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Masters in French Program Requirements

During your coursework for your M.A. in French at UL, you will have the opportunity to take a wide variety of courses covering all areas of the Francophone world and France.


The Graduate Coordinator will be your advisor during your Masters program. You will choose your courses based on your academic interests in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

It is important to consider your comprehensive exams and the areas that you wish to study for the exams as you decide on your schedule for each semester. You cannot sit for an exam in area in which you have not previously completed a graduate course. You may not take an exam in an area in which you are currently taking a course unless you have already completed one in that area prior to your exam semester.

Two tracks are available for the M.A. in French: Thesis and Non-Thesis.

Requirements common to both tracks:

  • 36 graduate-level credit hours,
  • A minimum of 18 credit hours in 500- or 600-level courses,
  • FREN 540 - Critique littéraire (3 credit hours), to be taken in your first year,
  • Comprehensive exams (examens de synthèse) in three areas, two Francophone areas and one French historical period,
  • Reading proficiency in a third language (i.e., a language other than French and English). You may satisfy this requirement in one of three ways: (1) through the Graduate Language Requirement Exam – Intermediate Reading Knowledge, (2) by earning a C or higher in a course in the language at the 202 level or its equivalent, or (3) providing official transcripts that clearly demonstrate that you have completed university coursework in the language up to the 202 level.

All Graduate Assistants must also complete 3 hours of FREN 501 (Préparation pédagogique) during their first two semesters; students enrol in 1 credit hour of FREN 501 in fall and 2 credit hours of FREN 501 in spring.

The Graduate School requires all graduate students who have completed 12 hours of credit toward their degrees to file an Admission to Candidacy for the Masters Degree.

Students without significant preparation in French and Francophone civilization and history are encouraged to take FREN 421(G) - France and the Francophone World, during their first year.

Thesis Track

On this track, you will take 30 credit hours of coursework and six credit hours of FREN 599 - Thesis. You must take your comprehensive exams during your third semester of coursework.

Access the Graduate School's Guidelines for Thesis Writers.

Non-Thesis Track

On this track, you will take 36 hours of coursework. You will take your comprehensive exams during either your third or fourth semester of coursework.

Comprehensive Exams

Each student must successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations in three selected areas of concentration based on your coursework and the department's reading list. The exams are in three areas: one exam in a historical period of French literature and two exams in Francophone regions and/or fields such as folklore, linguistics, bandes dessinées, and cinema. You may take exams only in areas in which you have completed coursework during previous semesters; if you are taking your first course in an area during your exam semester, you may not take the exam in that course.

On the basis of performance on these examinations, you will be (1) passed unconditionally, (2) required to take additional written examinations in areas found to be deficient, or (3) dropped from the program.

Written examinations are scheduled in the fourth week of the semester. Oral exams will follow two to three weeks later.