PhD in French Language and Literature

The PhD in French Language and Literature seeks to provide each student with a thorough knowledge of French and Francophone literature, its history, and major works.  The program offers professional preparation through the acquisition of extensive knowledge of a specialized area within the field of study; advanced skills in the use, evaluation, and production of critical scholarly and research materials; experience communicating knowledge acquired through original research; and training in pedagogy and/or other relevant practical training.

Financial support:

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Romance Studies guarantee five full years of financial support for PhD students who maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The requirements include:

  • Eight courses on French literature and cultural studies at the 500-level or above, beyond those required for the M.A. degree
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination
  • Successful completion and defense of two Qualifying Papers
  • Successful completion and defense of the Doctoral Dissertation

General Optimal Timetable to Completion:

Following is a general optimal timetable for the completion of the PhD*:

  • During the first year, all students must take and pass 8 approved courses.
  • During the second year, students continue their coursework and complete the departmental pedagogy sequence. By the end of the second year, post-MA entrants should have completed their coursework, Comprehensive examinations, and the oral defense of their Qualifying Papers.
  • During the third year, post-BA entrants complete their coursework, Comprehensive examinations, and the oral defense of their Qualifying Papers. Post-MA entrants are expected to have an approved Dissertation prospectus by the mid-point of the third year.
  • Post-BA entrants are expected to have an approved Dissertation prospectus by the mid-point of the fourth year.
  • Under GRS guidelines, students are allowed until the end of their¬† seventh year to complete and defend their dissertations. Students who will not meet this deadline must file a petition for extension of time to complete PhD requirements.

Throughout their studies, all students are encouraged to apply for appropriate external fellowship and professional development opportunities, including existing departmental programs in Lyon and Paris.

Follow these links to read more about our Faculty, learn more about the admission process and fellowship support, or get to know the Department of Romance Studies, or view a list of resources for current graduate students.

* This schedule applies to students who began their first year at BU in September 2013 or later.