Graduate Admission Requirements & Funding

The department accepts applications from students all over the world and with preparation in a variety of disciplines. Preference is usually accorded to applicants who have completed a B.A. or M.A. in French or Comparative Literature, or in a closely related field.

A complete application to the Ph.D. program in French includes:

  • Application form and fees
  • GRE scores (optional)
  • A Statement of purpose (Application essay)
  • At least three letters of recommendation
  • Writing sample (in French or English)
  • Official transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA score; 3.5 in major

The department cannot consider applications that are incomplete. The application deadline for students wishing to enter in the Fall term is January 10th of the preceding academic year.

Applicants are required to fill out the application online. A link to the application will be provided when the application period begins.

The School of Liberal Arts requests transcripts of GRE exam scores to be sent directly to its office. Self-reported scores are acceptable on the application form, but official transcripts must be received by the application deadline.

As part of the application form, students should write a thoughtful essay explaining why they are choosing to pursue an advanced degree in French Studies; the essay should include a detailed research plan that suggests how the department's faculty and courses meet their needs. Information on faculty research and current graduate courses offered is available on the departmental website.

Applicants should solicit letters of recommendation from at least three professors familiar with their work. Letters of recommendation should address candidates’ competence in written and spoken French, and their ability to do advanced graduate work in the field of French Studies. In addition, the application should include a writing sample, in French or English, wherein the candidate demonstrates the critical and analytical skills needed to pursue French Studies at the graduate level. If the writing sample is in English, the statement of purpose should be written in French.


The department offers up to five years of financial support (four years for students entering with the M.A. degree) in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships that include full tuition remission and a stipend. The awards include full tuition and an annual stipend of $26,000. Most students will be on fellowship during their first year of study and will hold teaching assistantships thereafter.

Additional financial support is available on a competitive basis for research and travel to conferences. A complete list of funding and exchange opportunities offered by the university can be found on our Graduate Awards and Opportunities page.

Students interested in applying for one of these opportunities should speak to the Chair and the Graduate Director early in the year; departmental deadlines usually fall in March.