From the roots of French literature in medieval Europe to the latest in Francophone film from around the globe, BU’s French program delivers a regionally and diachronically diverse curriculum, providing students a rich experience in reading and interpreting a wide variety of literary, filmic, linguistic, and cultural texts.

Our graduate program offers advanced literature, culture and cinema courses leading to the MA and PhD in French Language & Literature. An internationally known and respected faculty prepares students to enter careers in university (and other levels of) teaching and research, as well as a variety of roles in institutions with international reach. Our faculty members stand at the forefront of the discipline in each of their fields.

Thanks to a plethora of language and humanities organizations at BU and in the Boston area, our students have access to a constant flow of writers, filmmakers, scholars, and other cultural figures from France and other Francophone countries.

The Romance Studies Department hosts BU’s Cinema & Media Studies program, which supplies our students with engaging lectures and film screenings/discussions, as well as the possibility to spend a semester as the teaching fellow for a class in the cinema studies program. Other regional & thematic studies centers across campus offer a variety of programming of interest to our students, including the Center for the Study of Europe, the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, and BU’s African Studies Center, one of the oldest and most respected of its kind in the United States.

The department’s French Graduate Student Association (FGSA) organizes our annual French Film Festival, bringing both contemporary and classic Francophone films for screenings on campus. They also work with students in the Spanish section to coordinate an annual graduate student conference.

Our doctoral program furnishes students with several learning opportunities off-campus and abroad. Romance Studies works closely with Boston University’s highly regarded Study Abroad programs, providing our French graduate students the opportunity to spend six months as the graduate assistant for BU’s study abroad program in Paris.

BU also maintains an exchange program with the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Lyon, one of the foremost institutes of higher learning in France. This exchange enables us to host each year one student from ENS here in Boston and also send one of our doctoral students to live and teach at ENS in Lyon.

Additionally, we provide support for one or two students each summer to attend the Cornell School of Criticism and Theory and the Institut d’Avignon Summer Program in French studies.

French Program Contacts

Photo of Odile Cazenave

Odile Cazenave

Director of Graduate Studies, Head of French Section, Professor of French