Guide to Higher Studies

Admissions and General Information

A student may be accepted for graduate instruction in the Department of French Studies (DFS) at LSU only through the joint approval of both the Graduate School and the department. Graduate School application forms are available online athttp://www.lsu.edu/gradapply The admission process is continuous during the whole year, but the final deadline for consideration for financial aid is March 1.

Letters of recommendation, preferably from previous instructors in French, should be forwarded to the DFS, along with a duplicate set of transcripts. The Graduate Record Examination, preferably including the Advanced Test in French, is required as part of the application.

Students wishing to earn a higher degree in French should read carefully the pages of the Graduate School bulletin (available online at http://gradlsu.gs.lsu.edu/) dealing with Admission and General Information, Fees and Financial Aid, Regulations, Requirements for Advanced Degrees, and various deadlines for filing applications for examinations and degrees.

For unconditional admission to graduate study, a student is expected to have the equivalent of an undergraduate major in French, a grade-point average above 3.0, and satisfactory GRE scores. In special circumstances, students who do not meet these criteria may be admitted on probation. Students admitted on probation may not hold assistantships until the probation is lifted.

Students holding the M.A. in French from another institution are welcome to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program. The Director of Graduate Studies will determine how many hours of further course work the student must take for the Ph.D.. The student's “Program of Study” form detailing how many and which courses must be taken by the student at LSU, must be completed by the student and be approved by his or her Advisory Committee during the first semester following the student's admission with an M.A.from another institution.

 

Student Responsibility

Once admitted, it is the student’s responsibility to file any paperwork before the announced deadlines. Chairs of examining committees are responsible for the administration of exams. Students are responsible for ensuring that all course requirements of the department and the Graduate School, including those set forth in the student's Program of Study are met. 

 

Advising and Evaluation

The Director of Graduate Studies is the advisor for all students during their first year. Beginning with their third semester of study, a student will choose a faculty member as his or her advisor. Each semester, all teaching assistants will receive a report evaluating his or her performance from the language coordinator. The student countersigns to acknowledge receipt of report and can append a rejoinder if desired. Reports are filed with the Director of Graduate Studies by the end of the first week of the following semester. Rejoinders are due one week after the receipt of the report. All graduate students will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies individually at least once a semester to report on their progress.

 

Master of Arts in French Studies

The goal of the Master of Arts in French Studies is to ensure written and oral competence and breadth of coverage in French and Francophone culture and literature.

 

Master of Arts Distribution Requirements

Out of the 36 total credit hours requirement for the degree, M.A. candidates are required to fulfill 15 of those credit hours within the five core areas. For their 21 elective credit hours, students should follow a curriculum designed to meet their particular needs and to suit their special interests. This curriculum will be developed by the student in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s major professor and/or M.A. Examining Committee.

Students are required to take at least one course from each of the following five core areas to fulfill the 15 credit hours of breadth requirement.This breadth requirement will be verified by the Graduate School when you apply for an exam. In order to help you fulfill it, please fill in and turn in the MA or PhD program of study to the Department. The MA program of study should be turned in at the end of the first year.

 

Francophone Studies

FREN 7100: Studies in Sub Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture
FREN 7102: Studies in North African Francophone Literature and Culture
FREN 7120: Studies in Francophone Asian Literature and Culture
FREN 7140: Studies in Francophone Asian Literature and Culture
FREN 7150: Studies in Literature and Culture of Francophone North America 
FREN 7170: Studies in Belgian Francophone Literature and Culture
FREN 7960: Special Topics in French Literature (when topic is Francophone Studies)
FREN 7970: Seminar in French Literature (when topic is Francophone Studies)
FREN 4060: French Literature of Quebec
FREN 4070: Literature of Africa and the Caribbean
FREN 4080: Special Topics in French/Francophone Cultures and Civilizations
FREN 4090: French and Francophone Women Writers
FREN 4100: Special Topics in French Language and Literature (when topic is Francophone Studies)
 

Medieval and Renaissance 

FREN 7005: François Villon and His Age
FREN 7006: Studies in Medieval French Literature
FREN 7012: Studies in 16th Century French Literature
FREN 7013: Montaigne
FREN 7300: Old Provençal
FREN 7960: Special Topics in French Literature (when topic is Medieval and/or Renaissance)
FREN 7970: Seminar in French Literature (when topic is Medieval and/or Renaissance)
FREN 4000: Old French and Medieval Literature
FREN 4010: French Literature of the 16th Century
FREN 4100: Special Topics in French Language and Literature (when topic is Medieval and/or Renaissance)
 

17th and 18th Century

FREN 7021: French Classicism
FREN 7022: Studies in 17th Century French Literature
FREN 7031: Les philosophes
FREN 7032: Studies in 18th Century French Literature
FREN 7960: Special Topics in French Literature (when topic is 17th and/or 18th Century)
FREN 7970: Seminar in French Literature (when topic is 17th and/or 18th Century)
FREN 4020: French Literature of the 17th Century
FREN 4030: French Literature of the 18th Century
FREN 4100: Special Topics in French Language and Literature (when topic is 17th and/or 18th Century)
 

19th and 20th Century

FREN 7041: French Romanticism
FREN 7042: Studies in 19th Century French Literature
FREN 7051: The 20th Century Novel
FREN 7052: Studies in 20th Century French Literature
FREN 7960: Special Topics in French Literature (when topic is 19th and/or 20th Century)
FREN 7970: Seminar in French Literature (when topic is 19th and/or 20th Century)
FREN 4040: French Literature of the 19th Century
FREN 4050: French Literature of the 20th Century
FREN 4100: Special Topics in French Language and Literature (when topic is 19th and/or 20th Century)
 

Literary Theory and Criticism

FREN 7410: Studies in Contemporary French Theory
FREN 7990: Topics in Gender Representation in French Literature
FREN 7995: French Feminist Theories
FREN 4004: Critical Methods and Theory
CPLT 7020: History and Theory of Criticism
CPLT 7120: Topics in Theory of Criticism
CPLT 7140: Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies

Master of Arts Examination

An essential component of the Master of Arts examination is the reading list, which will be the basis of the written exam. Students will answer one question about any author in the reading list. The reading list will comprise five essential books for each of the five core areas plus four essential secondary works for each of the five core areas (for a total of 45 books and works). A standard list, drawn up by professors who specialize in the core areas, will be provided by the department. Students may choose to use the standard list or, in consultation with their major professor and/or MA Examining Committee, to substitute works of their choice for any or all of the works on the standard list.

The graduate student will have two options to choose from for their Master of Arts Examination:

The Non-thesis option consists of fulfilling three requirements: 

  1. Course requirements: completion of 36 course credit hours (with no more than half at the 4000-level).
  2. Written Exam: writing a 2500-word essay about any author of the reading list. The questions will be determined by the student’s major professor in consultation with the student’s MA Examining Committee. The student will have 4 days to research and write the essay.
  3. Oral Exam: one week after submitting the 2500-word essay to the M.A. Examining Committee, the student will meet with the Committee to discuss the written exam. During the oral exam, the Committee may ask questions about any authors or works included on the student’s reading list.

The Thesis option consists of fulfilling four requirements:

  1. Course requirements: completing of 30 course credit hours (with no more than half at the 4000-level).
  2. Master's Thesis: completion of 6 credit hours of FREN 8000: Thesis Research, a 50 page Master's Thesis, including bibliography, and an oral defense of the Master's Thesis with M.A. Examining Committee.
  3. Written Exam: writing a 2500-word essay about any author of the reading list. The questions will be determined by the student’s major professor in consultation with the student’s M.A. Examining Committee. The student will have 4 days to research and write the essay.
  4. Oral Exam: one week after submitting the 2500-word essay to the M.A. Examining Committee, the student will meet with the Committee to discuss the written exam. During the oral exam, the Committee may ask questions about any authors or works included on the student’s reading list.


Doctor of Philosophy in French Literature

The goal of the Doctor of Philosophy in French Literature is to write an original contribution to existing scholarship on any given topic in French or Francophone literature. At this stage the student should be oriented towards both breadth and specialization.
 
Students will be required to complete 27 course credit hours (beyond the requirements of the Master of Arts) at the 7000-level. At the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, students entering the Ph.D. program who hold an M.A. from another program may be required to take the M.A. exam.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in French Literature Distribution Requirements

The student's program of study must reflect a breadth of coverage in all areas identified in the M.A. program. In other words, students are not allowed to take seminars in only one area, but must strive to take courses in all areas. Students must take one 7000-level course from each of five core areas listed above. Courses in the five core areas that were taken at the 7000-level for fulfillment of the M.A. degree in our program will count toward the fulfillment of Ph.D. distribution requirements but will not count toward fulfillment of the 27 hours of Ph.D. course work. Breadth of coverage is a requirement. The PhD program of study, designed by the student with her or his major advisor, must be submitted to the Graduate advisor before being submitted to the Graduate School, so that breadth of coverage is assured. The Proseminar is a required course.
 


Doctor of Philosophy in French Literature General Examination

The General Examination consists of three requirements: one dissertation proposal, one written exam, and an oral defense of both the dissertation proposal and the written exam.
 

  1. The Dissertation Proposal should be 30 pages (7500 words) with a bibliography, a chapter outline, and a projected schedule for completion.
  2. The Written Exam should be 15 pages (3750 words or more) on a general problem providing the context for the specific problem addressed by the dissertation proposal or a general theoretical or methodological problem arising from the dissertation topic. The formulation of the exam question will be determined by the student’s major advisor in consultation with the student’s Examining Committee. The student will be given one week to write the exam essay.
  3. The Oral Defense of the written exam and the dissertation proposal, preceded by the candidate’s short presentation of the dissertation project.

 

Copies of the dissertation proposal and completed written exam should be distributed to all Examining Committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled General Examination date.

 

Doctor of Philosophy in French Literature Final Examination/Dissertation Defense

There will be an oral defense of the completed dissertation.  The defense will commence with a brief presentation in which the candidate summarizes his or her achievement and its significance within the candidate’s field of study. The dissertation should make an original contribution to scholarship in the field.
 
The committee should be in possession of a finished copy of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date.

 

Other General Requirements

Residency

The Graduate School requires that Ph.D. students fulfill two continuous semesters of full-time enrollment. This requirement can only be fulfilled starting in the semester in which the Program of Study is filed. This can be met with a fall and spring succession or a spring and fall succession. Summer terms do not count.

Doctor of Philosophy Minor

Students may choose a minor field, in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies. The minor may be defined within a specific department or discipline other than French, such as Spanish, History, Art, English, or Drama, or it may be an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary field such as women's studies or literary theory. The department(s) or interdisciplinary program will define the requirements of the minor field. If there is a minor, the student's Examining Committee for the Ph.D. must include a faculty member from the minor field, and the Advisory Committee should include a member from the minor field as well. The student must take at least one 7000-level course in the minor.

Language Requirement

Students working toward the Ph.D. must, prior to the general exams, demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language other than French. Proficiency may be established by satisfactory performance on the ETS (Princeton) reading exam, by completion of appropriate course work in the language(s), or by satisfactory performance on a departmental reading exam.

Doctoral Examining Committees

Doctoral Examining Committees must include at least two full members of the French Studies Graduate Faculty. The Dean of the Graduate School will appoint an outside member to serve on all general and final exam committees for the Ph.D.. The outside members represent the Dean and The Graduate Faculty and are full voting members of the committee, with all rights and responsibilities of other committee members. In the French department, committee chairs are responsible for providing copies of written exams and dissertations at least two weeks in advance of examinations to all committee members, including outside members.

Graduate Minor in French Studies


Doctoral students in other departments wishing to obtain a graduate minor in French Studies are required to take 9 hours of graduate coursework in the Department of French Studies at the 4000- and 7000-levels. At least 6 of those 9 hours must be at the 7000-level.

Doctor of Philosophy in French Language & Society

The goal of the Doctor of Philosophy in French Language & Society is to write an original contribution to existing scholarship on any given topic in French or Francophone language and society. At this stage the student should be oriented towards both breadth and specialization.
 
Students will be required to complete 27 course credit hours (beyond the requirements of the Master of Arts) at the 7000-level. At the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies, students entering the Ph.D. program who hold an M.A. from another program may be required to take the M.A. exam. 
 

Doctor of Philosophy in French Language & Society Distribution Requirements

Students are also required to fill out the PhD Program of study for French Language & Society. In addition to the proseminar, students on the Language & Society track must take all three of the following courses, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses:
FREN 4014: Introduction to French Linguistics 
FREN 4065: Louisiana French 
FREN 7203: French Dialectology 

In addition to the three required courses, students must take three research courses (9 credits) from the following list, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses. The intent of this research section is to determine a student's skill level in applying research methodologies to his or her area of concentration. 

Quantitative Research

EDRC 4006: Introduction to Applied Statistics in Educational Research 
EDRC 7018: Advanced Computerized Data Analysis for Research 
SOCL 7201: Research Methods in Sociology 
PSYC 7117: Methodology and Research Design 

Qualitative Research

ANTH 4090: Ethnographic Methodology 
EDRC 7243: Qualitative Methods in Educational Research 
EDRC 7263: Advanced Qualitative Method in Education 
ANTH 7963: Advanced Field Methods in Linguistics 
FREN 7204: Field Methods in French Linguistics 
SOCL 7211: Methods of Social Investigation 

Students must also take eight elective courses (24 credits) from the two areas of concentration below, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses. FREN 7915, 7962, 7980, 7982, and 4100 can only be taken once.

 

Language

 

FREN 4015: Introduction to French Phonetics 
FREN 4005: Introduction to French Syntax and Semantics 
FREN 7201: French Phonology and Morphology 
FREN 7202: French Syntax and Semantics
FREN 7300: Old Provençal 
FREN 7915: Independent Study (3 max for M.A., 9 max Ph.D.)
FREN 4100: Special Topics in Language
FREN 7962 or 7982: Special Topics in French Linguistics
FREN 7980: Seminar in French Linguistics

Society

FREN 4001: History of the French Language 
FREN 4016: Applied French Linguistics 
FREN 4064: Pidgin and Creole Languages 
FREN 7208: Louisiana French and Bilingualism 
FREN 7915: Independent Study (3 max for M.A., 9 max Ph.D.) 
FREN 4100: Special Topics in Language 
FREN 7962 or 7982: Special Topics in French Linguistics 
FREN 7980: Seminar in French Linguistics 

Students must take four courses (12 credits) outside the Department as a minor area, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses. 

ANTH 4060: Language and Culture 
ANTH 7005: Historical Linguistics 
ANTH 7006: Phonology: Theory and Methods 
ANTH 7060: Conversation and Discourse 
ANTH 7909: Selected Topics in Anthropology 

COMD 4150: Phonetics 
COMD 4153: Acoustics of Speech and Hearing 
COMD 7750: Special Topics in Linguistics 
COMD 7752: Seminar in Linguistics 
COMD 7754: Psycholinguistics: Linguistic Perspectives 
COMD 7755: English for Speakers of Other Languages

ENGL 4010: Introduction to Linguistics 
ENGL 4013: Semantics and Rhetoric 
ENGL 4014: Generative Phonology 
ENGL 4015: Linguistic Semantics 
ENGL 4018: Regional Dialects In English 
ENGL 4019: Social Dialects in American English 
ENGL 4020: The Sound System in English 
ENGL 4112: Generative Syntax 
ENGL 4310: Pidgins & Creoles 

PSYC 4033: Memory and Forgetting 
PSYC 4008: History of Psychology 

SPAN 4005: Structure of the Spanish Language 
SPAN 7984: Spanish in the U.S. 

 

Doctor of Philosophy in French Language & Society General Examination

The format of the examinations is determined by the Examining Committee, and tends to vary somewhat with the field of study. The examination may test broad knowledge of a subject. In this case, the committee will submit a written question (or questions) to the student who will answer the question(s) in a time period judged appropriate by the committee (sit-in or take-home questions). The examination may focus more narrowly on material relevant to the student’s upcoming dissertation proposal. The exams must be completed by the end of the fifth semester of enrollment in the program. Normally, this would be the end of the fall semester of the third year. At that time, a full advisory committee is established.

The student, in consultation with his or her permanent major advisor, expands the doctoral committee to include four members of the LSU Graduate Faculty. Of these 4 members of the doctoral committee, 2 must be from the Department of French Studies, 2 must be full members of the LSU Graduate Faculty and 1 of these last 2 must be a full member of the Department of French Studies.

A scheduled exam cannot be deferred for more than one semester after the time at which it was originally scheduled.

Doctor of Philosophy in French Language & Society Dissertation Prospectus

At or before the end of the sixth semester of enrollment in the Ph.D. program, the student must submit a substantial (approximately 30 page) proposal of the dissertation. The dissertation proposal should be sufficiently detailed and clear to serve as a blueprint for the study that will follow. The proposal should contain the following elements, although some major professors may require different emphases: 

  • Purpose and significance of the study
  • Formulation of the problems to be addressed 
  • Framework within which the problems will be addressed 
  • Compact review of the relevant literature 
  • Methodology and Data 
  • Data collection procedures 
  • Data analysis procedures 
  • Preliminary or prospective results if available 
  • Reference section or bibliography 

This proposal must be supervised and approved by the major advisor of the dissertation, and approved by members of the student’s dissertation committee. As stated above, the proposal may be used in the general examination. 

General Examination Procedures for Both Doctor of Philosophy Tracks

An Examining Committee is made up of the student advisor, plus three other faculty members appointed by the department Chair in consultation with student and Director of Graduate Studies, and is normally finalized by May 1 of the year preceding the examination. The Graduate School provides a representative for the General Examination. Students are urged to consult with the Examining Committee before May 15 to form a plan of study for the summer preceding the examinations. The Committee recommends whether or not the student should continue with Ph.D. study (that is, should be advanced to “candidacy”), should be put on probation, or should be dismissed from the program.

Copies of the Examination and the Committee report are made available to the Graduate Studies committee, which meets within two weeks of filing of last Committee report for the semester (by December 15 at the latest).

If the Examination Committee recommends dismissal from the program, the Graduate Studies committee must ratify this decision.

If the recommendation is Fail with retake, only one retake of no more than two separate examinations is allowed (no more than one area in the major field is allowed to be retaken). Retakes must be finished by March 15 of the following semester. The Examining Committee writes a report on the retake and includes it in a separate report on the whole of the examination. The reports are due to the Chair within two weeks of the end of the exam (April 1), and a special meeting of the Graduate Studies committee is held to ratify the committee’s recommendation on the retake and on the entire examination. The Graduate Studies committee may at this time allow the student to continue with Ph.D. study or may recommend dismissal.

Dissertation Candidate Status Requirements

The candidate must enroll in FREN 9000 (Dissertation Research) during each semester of enrollment as a degree candidate after completion of the general examination.

The Graduate School limits the period for completion of the Ph.D. to seven years after classification as a doctoral student. Revalidation of a student for the Ph.D. program after this period has passed will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and must be initiated by written petition to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of French Studies who will evaluate the petitioner's record and make a decision regarding credit for courses previously taken and possible further course work.

A student who has previously passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam must submit a new dissertation prospectus that follows the rules laid down above, and submit to formal questioning on that prospectus by members of the advisory committee. For a student who has not yet passed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam, the procedure for re-admission to the Masters degree program is to be followed.

Attribution of Sources

Students are reminded that the most scrupulous attention to accepted forms of bibliographical referencing is required for all written work. Published material must never be directly quoted without precise signaling (quotation marks, indications of insertions/emendations for the purpose of syntax, etc.), nor repeated in another form without exact referencing (page numbers, etc.). Any failure to adhere to these practices constitutes plagiarism, which is sanctioned by the University and by Federal law. 

Graduate students should be familiar with the forms of referencing standardized by the MLA Handbook and the Chicago Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. If a student has any doubts about how to follow correct referencing procedure, it is his/her responsibility to seek advice from the course Professor, members of the Advisory Committee, or the Associate Chair for Graduate Studies.

A GPA of 3.0 or better is required for the student to maintain good academic standing. Details are available in the Graduate Bulletin.

Disclaimer

These requirements can be modified at any time by the Department of French Studies. Students entering under a previous set of requirements may opt to be “grandfathered” or to work and study under the new guidelines.