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M.A. Program in French Studies

In New Orleans and Louisiana, French is a living language. In no other state in the Union – in no other city – is French culture so integrally built into the social fabric and its heritage still so vitally in play. The strong appeal of our program both nationally and internationally demonstrates that place matters: students who choose Tulane understand the compelling logic of pursuing their passion in a city so thoroughly steeped in its Francophone past. Located in what is often referred to as “the northernmost city of the Caribbean,” Tulane is at the crossroads of the two Americas and the larger Atlantic world, and in proximity to Haiti and the French Antilles. With the cultural history of French in our city and region, a living tradition of Francophonie, and the presence and activities of the French Consul General, our city remains an ideal place for French study.

As a student in Tulane’s M.A. in French, you will be part of the recovery of New Orleans’s French-speaking world. You will be contributing to the preservation of the cultural memory of French colonization and immigration from France, Canada, and the Caribbean, and of the city’s historic linguistic and ethnic diversity.

The M.A. in French is designed to establish a comprehensive knowledge of French and Francophone literature as well as an acquaintance with linguistics, literary theory, and the techniques of literary scholarship.

The M.A. in French may also be combined with a DIPLÔME DE FRANÇAIS PROFESSIONNEL awarded by the Paris Chamber of Commerce in the following fields:

To earn the M.A. degree, students must complete 36 credit hours (12 courses). As a final assessment, students must pass a language proficiency exam and defend an original research paper of publishable quality written under the supervision of a faculty member and a second reader.

Please note that funding is available only for doctoral-track students and that acceptance into the terminal M.A. program does not indicate automatic acceptance or promotion to the Ph.D. program.

The M.A. Paper

Students will write and defend an original research paper written under supervision of a faculty member and a second reader. It may be an expanded version of a course paper, and in its final form should be from 20 to 30 pages in length. At least one member of the M.A. committee must be a tenure-line faculty member. In the event that neither of the first two readers is a tenure-line faculty member, a third, tenure-line faculty member will be added to the committee. In all cases the first reader will be a faculty member whose institutional appointment includes the expectation of research. The revised paper is to be submitted to the first reader by March 1st. The defense must take place no later than the first week of April. The supervising professor and a second faculty reader will participate with the student in an oral defense of the paper. The defense will be open to the departmental faculty.

Language Requirement

Before the end of the Spring semester of their fifth year, all students in the M.A. program will be expected to demonstrate reading competence in one of the following languages: Arabic, Creole (both taught within the department), Spanish, Italian, Latin, German, or Old Occitan. The department will consider students’ petitions to have other languages accepted, but acceptance will depend upon the student making a case for the usefulness of this language to his or her research.

Diplôme de Français Professionnel

If an MA in French will open the door to increased career prospects, the Diplômes de français professionnel will give you the accreditation necessary to make these prospects a reality.

Recognized by companies and organizations worldwide and adapted to the modern business and cultural world, the Diplômes de français professionnel will enable you to demonstrate the level of competency required by your future employers. They will also allow you to connect with international and French-speaking professionals and will help you, therefore, on your path to becoming a successful global citizen.

Designed and offered by the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Diplômes de français professionnel are calibrated to coincide with the different levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) developed by the Council of Europe, with diplomas ranging from level elementary (A2) to proficient (C2).

Candidates obtain a diploma upon completion of an exam, which is conceived based on real-life professional situations and is adapted to today’s economy. To prepare for the exam, students will be offered, depending on interest expressed, study skill workshops or individual sessions. They will also be given practice exams to take.

In order for the department to gauge student interest in each particular diplôme, please declare your interest early during the semester by sending an email to Professor Mignot:

Filing for the Degree

Students must inform the School of Liberal Arts of their desire to participate in graduate ceremonies. The Graduate Director will be asked to confirm, by audit, that candidates have completed their degree requirements. Students must also complete a departmental form available from the Graduate Director, called the M.A. Checklist (see Graduate Handbook appendix).

To apply, please go to: