The M.A. and Ph.D. programs deal with all-important aspects of French literature and some related fields through a variety of critical approaches. These programs are open to candidates whose academic records and Graduate Record Examination scores give evidence of distinguished accomplishment and promise of successful graduate work.
Applications for September admission to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs should be submitted by February 1 in order to receive full consideration for financial aid.
The M.A.T. program in French studies is designed primarily for persons already involved in teaching French or using their knowledge of French and French culture in some professional capacity. Candidates for the M.A.T. are admitted on the basis of formal background and professional activity and need not submit Graduate Record Examination scores.
An application for the M.A.T. program is normally considered only after the student has completed one summer of course work (a minimum of two 3-credit courses) in the Rutgers summer World Languages Institute. Nonmatriculated students may take these courses.
Candidates for the M.A. must satisfactorily complete 30 credits of course work (6 of which may be devoted to a research problem if the candidate elects to write a thesis). In addition, they must pass an examination based on course work and a reading list. Those who wish to continue toward the Ph.D. are screened for that program at the time of the M.A. examination.
Candidates for the M.A.T. also take 10 courses, offered primarily in the summer by the World Languages Institute. Any M.A.T. student wishing to take courses during the regular academic year (whether graduate or undergraduate) may do so with the permission of the graduate director.
Doctoral candidates are required to complete 48 credits of course work beyond the bachelor's degree (54 credits for transliteratures fellowship students, who are required to take an extra two courses in another language). Credit for graduate work taken at other institutions may be accepted in partial fulfillment of the course requirement, but in no case will the doctoral candidate do less than one full year of course work (24 credits) at Rutgers.
Prospective candidates for the Ph.D. degree fulfill the residence requirement through full-time commitment to course work and/ or research during two consecutive terms, excluding Summer Session. Doctoral candidates must demonstrate by examination a reading knowledge of two foreign languages in addition to French. These languages usually include a Romance language and either German or Latin, but substitution of a different language on the basis of relevance to projected research is possible. Greater proficiency in one language, proven by the successful completion of 6 credits of graduate course work in the literature of that language, may replace the second language requirement. The Ph.D. qualifying examination provides a head start on doctoral research and leads directly to the dissertation. It requires the development of a research field and the writing of a dissertation proposal, under the supervision of faculty advisers. The examination consists of three parts (two oral and one written), which are taken separately. The first two parts focus on two contiguous periods of specialization or on one such period and criticism and theory. The third part is a final oral exam on the student's chosen research field. It has to be taken last (i.e., after 48 or 54 credits of course work have been completed, the language requirements have been met, and the first two parts have been passed), as it is the part leading directly to the dissertation.
Reading lists upon which the examinations are based, as well as the Guide to the French Graduate Program, are available in the department office or on the department's web site. The graduate program in French participates in the Transliterature Program (q.v.).