Ph.D. Program in French Studies

In New Orleans and Louisiana, French is a living language. In no other city or state in the Union is French culture so integrally built into the urban 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.  Our location at the northern tip of the Caribbean, our overlap with Francophone communities, our regional history, and our city’s archives offer significant untapped resources for research on New Orleans, Louisiana, the Caribbean, the French Atlantic, and the rest of the Francophone world.

With an international faculty covering a broad range of research and teaching interests, our Ph.D. program in French Studies lets you choose from a rich variety of courses and encourages you to approach the study of language, literature, and civilization through transhistorical and cross-cultural perspectives. Our small classes and seminars allow for an enhanced student experience and students have the opportunity to explore rich archival resources on campus and in the city, including the Hogan Jazz Archives, the Amistad Research Center (primary source materials pertaining to the history of America’s ethnic minorities, race relations, and civil rights), the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Cabildo (formerly the seat of the Spanish government), the New Orleans Public Library and the New Orleans Notarial Archives (documents in French dating to the early eighteenth century). They also benefit from the linguistic laboratory that is “Acadiana,” where they can do fieldwork on the region’s vernacular varieties of French and form a distinctive perspective marked by a focus on the local as it is shaped by, and in turn helps to shape, the global.

While Tulane’s location gives students a privileged vantage point from which to study French, Creole, or Cajun cultures and literature, it can also take you places. In recent years, our graduate students have accepted tenure-track and instructional positions at Ohio State University, The College of William and Mary, Jacksonville University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Central Arkansas, Princeton University, and Columbia University.

The Ph.D. program is fully funded for 5 years. Students coming with an MA have the option of transferring additional credits and completing their Ph.D. in 4 years. Students admitted to the program receive full tuition remission and a stipend of $26,323. They also have the opportunity to apply for competitive summer research funding through the Beth Poe Travel Grant (currently worth $5000) and the Summer Merit Fellowship Award (up to $5000), and for conference travel grants during the school year of up to $2250 annually (through the GSSA Fund, the Land Fund, and the Alfred Mercier and Lafcadio Hearn Travel Grants).

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To apply, please go to: The application deadline is January 13, 2023.