Graduate Program in French and Francophone World Studies

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The Department of French and Italian offers courses leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy in French and Francophone World Studies

 Graduate students in French and Francophone World Studies benefit from the expertise of a nationally and internationally known faculty. Courses are available in the traditionally recognized historical periods of French literature, as well as in various literary genres, critical theories, and cultural studies. The Department provides a rich variety of courses in Francophone literatures and cultures from the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, North and sub-Saharan Africa, Québec, the literatures of immigration in France as well as in Cinematic Arts and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. We have specific strengths in Interdisciplinary studies in the areas of Early Modern Studies, Ecological criticism, Memory and Trauma Studies, Cinema, Francophone and Postcolonial Studies, History, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Courses in Arabic and Swahili reflect the dynamism of our program and bring new strengths in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research and teaching. For example, our Ph.D. students may create their own individual program of interdisciplinary studies by forming an Ad Hoc committee with members from other departments on campus. In recent years, students’ Ad Hoc committees have included faculty from the departments of Art and Art History, Cinematic Arts, Dance, English, History, Journalism, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies and the Law School.

Emphasis on language proficiency, composition, and stylistics remains integral to the literature-centered MA program.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Teaching assistantships are available to many qualified applicants. During the academic year 2020-21 beginning half-time teaching assistants are paid a stipend of $20,064. In addition, all resident and non-resident graduate students who are employed at least quarter time are entitled to waived tuition for credited courses.

Teaching assistants have the opportunity to participate in a pedagogically sophisticated program that provides support for novice teaching while at the same time emphasizing individual initiative. Extensive use of technology (video, multi-media materials, web-based materials) allows teaching assistants to gain expertise in an area of growing importance. It is also possible for teaching assistants to take courses in second language acquisition and thus acquire adavanced academic credentials in this area. See our FAQ (frequently asked questions) section for more information about teaching.

Various Graduate College and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences fellowships are available for dissertation research and writing, including:

CLAS Dissertation Writing Fellowships

Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowships

Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Fellowships

Center for Advancement Student Impact Grant

Graduate Diversity Scholarship

Graduate Diversity Fellowship

Underrepresented Minority Thesis Fellowship for Master’s and DMA Students

The T. Anne Cleary International Dissertation Research Fellowship

The Department of French & Italian also offers the "Benhamou Graduate Scholarship in French," a one-year award of $3,500 that recognizes outstanding academic achievement in a student's program of French Studies.

The Mary Susan Morse Iosue Memorial Scholarship in French recognizes outstanding undergraduate or graduate students. This scholarship was established with a generous gift from Frank A. Iosue (MFA 1978, English, graduate of the Writers' Workshop) in memory of his wife Mary Susan Morse Iosue (BA 1976, French).

Many of our students have benefited from grants and fellowships available from the French Government. Several awards and fellowships for graduate students are also available through The University of Iowa International Programs.

Exchange appointments for graduate students in French are made each year with the Universities of Pau and Poitiers.

Interdisciplinary Research and Activities

In addition to course offerings in several departments, our students may take advantage of the rich interdisciplinary opportunities offered by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. Students are also encouraged to participate in workshops organized by interdisciplinary research groups such as the African Studies Program, the European Studies Group, and the Latin American Studies Program,

The French and Italian Forum, our lecture series is another venue for graduate students to hear presentations by national and international scholars, and meet writers from the world renown University of Iowa International Writing Program. The Forum also gives students who are writing the doctoral dissertations the opportunity to prepare for conferences and job interviews.  We also encourage students to publish articles and book reviews in respected journals in our field.

The Department of French and Italian regularly collaborates with Cinematic Arts on an Ad Hoc PhD program in Film/French. Participants in the program develop expertise in film and French studies through a comprehensive plan of study directed by an interdepartmental committee. Taking advantage of The University of Iowa’s outstanding resources in the field of cinema studies, Film/French students prepare for a career of interdisciplinary teaching and research through critical and theoretical work. Film/French students, like all students in the graduate program, have the opportunity to learn the latest techniques for employing film and video materials in the teaching of language.

Dada Archive and Research Center

Founded at Iowa in 1978, the Dada Archive and Research Center houses the largest collection in the world of documents and materials from Dada and related avant garde movements. Its holdings provide a unique resource for studies in twentieth-century literature and fine arts.



To be considered for admission to an MA program in French, applicants must have completed the equivalent of The University of Iowa undergraduate major in French. The MA in French (or related field) is prerequisite to admission to the PhD program in French. Successful completion of the MA program, however, does not necessarily qualify a student for doctoral studies.

Applicants for fall semester whose application materials are received in the Department by January 15 have the best chance to be admitted and receive financial aid. They must submit

You may apply online for admission to our program at

For more information about the graduate program in French, see our Guide to Graduate Students and Assistants or contact:

The Department of French and Italian
The University of Iowa
111 Phillips Hall
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1409
Phone: 319/335-2253 Fax: 319/335-2990
e-mail the Director of Graduate Studies: Anny-Dominique Curtius

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