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PhD Year-by-Year Plan

Depending on whether you completed your Masters here at UL Lafayette or elsewhere will determine the courses and procedures required of you during your first and second years.

First Year Requirements

For students who did not earn their M.A. at UL Lafayette

If you are new to UL Lafayette, you must complete the required courses during your first year: FREN 540 Critique Littéraire (3 credits) and, if you are a Graduate Assistant, FREN 501 - Préparation Pédagogique (3 credits). 

If you have not had significant preparation in Francophone Studies, we strongly recommend that you take FREN 421(G) -France and the Francophone World during your first year.

You will also choose three to four courses in areas that will determine the five areas in which you will take your comprehensive exams. It is crucial that you bear this in mind as you choose your courses. Access the Guidelines for Comprehensive Exams and the Graduate Reading List.

Begin working on fulfilling the language requirement now. In addition to a command of French and English, you must demonstrate reading proficiency in two other languages or advanced proficiency in one other language.

You must transfer your coursework from your previous institutions to count toward your minimum 48 credit hours of coursework. Please note that UL Lafayette recognizes only coursework completed in your fifth year of university study and beyond as graduate level. Transfer of graduate credit is subject to approval by the department and Graduate School. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred from another institution is 27 hours of coursework. Thesis hours cannot be counted toward coursework. Access the Transfer of Graduate Credit Form.

For students who earned their M.A. in French at UL Lafayette

The courses you choose during this year include the three areas in which you will take your PhD comprehensive exams in your second year. It is crucial that you bear this in mind as you choose your courses. Access the Guidelines for Comprehensive Exams and the Graduate Reading List.

Begin working on fulfilling the doctoral language requirement now. In addition to a command of French and English, you must demonstrate reading proficiency in two other languages or advanced proficiency in one other language.

Second Year Requirements

For students who did not earn their M.A. at UL Lafayette

Depending on the number of credits approved for transfer by the department and Graduate School, you may need to continue to take courses for both semesters.

Once you have a minimum of 48 credit hours of graduate coursework recognized by UL Lafayette, you will take your comprehensive exams in five areas which must include:

  • Two historical periods of French literature, and
  • Three Francophone areas.

In the same semester that you complete your comprehensive exams, you will form your dissertation committee and defend your prospectus of the dissertation. Access the Dissertation Committee Appointment Form and the Guidelines for Dissertations. You must also file an Application for Candidacy Form with the Graduate School.

If you have not already done so, you must complete your language requirement this year.

For students who earned their M.A. in French at UL Lafayette

In your first semester of your second year, you will take your comprehensive exams in three areas. You may repeat one Francophone area from your master's comprehensive exam, but all other areas must be new.

In the same semester that you complete your comprehensive exams, you will form your dissertation committee and defend your prospectus of the dissertation. Access the Dissertation Committee Appointment Form and the Guidelines for Dissertations. You must also file an Application for Candidacy Form with the Graduate School.

If you have not already done so, you must complete your language requirement this year.

Third Year and Beyond

Now that you are ABD, you need to focus on completing your dissertation and preparing to go on the academic job market. You should be in frequent contact with your dissertation director and committee and be working diligently to meet deadlines. It is your responsibility to make sure you are making satisfactory progress toward completion.

If you have not already done so, it is time to start presenting your work at conferences and looking for avenues of publication for your work.

It is also important to take advantage of workshops offered by the Graduate School and the Department of Modern Languages to help you learn how to present yourself to best effect in professional settings and interviews. Watch for opportunities to get an edge.