French Masters & Doctoral Programs


'French in Comparative Literature': a new specialization within the doctoral program in Comparative Literature

Students and faculty together share in a new graduate program in French and Francophone studies, 'French in Comparative Literature', offering intellectual excitement, cross-disciplinary exchange, pedagogical training, and interaction with the global community. Toward that end, the doctoral specialization emphasizes breadth as well as depth of focus in the study of French and Francophone literature, while incorporating the study of art, history, media, culture and society.

Students in the 'French in Comparative Literature' program first complete a Comparative Literature MA degree in this special track, prior to pursuing the doctorate. For the PhD, as for the MA, students divide their coursework between three fields, of which two are primarily focused on French & Francophone language, culture and literature, while the third is concerned with comparative and interdisciplinary issues. Students graduate with a doctorate in Comparative Literature, with a specialization in French and Francophone studies.

For a list of the overall requirements for the doctoral degree in Comparative Literature, please refer to the Comparative Literature website.

Comparative Literature students pursuing a specialization in French will devote both fields 1 and 3 (see the Comparative Literature website) to French literary studies. Field 3 will, however, focus on French culture and literature in a broad interdisciplinary sense, which may include Francophone Studies, European Studies and so on. Field 2 will be devoted to the study of a second national literature and will have a focus that complements that of the first field in French literary studies. The selection of fields must be approved by the graduate advisor and at least one additional French faculty member.

Students entering the program with an MA in French or a closely related field need a minimum of 24 units of additional graduate-level course work to be distributed in consultation with the graduate advisor. These must include 4 units in field 2, 8 units in field 3, and 4 units in comparative literature. Additional course work may be required to make up for deficiencies. Students must pass a field exam in each of two areas of French literary studies (fields 1 & 3), as well as a field exam in a second national literature (field 2). The first field examination should be taken in the first quarter of their second year at UCSB.

For students entering the program with a BA, a minimum of 60 units of graduate-level course work, including work done at the MA level, is required for the PhD. A minimum of 12 units of graduate-level course work must be completed in each of the student’s three fields, plus at least 12 additional units of graduate-level course work from the offerings in the Comparative Literature Program, with the remaining 12 units to be distributed among the student’s fields in consultation with the graduate advisor. The field exam written at the MA level counts as the first field exam for the PhD. The other two qualifying field examinations and the remaining 24 units of course work should be completed by the end of the first quarter of the fourth year of study. Students may retake each field exam only one time.

Upon completion of the three field exams, students prepare an oral exam, administered by the dissertation committee, in which they present a dissertation prospectus on the proposed dissertation topic. Students who pass this examination and demonstrate a proficiency in a second foreign language will be advanced to candidacy. The final requirement is the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation, including an oral defense.