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PhD Program Requirements


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

As a doctoral student, you must complete at minimum 48 credit hours of graduate-level coursework before beginning your dissertation and at least 21 graduate credit hours past the M.A. level. Students who earn their M.A. at UL Lafayette complete a total of 57 hours of coursework before taking dissertation hours. Students who earn their M.A. elsewhere complete at least 21 hours of coursework before taking dissertation hours.

All doctoral students must complete FREN 540 (Critique littéraire) during their first year. Additionally, all Graduate Assistants must complete FREN 501 (Préparation pédagogique) during their first year.

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.

Consult the Catalog for the PhD in Francophone Studies curriculum.

Advising & Selection of Courses

The Graduate Coordinator will be your advisor during your doctoral coursework. 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. Exams are taken once coursework is complete.

Current students can find information about the exam process here.

Transfer Credits

If you completed graduate coursework at an institution other than UL Lafayette, you will need to transfer those credits officially through the Graduate School in order for them to be counted for your doctoral coursework. A maximum of 27 hours of coursework may be transferred from another institution. Coursework from International institutions require approval by the Graduate Appeals Committee, and only coursework from the fifth year of university level work or higher will be considered. Thesis work will not count toward coursework hours. Begin the Transfer of Graduate Credit process.

Language Requirement

In addition to a command of French and English, doctoral students must demonstrate either intermediate reading knowledge in two other languages or advanced reading proficiency in one other language.

You can demonstrate intermediate reading knowledge 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.

You can demonstrate advanced reading proficiency in one of three ways: (1) through the Graduate Language Requirement Exam – Advanced Reading Proficiency, (2) by successfully completing two courses (6 hours) at the 400 or 500 level in literature in the target language, or (3) providing official transcripts that clearly demonstrate that you have completed two courses (6 hours) at the 400 or 500 level in literature in the target language.

Comprehensive Exams

After completing the coursework and the language exam, doctoral students take comprehensive examinations which will include written examinations in each of five selected areas of concentration based on your coursework and the department's reading list. Each student must sit for an exam in two historical periods of French literature and three Francophone areas.

On the basis of performance on these examinations, the student will be (1) passed unconditionally, (2) required to take additional written examinations in areas found to be deficient, or (3) dropped from the program. Students dropped from the program may appeal to the Francophone Studies Graduate Faculty for reconsideration. Students may retake these examinations only once. Successful written examinations will be followed by an oral examination which will focus on the five selected areas of concentration and which may also cover other areas of the reading list.

Students who complete their M.A. in French at UL Lafayette take their comprhensive exams in three areas of concentration: one historical period of French literature and two Francophone areas. One of the three areas may overlap with the areas taken during your M.A. exam, but you must have completed additional coursework in the area since your M.A. exams.


After completing the comprehensive examination, doctoral students select an area of specialization and, in consultation with the appropriate faculty members in that field, a topic for research, as well as a director for the dissertation. You and the director will then select your dissertation committee. After successfully completing the comprehensive examinations, you must also submit a dissertation prospectus. The director and all members of the your dissertation committee must approve the prospectus. When the dissertation is completed and approved by the dissertation committee, the committee will conduct a final oral defense of the dissertation.