French Graduate Programs and Applications: Frequently Asked Questions
All students admitted to Ph.D. programs at the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) will receive a Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship, usually for a period of five years (for students entering without an earned M.A.) or four years (for students entering with an M.A.) This fellowship includes full tuition remission, waiver of registration and services fees, and health insurance through NYU, as well as a fellowship stipend toward your expenses. For 2013-14, this stipend is over $25,000 per annum. GSAS also provides a one-time $1,000 start-up stipend.
Students who enter with external funding may still be awarded a MacCracken fellowship to ensure that they are receiving full-funding from both sources combined.
Following the MacCracken Fellowship, students are encouraged to apply for both internal and external fellowships.
Is teaching a requirement of the MacCracken Fellowship?
No. However, our doctoral students are strongly encouraged to teach for four semesters to gain invaluable experience for their careers. And with the implementation of Financial Aid Reform (FAR4), teaching as an adjunct instructor provides compensation over and above the MacCracken stipend. See below: Teaching.
M.A. students enrolled in programs at NYU Paris campus should see the NYU Paris site for more information about funding for programs in Paris. M.A. students in the translation program are eligible to receive 20% tuition scholarship for courses in New York and at least 24% tuition discount on courses in Paris. These scholarships and discounts are currently only available for students who are enrolled full-time.
The Graduate School’s Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) encourages students to apply for external grants and provides matching tuition points (from 50 to 100 percent) to eligible recipients of external awards from recognized, academic sources of funding outside NYU. For applications and specific details about TIP eligibility criteria, please see the TIP application document (PDF). New York University offers several loan programs to students. Information is available at www.nyu.edu/financial.aid or at the Office of Financial Aid, 212-998-4444.
For a description of all Graduate School fellowships and assistantships, please refer to the document Financing Graduate Education (PDF).
The financial aid package, including scholarships and loans, that students receive from NYU is based on the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. FAFSA is the basic application form for most student aid programs, available January 1 each year. The federal school code number for NYU is 002785.
No, an M.A. is not required to apply to the doctoral program. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. at NYU should apply directly to the doctoral program.
Students who enter without a Master's degree will become eligible for the Master of Arts in French (or French Studies) after completion of the first 32 points of coursework and a successful M.A. exam (or thesis)--usually at the conclusion of the first year of study. Some of our students enter the doctoral program with a previous M.A., and many do not.
Absolutely. You may be awarded up to 40 points of transfer credit for your earned master's degree toward your doctoral coursework in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and pending approval from the Graduate School. Note: Students who enter a Ph.D. program with 24 or more points of transfer credit are only eligible for a maximum of four years of funding under the MacCracken fellowship program.
Native or near-native fluency in French is expected of all graduate students in the NYU Department of French. This requirement is filled by passing any graduate-level course taught in French.
Doctoral students in French Literature are also required to fulfill a requirement for a second foreign language apart from French or English, preferably by the end of the second year. This can be fulfilled in several ways: (1) having taken and passed an intermediate-level language course no more than two years prior to matriculation into the graduate program, (2) taking and passing such a course while in residence at NYU, (3) passing a GSAS-administered foreign language exam. If a student is a native speaker of a language other than French or English, he or she may petition the Director of Graduate Studies for a waiver of this requirement.
The joint Ph.D. in French Literature – French Studies and all M.A. programs do not have a second foreign language requirement.
The Department of French offers at least 10 graduate seminars each semester, covering a broad spectrum of topics in French literature and civilization, critical theory, the history of ideas, cultural studies, film, Francophone studies, and translation. See current course offerings and the bulletin course descriptions.
Doctoral students must complete 72 points of post-undergraduate coursework (about 18 courses). This may include credits earned during M.A. work at NYU or transfer credits from another graduate institution.
Ph.D. students in French literature will complete coursework in all seven fields--Medieval, Renaissance, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, and 20th century and Francophone literatures--as well as a proseminar in textual analysis.
Joint Ph.D. students in French Literature and French Studies will complete coursework in 19th century, 20th century, and Francophone literatures, culture, civilization, and history.
In addition to completing this distribution, students will choose courses and independent studies that will enable them to pursue their research interests in greater depth. Students will also complete courses in pedagogical formation and also in professional writing practices.
Master's students must complete 32 points of post-undergraduate coursework (8 courses). The distribution is dependent upon the program of study:
M.A. students of French Literature will complete coursework in six of seven distribution areas of French literature (listed above) and the proseminar.
M.A. students in Literary Translation complete coursework in the theory of translation, stylistics and semantics, reading literature in translation, and workshops in translation practice and creative writing. They will also take one literature offering from the Department of French of their choosing.
For information about Master's programs housed in Paris, see the NYU Paris site: Master of Arts in French Language and Civilization, Master of Arts in Teaching French as a Foreign Language.
Students in the French Department are welcome and encouraged to take courses outside the department and through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium which are germane to their research interests. See below: Interdisciplinary Studies
The Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) offers eligible GSAS students the opportunity to take graduate courses at distinguished universities throughout the greater New York area. The IUDC has been in existence for over 25 years and offers students an enormous array of courses and opportunities for contact with faculty and students in their fields.
Participating schools are: Columbia University, Princeton University, CUNY Graduate Center, Rutgers University, Fordham University, SUNY Stony Brook, the Graduate Faculty at New School University, Teachers College at Columbia University, and New York University.
The IUDC is open to doctoral students from participating schools who have completed at least one year of full time study toward the Ph.D. Terminal master's students and non-GSAS students are not eligible.
The NYU Department of French instructs over 1,000 students per semester in its language and content classes, many of which are taught by students in the Ph.D. program as adjunct instructors. The Department of French feels that teaching is an essential experience for its doctoral students to grow in their skills and confidence as educators and to be competitive on the job market. With the implementation of Financial Aid Reform 4 (FAR4)(PDF download), teaching as an adjunct instructor provides compensation over and above the MacCracken stipend. Ph.D. students in the Department of French typically teach for two years, usually beginning in their second year of coursework.
Doctoral students may also have other opportunities to teach, such as undergraduate summer language or literature courses in New York or at NYU Paris.
First-time adjunct instructors receive training in the form of a week-long intensive Teaching Orientation the summer before they begin teaching. Training continues in a bi-weekly Teaching Seminar and Workshop through the fall and spring semesters, in which students examine the theoretical underpinnings of second language acquisition and explore praxis through sample lesson plan and exercise creation, test writing and analysis, textbook analyses, and peer- and self observation. This Teaching Orientation and Workshop is a required course for all doctoral students in the Department of French and carries four points (two points each semester) points toward the 72-point Ph.D. requirement.
M.A.-track students are not eligible to teach classes through the Department of French at NYU.
JOINT DEGREE AND INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
The Institute of French Studies (IFS) at NYU is an interdisciplinary program devoted to the study of modern and contemporary France and francophone countries. The Department of French and the IFS offer a joint Ph.D. in French Studies and French that is designed for students interested in developing research expertise in the history and analysis of literary texts closely linked to their social, cultural, and political contexts.
The specific focus--and challenge--of the joint degree is the marrying of a social science research approach with a literary one. Ideal candidates for admission will have done significant work in both the social sciences (history, politics, sociology) and in literature.
Admission to the joint Ph.D. program must be granted by both the IFS and the Department of French.
Yes. An applicant to the joint program whose writing and training demonstrates strong potential for research in literature and/or critical thought may be considered--with their permission--for the Ph.D. in French. It is possible, within this program, to write a dissertation on cultural or philosophical topics as well as on strictly literary ones.
Absolutely! You are encouraged to take courses at the IFS--or any department--that pertain to your research interests. Doctoral students in the Department of French may complete a Certificate of Achievement in French Studies by completing four courses at the IFS while in residence at NYU.
The Interdisciplinary Program in French Literature enables students to conjoin the study of literature with cinema, fine arts, music, or with the social and human sciences (history, linguistics, politics, sociology, anthropology). Students in this program can design a course of doctoral study that reflects their special interests and that takes advantage of the exceptionally rich resources in these areas at NYU. Students apply during the first semester of doctoral studies after completion of the M.A. Students may also apply to earn a certificate in Poetics and Theory or a Concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.
Even if not formally enrolled in an interdisciplinary program, students in the French Department are welcome and encouraged to take courses outside the department and through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium which are germane to their research interests.
STUDYING IN FRANCE AND ABROAD
Ph.D. students may elect to take courses at NYU Paris in the summer, or, in the case of Ph.D. students who do not hold an earned M.A., to complete their M.A. at NYU Paris. Students may also apply to hold an resident assistant position at NYU Paris in the summer, perhaps coupled with study there. There are also opportunities for students to teach summer language courses and, during the academic year, one student is needed to teach a literature course in the Anglophone program, as well.
The Department of French also has an agreement with the Ecole Normale Supérieure in both Lyon and Paris that allows up to two doctoral students to spend a year or semester at the ENS and participate fully in its seminars.
The M.A. program in French Literature is offered at both NYU in New York and NYU Paris. Students generally complete their coursework at the campus to which they applied.
The M.A. in French Language and Civilization is offered only at NYU Paris.
Students in the M.A. in Literary Translation program spend the fall and spring semesters in New York and a six-week summer session in Paris.
The M.A. in Teaching French as a Foreign Language is a multi-year program, of which the first year is spent at NYU Paris. (The remaining coursework is completed on a full- or part-time basis at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at NYU Washington Square.)
After finishing coursework, doctoral students may choose to conduct research for their dissertation in France or other relevant locations. They may continue to draw on their MacCracken fellowship as it is available and may also be eligible for supplementary funding through additional competitive fellowships at NYU or externally. The faculty will make every effort to assist students in making contact with relevant universities, libraries, archives, and other resources.
The Department of French at NYU is part of a network of intellectual sites grouped within the Center for French Civilization and Culture. The Center branches into the University's four significant spheres of activity in French Studies: the Department, the Institute of French Studies, NYU Paris, and La Maison Française. These form the most comprehensive American academic complex devoted to the culture of France, past and present.
The Department of French currently has 16 faculty members, representing a broad spectrum of specialization in all areas of French literature and civilization, and 13 full-time language lecturers. In addition, the Department offers courses by eminent visiting professors, including Réda Bensmaïa, François Cornillat, Marielle Macé, Christian Biet, Yves Citton, Philippe Roger, and François Noudlemann.
The Department offers approximately 10 graduate seminars each semester, with enrollments ranging from five to fifteen students. Thus, students are able to choose from the rich offerings of a large department, yet also enjoy the opportunity for close, personal interaction with professors.
There are approximately 70 graduate students, from M.A. students to Ph.D. candidates finishing their dissertations, based in our department here at NYU Washington Square. All graduate students are invited to take part in the French Graduate Students' Association (FGSA), which serves as a forum for students on both the master’s and doctoral level. Through meetings and a regular dialogue with the Director of Graduate Studies, the FGSA provides an organized channel through which graduate students voice their interests and concerns and make suggestions to the faculty.
Each spring, the third-year Ph.D. students organize the annual Graduate Student Conference. Recent conference titles have included Conference in Progress. (2012), La Bête Noire (2011), Rien/Nothing (2010), and Unbecoming Masters (2009). The Graduate Student Association also organizes a series of “brown-bag lunches” (in which doctoral students present their dissertation research to their peers), and occasionally “prep” sessions for the M.A. Literature Exam. (The latter are usually organized by the M.A. cohort.)
The graduate students participate in a series of Teaching and Training workshops organized by the graduate student instructors and Language Lecturers and take responsibility for organizing events for undergraduate students such as the monthly Ciné-Club, and Café et Conversation conversational hours.
NYU's Bobst Library houses over 3.3 million volumes, twenty thousand journals, and over 3 million microforms. NYU also has reciprocal borrowing privileges with several other nearby university libraries and reciprocal on-site access with Columbia's Butler Library. In addition, the New York Public Library is freely available and boasts four major research centers and myriad local lending branches throughout the City. The Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media at Bobst Library offers an impressive selection of French film; the Department also houses a small collection of films of its own.
The Department of French is housed at 19 University Place, just north of Washington Square Park and just across the street from La Maison Française and the Institute for French Studies on the historic Washington Mews.
La Maison Française is one of the most active centers of French-American cultural exchange on any American campus. Founded in 1957 on the historic Washington Mews just north of Washington Square Park, the Maison offers a year-round program of activities, including lectures, roundtables, conferences, film and video screenings, art exhibits, concerts, and special presentations. All events are free and open to the public.
Established in 1978 through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of French Studies (IFS) offers degree programs for Ph.D. students for careers in higher education and master's programs to prepare students for careers in international business, banking, the media, cultural organizations, and government. In addition to its teaching programs, the Institute of French Studies fosters research by faculty, doctoral students, research associates, and a wide array of visiting scholars, who share their research through the French Studies Colloquia public lecture series and weekly luncheon seminars.
At NYU Paris, more than 20 students in graduate studies have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in French intellectual and cultural life. Students join a rich and stimulating academic community that is small enough to provide individual attention yet is made up of some of the very best scholars in French literature, history, and civilization. Host to a series of conferences and lectures that bring together artists, filmmakers, politicians, and writers, NYU Paris is a thriving center of intellectual and cultural exchange. See the NYU Paris site for more information.
Each March, we are pleased to welcome our top ranking prospective Ph.D. students to Mac Day, our annual open house event, which features a series of orientation sessions, seminars, meetings, and social events involving the faculty and graduate students of the Department.
Other intending applicants or prospective students are welcome to visit the department and meet faculty with prior arrangement.
In the 2013-14 academic year, we are proud to announce that we have placed recent graduates in tenure-track positions at the Catholic University of America, the University of Southern Indiana, the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY). A number of others have obtained non-tenure track positions at institutions including Bryn Mawr, NYU, and Wagner College (Staten Island), as well as a post-doctoral fellowship in the Princeton Society of Fellows. Please see the Job Placements page.
If you have more questions about the graduate programs in French at NYU, contact the graduate aide via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the department at (+1) 212 998-8700. If you have questions about the online application, review the information found at the Graduate School of Arts and Science Application Resource Center.
The Department of French is housed within New York University's Arts & Science division. Prospective graduate students will apply through the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS).
The following refers to departmental specific deadlines and requirements. Please refer to the GSAS Application Resource Center for questions about the online application process.
Degrees conferred, Fields of Study, and Department and Field of Study codes
Do I have to have an M.A. to apply for a doctoral program?
No, an M.A. is not required to apply to the doctoral program. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. should apply directly to the doctoral program.
Students who enter the doctoral without a Master's degree will generally become eligible for the Master of Arts after completion of the first 32 points of coursework and a successful M.A. exam (or thesis)--usually at the conclusion of the first year of study. Some of our students enter the doctoral program with a previous M.A., and many do not.
I already have a Master's degree. Will you accept it for credit toward doctoral coursework?
If I am not accepted for the Ph.D. program, may I be considered for the M.A. program?
Yes. Applicants who wish to be considered for the M.A. program, should their application to the Ph.D. program be unsuccessful, should indicate this on the application and in their Statement of Purpose. No additional application fee is required.
When are applications due?
For prospective Ph.D. students: The Department of French recommends that applications be submitted by December 18. The final deadline for applications is January 4.
For prospective Master's students, the application deadline for fall admission to all programs, or admission in the summer program in Paris, is April 15. For students applying to programs at NYU Paris, students wishing to be considered for financial aid should apply by March 1. There are no admissions for spring semester.
Applications may be submitted in French or in English.
What should be included in my application?
1) The Online Application. http://gsas.nyu.edu/object/grad.admissions.onlineapp
2) A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or résumé. This should list your academic and, if applicable, relevant professional experience.
3) A Statement of Purpose that addresses your reasons for pursuing a higher degree, your field(s) of interest (if known), and why you see NYU as an appropriate home for your future studies.
4) A Writing Sample. For applicants to programs in French Literature or French Language & Civilization, a writing sample of scholarly, academic writing, no longer than 25 pages double-spaced or 7000 words in total, is required. It may be made up of one or two term papers, a research paper written for a French course, or an extract from an Honors thesis; some or all of it must be in French. This should be submitted how For prospective students for the Master’s of Literary Translation, a sample document and its translation, double-spaced and not exceeding 10 finished pages, should be submitted with the online application.
5) Three Letters of Recommendation. Letters of recommendation may be in French or English, but preferably in the native language of the recommender. GSAS strongly recommends that these be submitted online using the Application Resource Center. Three letters are required; GSAS does not recommend that more than three are submitted unless there are compelling reasons for doing so. The most helpful letters are those written by professors with recent experience of your work, if possible in a relevant field and at an appropriate level, who are in a position to comment in detail on your achievements to date and your future potential.
See the GSAS Application Letters of Recommendation FAQ (PDF download) for more information.
6) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores (and Test of English as a Foreign Language scores, if applicable). All applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test scores; this is GSAS requirement cannot be waived. It is important that you arrange to take the GRE and have official scores sent to GSAS no later than four to six weeks before the deadline date. For example, if the deadline is January 4, you should take the GRE no later than November 15 so that the results are available for consideration by mid-December. Official score reports should be submitted to New York University--GSAS, institution code 2596. GRE scores are valid for five years.
For students whose native language is not English or who have not received a B.A. or an M.A. from a university at which English is the language of record must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. It is important that you arrange to take the TOEFL and have official scores sent to GSAS no later than six to eight weeks before the deadline date. For example, if your program's deadline is December 18, you should take the TOEFL no later than October 15 so that the results are available for consideration by mid-December. Official score reports should be sent to New York University--GSAS, institution code 2596. The department code for French is 16. TOEFL scores are valid for three years.
See the GSAS Application GRE and TOEFL FAQ (PDF download) for more information.
7) Transcript. An unofficial, electronic copy of your transcript is acceptable for the application process. If admitted, you will need to provide an official, hard copy of your transcript before matriculation.
If any of your transcripts are in a language other than English, both the transcript in the original language and a literal certified English translation must be submitted with the online application.
For complete details about transcripts, see the GSAS Application Academic Transcripts FAQ (PDF download).
How do I submit my supporting materials?
All supporting materials should be submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Science as part of the online application via upload. If there are issues uploading a document to the online application, see the GSAS Application Resource Center's troubleshooting guide (PDF download). Nothing should be sent directly to the department.
Did you receive my supporting materials?
All supporting materials should be sent to the Graduate School of Arts and Science as part of the online application. You can confirm submission of materials in GSAS' online Supporting Materials Tracking System.
How many applications do you receive? How many are admitted?
Each year, the Department of French in New York and NYU Paris receive over 100 applications for admission into the doctoral and master's programs. Generally 7 - 10 students are accepted into the Ph.D. cohort, while each master's program accepts between 5 - 10 students.
What are the minimum test scores for admission into the French graduate programs?
Since many factors influence admissions, neither the Department nor the Graduate School has minimum test scores required for admission. Applicants are advised to present the highest scores they can achieve, particularly in the Verbal Reasoning and Writing sections.
The Graduate School recommends that an applicant receive a minimum TOEFL score of 100 on the internet-based test (equivalent to 600 on the paper-based test).
Do you have an open house for prospective graduate students?
Intending applicants are welcome to visit the department and meet faculty with prior arrangement.
Each March, we are pleased to welcome our top ranking prospective Ph.D. students to Mac Day, our annual open house event, which features a series of orientation sessions, seminars, meetings, and socializing with the faculty and graduate students of the Department.