Graduate Program in French and Francophone World Studies
The Department of French and Italian offers courses leading to the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy in French.
Graduate students in French and Francophone Studies benefit from the expertise of a nationally and internationally known faculty. Courses are available in the traditionally recognized historical periods of French literature and culture, as well as in various literary genres and critical theories. The Department provides a wide variety of courses in Francophone literatures and cultures from, Canada, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, North and sub-Saharan Africa, in the literatures of immigration in France as well as in Film Studies and Gender Studies. We have specific strengths in Interdisciplinary studies notably in the areas of Comparative arts, Early Modern Studies, Film Studies, Francophone and Postcolonial Studies, History, and Women’s Studies. The recent inclusion of courses in Arabic and Swahili reflects the dynamism of our program and brings new strengths in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary research and teaching.
Emphasis on language proficiency, composition, and stylistics remains integral to the MA program. Along with the literature-centered MA, the Department offers an MA in French Education.
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 fellowships are available through the Graduate College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for dissertation research and writing, including the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Writing Fellowships, Post-Comprehensive exam fellowships, the T. Anne Cleary International Research Fellowship and the Ada Louis Ballard and Seashore Dissertation Year Fellowship. The Department of French & Italian also offers the "Benhamou Graduate Scholarship in French," a one-year award of $2,500 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 Crossing Borders, an interdisciplinary cross-area graduate training program in the social sciences and humanities. Students are encouraged to pursue enriching interdisciplinary research groups, such as the African Studies Program, tthe 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
- academic transcripts
- letters of recommendation from three persons familiar with their past academic work
- Results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Revised General Test (Note: the GRE requirement has been waived for the 2020 admission cycle)
- a statement of purpose, and
- one or more samples of original writing (one of which should be in French) that show their ability to pursue graduate work in French (an honors thesis, term paper, seminar paper, or other course papers)
- international students must also submit TOEFL scores. http://grad.admissions.uiowa.edu/graduate-programs/english-requirements-admission-graduate-college
You may apply online for admission to our program at http://grad.admissions.uiowa.edu/apply.
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: Roxanna Curto
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