least one part in English.

6. The three possible outcomes of the Qualifying Examination are:

  1. the granting of an MA and an invitation to continue on to the PhD;
  2. the granting of a terminal MA to those students whose qualifying exams, oral exam, and/or overall performance in the program are deemed adequate but not of a quality sufficient to continue on to the PhD; and
  3. the dismissal from the program of those students whose performance on the written and/or oral component of the qualifying exam, and/or general academic performance to that point are considered inadequate to earn the MA

Members of the Qualifying Examination Committee must use GradForms by 5:00 pm on Friday of the 2nd week of April to mark the exams as “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”.

  • Because of the Graduate School’s Continuous Enrollment Policy, which states that PhD candidates (those students who have passed their candidacy examination) must register for at least three credit hours every Autumn and Spring semester until they successfully defend their dissertation, students who run out of GTA funding before they finish will not only lose their stipend but have to pay for these three credits each semester until they finish (students do not have to register in summer unless they defend the dissertation during any summer other than that immediately following their last semester of funding). For residents of Ohio (who continue to be residents of Ohio until they finish), these fees currently amount to about $2300 per semester, plus the full (non-subsidized) cost of student health insurance unless the student has another insurance plan (the current cost of student health insurance is about $1,275 per semester). For non-Ohio residents, these fees are now around $6000 per semester plus insurance. You can therefore see that the costs to you of not finishing your degree within your funding window are unfortunately substantial. It is for this reason that the department would like to do all it can to help you keep your “eye on the prize” and complete your degree on time, whether that means in April or August of your last year of funding.
  • Students entering without a Masters degree must successfully defend their dissertation prospectus no later than November 30 of their 4th year; students entering with an approved Masters must defend their prospectus no later than November 30 of their 3rd year. Students and advisors are strongly encouraged to devise a major candidacy exam whose answer can be transformed into the prospectus.
  • Requests for 75% appointments will be considered, as usual, by the Director of the Language Program, but also by the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s graduate advisor (if these are different individuals). Such requests will only be granted when the following three conditions are met: 1) there is a need in the teaching schedule (obviously), 2) the student has a good teaching record, and 3) the student is on track to finish the degree by the end of his/her four or five years of funding. The purpose of this increased oversight of 75% appointments is to ensure that students have enough time in their schedules to devote to their studies and research. In the long run, it is more sound financially to finish before your funding runs out than to make a bit more money while you’re here but not finish on time.
  • Progress toward the degree will also have more weight than in the past in the review of applications for summer teaching and departmental grants and awards, such as the Bulatkin Travel Award, the Bulatkin Summer Scholarship, The French, Francophone, and Italian Summer Research Prize, The Rymer Award,  and the Astier Award.
  • Students in their penultimate or last year of funding are strongly encouraged to apply for internal and external dissertation fellowships, such as, among others:
  • Ohio State Graduate School Presidential Fellowship  https://gradsch.osu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/presidential-fellowship-guidelines

When concerns arise or persist, the graduate student ombudsperson is an impartial resource that can help graduate students explore options in resolving their concerns. Generally, graduate students should aim to address and resolve concerns within their Department. Graduate students are encouraged to discuss concerns with their faculty advisor first. If concerns remain, graduate students should then reach out to the program Graduate Studies Chair. Further unresolved concerns should be communicated to the Department Chair. If the concerns cannot be resolved internally within the Department, the graduate student is encouraged to contact the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies within the College of Arts and Sciences. In situations where the student believes the issue has not been resolved within the College, they can request further review from the Graduate School. (GSH Appendix D)

Candidacy, Committees, & Dissertations

Candidacy is defined (GSH 7.7) as that period in a doctoral student’s studies when she or he is deemed ready to undertake independent and original research resulting in a dissertation (PhD) or to meet performance and document requirements (DMA). Doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy by passing the written and oral portions of the candidacy examination will subsequently be termed “doctoral candidates.” 

Candidacy should be reached after doctoral students have taken enough course work to become proficient in the field of study, which is generally two to three years after starting the doctoral program or one year after qualifying or preliminary exams. 

Doctoral students who have achieved candidacy status are deemed to have:

  1. Acquired the necessary advanced knowledge of the subject (normally by meeting all of the course requirements for the particular PhD program) 
  2. Developed the needed technical skills (e.g., language, laboratory, computational, etc.) for work in the subject 
  3. Demonstrated the ability to do the research or scholarship necessary to begin work on a dissertation

Students entering without an approved MA degree normally take their candidacy examination at the end of their third year. Those entering with an approved MA take the exam at the end of their second year. The candidacy examination includes a written and an oral portion. The written examination is divided into three parts: a major area and two minor areas. Students must choose their areas of specialization in consultation with the Graduate Advisor and/or their major advisor and should be mindful of the areas which faculty in the Department cover. Students do not have to choose only areas and topics that are the primary specializations of the faculty, but at least one faculty member must have some expertise in each area chosen. Students must have taken at least one graduate course with each of their three examination committee members.

Generally, at least one area of the examination will be concentrated in an historical period, such as the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, or the 20th century. Another area will help you develop a methodology for the dissertation. The third area will represent a secondary teaching area that is distinct from the major area and the methodology. One of the two minor areas will be related to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization or Graduate Minor and will be related to French & Francophone Studies in another Department or program such as History, African and African-American Studies, Film Studies, Comparative Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, English, Italian, or Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. For this second minor, the student must have one extra-Departmental faculty member who taught at least one of the outside courses on the Examination and Dissertation Committee.

At the start of preparation for the candidacy examination, the major advisor, in consultation with the student, forms an Examination Committee (GSH 7.3; consisting of no fewer than two faculty members from the Department of French and Italian) that includes the major advisor, one advisor for each of the two minor areas, and one additional faculty member (the “fourth reader,” who should be conversant with the material in at least one field). The student then prepares, with the approval of the Examination Committee, working lists of the readings for which s/he expects to be held responsible. All members of the Committee must approve all the lists and ensure that adequate breadth is achieved. All finalized reading lists must be submitted to the Examination Committee no later than one semester before the scheduled examination.

Written Examination (GSH 7.4)

The specific format of the examination is determined by the student and the members of the Examination Committee and consists of 50% in the major area and 25% in each of the two minor areas, followed by a two-hour oral portion. At least one of the three exams will be written in French. It can be the exam on the major area or on one of the two minor areas. This decision will be made by the student in consultation with their committee.   The major examination will be an open-book, take-home examination obtained from the Department on a Monday at 12:00pm and returned to the Department by 12:00pm the following Monday. The completed draft of this part of the examination should be roughly 24-30 double-spaced typed pages in length. The two minor examinations will also be open-book take-home examinations obtained on a Monday at 12:00pm and returned to the Department by 12:00pm the following Monday. Each of these exams should be roughly 12-15 pages in length. Written examinations must be done on computers. Print-outs must include page numbers and, in the case of French, the appropriate accents. During the period between the written and oral examinations, students should re-read all sections and prepare to defend them during the oral examination.

Oral Examination (GSH 7.5)

Once the student and his/her committee has decided on the date of the oral part of the exam (which should generally be held one week after the completion of the last part of the written exam), the student must complete an Application for Candidacy via GradForms. The Application must be submitted, and signed by all parties at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the oral exam. The Graduate School reserves the right to ask the student to rescheduled the oral examination if the Application is complete later than two weeks before the oral exam. The oral part of the candidacy examination will consist of a two-hour examination on the written part and the chosen areas of specialization. Students must bring a copy of their written examination to the oral exam. At least one part of the oral examination must be conducted in French and at least one part in English.

Both the written and oral portions of the candidacy examination will be taken and completed within the same semester of the same academic year. Exams may only be taken in the Autumn semester in special cases (e.g., need to retake or late start date) and then only with approval from the faculty advisor and Chair of Graduate Studies. Students who take their candidacy examination in Autumn rather than the previous Spring (with their Graduate Advisor’s permission) must schedule it so that the oral portion is completed by October 1. This is to ensure that the rest of the semester can be spent completing and defending the prospectus and beginning the dissertation. There will be no candidacy examinations given or taken during Summer session (May-August).

The student has successfully completed the candidacy examination only when the decision of the Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative (GSH 7.5). If the student fails one or more parts of the exam, it is up to the Committee to decide if the student will be allowed to retake them; the option to retake parts of the exam is granted on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. If the student is permitted to retake one or more parts of the exam, s/he must do so by the end of the semester following that in which s/he took the original exam. If the student fails one or more parts of the second exam, s/he is automatically dismissed from the program and the Graduate School (GSH 7.6).

Provided that the student is in good standing at the end of the semester in which the candidacy examination is satisfactorily completed, s/he will be admitted to candidacy for a doctoral degree. Doctoral candidates must register for 3 graduate credit hours (and no more) per semester (excluding summer) until they successfully defend the dissertation and earn their degree.

Candidacy Examination Committee (GSH 7.3)

At the start of preparation for the candidacy examinations, the major advisor, in consultation with the student, forms an Examination Committee of at least four members (consisting of no fewer than two faculty members from Italian and one faculty member outside of Italian).

Minor Field Candidacy Exam

Students will have a minor in a field related to their specialization through the completion of a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization or a Graduate Minor unless the GIS or the Graduate Minor relates to the major field.

Students entering without an approved MA take the written portion of their Minor Field Candidacy Examination at the end of their third year. Those entering with an approved MA take the written portion of their Minor Field Candidacy exam at the beginning of the fourth semester of study. The Minor Field Candidacy Examination includes a written and an oral portion.

At the start of preparation for the candidacy examination the student chooses a Minor Field Advisor and the student then prepares, with the approval of the Minor Field Advisor, a working list of the items for which s/he will be held responsible. A typical list will have no fewer than twenty-five items, although lists will vary depending upon length and complexity. All members of the Committee must approve the list and ensure that adequate breadth is achieved. The finalized reading list must be submitted to the Examination Committee fourteen weeks before the scheduled examination. In the case that the minor field advisor is from outside of The Department of French and Italian, the advisor will circulate the minor field exam for approval to the Candidacy Committee one week before the minor field exam.

Guidelines for the Minor Field Candidacy Exam (individual advisors may impose more frequent deadlines for sections of the paper, etc.):

  • During the semester prior to and during the Exam, the student will register for 3 hours of 8998 (Exam and Prospectus preparation) with his or her advisor.
  • Students must meet with their advisors at least once every two weeks during the semester to discuss their progress on their lists and syllabus.
  • Students must submit one semester syllabus for a course taught in English in their minor field at least one week prior to the written portion of the exam.

Written Examination (GSH 7.4; Minor Field Candidacy Examination)

The minor examination will be an open-book, take-home examination picked up at the Department on a Monday at 12:00pm and returned to the Department by 12:00pm the following Monday. The completed draft of this part of the examination should be roughly 26-30 pages in length (Times New Roman, 12” font, double-spaced with one-inch margins). Written examinations must include page numbers.

During the period between the written and oral examinations, students should re-read the exam and prepare to defend it during the oral examination.

The examining committee is fully responsible for evaluating and scoring the Minor Field written examination with a score of “fail,” “low pass,” “pass,” or “high pass.” Committee members should return scored exams to the student no later than ten days after the exam. The score on the exam can both increase or decrease as a result of performance in the oral examination.

Major Field Candidacy Exam

At the beginning of the fourth year for students entering without an approved MA in Italian and at the end of the second year for students entering with an approved MA in Italian, students will have developed a 30-35 page polished research paper of a caliber suitable for publication in a scholarly journal that will act as the major field candidacy exam. Students also prepare, with the approval of the advisor, a working list of at least twenty items for which s/he will be held responsible during the oral portion of the candidacy exam. The preparation of the major field candidacy exam paper will establish the area(s) in which students will specialize and lay the groundwork for a dissertation chapter. This paper can be a revision and expansion of a research paper previously written for a course here at Ohio State or at another institution (in the latter case, the paper cannot be an Honors or MA thesis, thesis chapter, or other previously polished work); an expansion of a new paper being developed for a seminar being taken concurrently with the exam prep (EP) hours that spring; or a new idea the student wants to develop uniquely for the EP hours. In addition, the student will generate two semester syllabi for courses based upon their major field specialization, one at the graduate level and one at the undergraduate level. One syllabus must be designed for a course taught in English and the other for a course taught in Italian.

Guidelines for the major candidacy exam paper (individual advisors may impose more frequent deadlines for sections of the paper, etc.):

  • During the semester (or summer) prior to and during the exam, the student will register for 3 hours of 8998 (Exam and Prospectus preparation) with his or her advisor. The Faculty Advisor will direct the research for and writing, revision, and/or expansion of the major candidacy exam paper throughout the semester. The advisor will also oversee the creation of a major field list of at least twenty items related to the major field of study (this list should be separate from the topic of the major field candidacy paper and should be comprehensive of the major field).
  • Students must meet with their advisors at least once every two weeks during the semester (in person or via Zoom) to discuss their research, bibliography construction, writing, and syllabi.
  • The list of at least twenty items must be submitted to the advisor 14 weeks prior to the oral exam.
  • An annotated bibliography (with paragraph-length summaries of each source) must be submitted to the Faculty Advisor ten weeks prior to the oral exam.
  • A draft of the full paper must be submitted to the Faculty Advisor four weeks prior to the oral exam. Faculty Advisors must return their revisions and comments to their advisees within 7 days.
  • Students must submit the final version of their paper to their Faculty Advisor (who will distribute copies of the paper to all members of the Advisory Committee) two weeks prior to the oral exam. The Faculty Advisor and faculty will evaluate the paper using a pre-established evaluation sheet and return comments to the student one week prior to the oral exam with a score of “fail,” “low pass,” “pass,” or “high pass.” The score on the exam can both increase or decrease as a result of performance in the oral examination.
  • Students must submit two semester syllabi for courses based upon their major field of specialization one week prior to the oral exam, one at the graduate level and one at the undergraduate level. One syllabus must be designed for a course taught in English and the other for a course taught in Italian. The Faculty Advisor and faculty will evaluate the syllabi using a pre- established evaluation sheet.

Oral Examination of the Minor and Major Candidacy Exams (GSH 7.5)

Once the student and his/her committee has decided on the date of the oral examination part of the candidacy exam (which should generally be held two weeks after the completion of the major qualifying exam paper), the student must complete an Application for Candidacy via GradForms. The Application must be submitted, and signed by all parties at least two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the oral exam. The Graduate School reserves the right to ask the student to reschedule the oral examination if the Application is completed later than two weeks before the oral exam.

The oral part of the candidacy examination will consist of a two-hour examination. During the exam, students will respond to questions on the three syllabi, minor field written exam, major field paper, and major field list. Students must bring a copy of their syllabi, minor field written exam and major field paper to the oral. At least one part of the oral examination must be conducted in Italian and at least one part in English.

There will be no Candidacy Examinations given or taken during Summer session. Exams may only be taken in the Autumn semester in special cases (e.g., need to retake or late start date) and then only with approval from the faculty advisor and Chair of Graduate Studies.

The student has successfully completed the candidacy examination only when the decision of the Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative. If the student fails one or more parts of the minor qualifying exam, major qualifying exam paper, and oral examination, it is up to the Committee to decide if the student will be allowed to rewrite or retake them; the option to retake parts of the exam is granted on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed and no parts of the candidacy examination will be given or taken during the Summer session. If the student is permitted to retake one or more parts of the exam, s/he must do so by the end of the semester following that in which s/he took the original exam. If the student fails one or more parts of the second exam, s/he is automatically dismissed from the program and the Graduate School (GSH 7.6).

Provided that the student is in good standing at the end of the semester in which the candidacy examination is satisfactorily completed, s/he will be admitted to candidacy for a doctoral degree. Doctoral candidates must register for 3 graduate credit hours (and no more) per semester (excluding summer) until they successfully defend the dissertation and earn their degree.

The dissertation committee (GSH 7.8) is composed of the advisor who must be a Category P graduate faculty member in the doctoral candidate’s graduate program and at least two other authorized graduate faculty members. Additional graduate faculty members also may serve on the dissertation committee. The advisor serves as chair of the dissertation committee. Selection of the committee members is the responsibility of the advisor and is subject to the rules of the Graduate Studies Committee. Non-graduate faculty members may be appointed to the dissertation committee as additional external members (Section 12) by approval of the Graduate Studies Committee in the doctoral candidate’s home program and by petition to the Graduate School. 

The dissertation committee is established at a time thought appropriate by the doctoral candidate and the advisor. Doctoral candidates are responsible for making certain that committee members are on duty in the autumn or spring semester or summer term of the defense.

PhD students will prepare a written prospectus of the dissertation topic in consultation with members of the Dissertation Committee and present it to the Committee for approval at a formal defense, arranged by the student and dissertation advisor and chaired by the Graduate Advisor. Prospectus details will vary depending on student, topic, and program. They should contain a detailed description of the topic, scope, and methodology of the proposed dissertation; a brief description of each of the chapters; and a bibliography. It is the responsibility of the student to deliver copies of the prospectus to all members of the Committee and the Graduate Advisor no later than ten days before the defense date.

The formal defense of the prospectus must be held no later than the end of the semester following that in which the student passed the Candidacy Examination. If the student fails the prospectus defense, s/he may be allowed, at the discretion of the Dissertation Committee, to revise/rewrite the prospectus and to defend it again no later than the end of the following term (semester or summer). If s/he fails this second attempt, s/he will be dismissed from the program.

* Note: If there are changes in topic, scope, or methodology that substantially modify a dissertation, a revised prospectus must be submitted for approval to the Dissertation Committee and the Graduate Advisor.


Scheduling

  1. Readers' Copies: In order to ensure that the readers have sufficient time to read the dissertation and that the candidate has sufficient time to make possible changes in the manuscript, the provisional first draft must be in the hands of the readers by the beginning of the second week of the semester in which the degree is sought.
  2. The Final Oral Examination will not be scheduled until the dissertation advisor and the readers have approved the first draft by signing the Draft Approval Form. At that time, the student must also submit the complete, typed dissertation to the Graduate School for format review. An accessibility guide can be reviewed here.
  3. The Final Oral Examination Committee is composed of the three-member Dissertation Committee, plus the Graduate School Representative. The Graduate Advisor only takes part in the Candidacy Examination if s/he is one of the student’s Dissertation Committee members.
  4. It is the responsibility of the candidate to deliver a copy of the approved dissertation draft to the Graduate School Representative no later than one week before the Final Oral Examination.
  5. The student is considered to have completed the Final Oral Examination successfully only when the vote by the Final Oral Examination Committee is unanimously affirmative.

The Graduate School stipulates that after being admitted to candidacy, a student has five years total to complete the dissertation (GSH 7.7 - "Time Limit"). If the dissertation is not completed within five years of the Candidacy Examination, the student's candidacy status will expire. At this point the Department can decide whether the student gets a chance at a second candidacy exam, or that further registration will be denied. If s/he passes this second examination, s/he will then have no more than two additional years to finish and successfully defend the dissertation.

FRIT 8899 is a faculty-led workshop in which PhD candidates meet bi-weekly to discuss and critique their current dissertation research. All PhD candidates in the Department must register for one credit of 8899 each semester until they graduate. It will provide a forum in which candidates will be able to present their work orally and have at least one prospectus, chapter, conference paper, or article draft read and critiqued by their peers and a faculty member each semester.  It is designed to keep dissertation writers on task and to help them develop and maintain an intellectual community with their professors and peers. It will also help them improve their writing and public speaking skills.

FRIT 8303 is an apprenticeship for doctoral students to work with faculty members on the design and teaching of 2000 to 3000-level language, linguistics, literature, culture, and film courses. Students may register for the 8303 up to 2 times during the graduate program and for up to 3 credit hours each time they take it. Interested students should contact the faculty member who will teach the course in which they are interested the following semester.

Guidelines

The faculty mentor will discuss with the apprentice the goals and expected learning outcomes of the course; how the reading list, activities, and assignments are intended to help students reach those goals; and how the examinations and other graded assignments are intended to measure those expected outcomes.

The apprentice will attend the course regularly. The faculty mentor will discuss with and demonstrate to the apprentice how s/he writes and evaluates assignments and examinations.

Twice during the semester, the apprentice will be asked to plan and teach a lesson on the syllabus under the guidance and supervision of the faculty mentor. The mentor will then provide to the student oral and written feedback on each of his/her lessons.

At the end of the semester, the apprentice will submit two assignments:

  • an annotated bibliography compiled in consultation with the faculty mentor, covering (1) a number of possible primary texts (other than those used in the course being taught) that could be used in such a course, and (2) a number of important secondary sources that provide background for teaching the course.
  • a complete syllabus for a course similar to the one in which s/he apprenticed and that s/he could submit with a job application.

Apprentices are not to serve as graders, research associates, or substitute teachers for the faculty member. The teaching apprenticeship is for the benefit of the student; it serves to give him/her experience and training in conceiving, constructing, and teaching an intermediate-level course.

Students who have done a graduate apprenticeship will have priority over students who have not when the department is able to assign a 2000- or 3000-level course to a graduate teaching associate.

Students are expected to have completed all regular coursework before their Candidacy Examination. Upon successful completion of the examination, students must enroll each semester for 3 hours of graduate credit (not  taken as an audit) until they complete their degree. A minimum of 3 credit hours is considered full-time enrollment for post-candidacy students; it is generally also at the maximum number of credit hours allowable without exceeding graduate funding. Post-candidacy students must apply to the Department for a leave of absence for any period during which they are not continuously enrolled. (GSH 7.7 & 11)