Skip Navigation

French MA Exam/Thesis Guidelines

Skip Side Navigation

French MA Examination and Thesis Guidelines

The basis for the MA comprehensive examination is coursework and the French MA Reading List (pdf). All students must complete and submit to the Graduate Liaison a General Candidacy Form the semester before taking the exams.

Thesis students take examinations in two of three fields to be determined by the student's committee. Non-thesis students take examinations in four of the following six fields:

Medieval Period
16th Century
17th Century
18th Century
19th Century
20th Century & Contemporary
The exams will be in take-home format and the student will have two weeks to complete the exams. Answers for each of the four exams (for non-thesis students) and for each of the three exams (for thesis students) should be between six to eight double-spaced pages.

The finished product is to be sent electronically to the Graduate Liaison, who will forward it to all committee members on the last day of the two-week exam period.

Thesis Option
Students prepare all three periods determined by the committee, but randomly draw and take only two of the exams (students will have one week to write the exams).

Students in the thesis degree program should choose an area of specialization for the thesis as early as possible. After a thesis topic is chosen, students, with the approval of the Graduate Liaison, select three members of the graduate faculty in the major field to serve as the thesis committee. A member of the graduate faculty specializing in the student's major area acts as the thesis director and chair of the committee. The topic and thesis title are reported to the Graduate College on the Application for Approval of the Master's Thesis Topic and Committee Membership.

A maximum of six thesis hours (FR 5980) is allowed toward the MA degree. After initial enrollment in thesis credit, students must maintain continuous enrollment during each subsequent regular semester (summers excepted) in at least two thesis hours(FR 5980) until the degree is completed or the candidacy discontinued. Exceptions will be made for military service. Enrollment in FR 5980 is mandatory in any summer session during which the student is actually doing thesis work, regardless of the number of other hours of enrollment. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
Students must comply with departmental and Graduate College regulations concerning thesis preparation and submission of the reading copy to the Graduate College. After completion of the thesis, the student must file the report of the final examination with the Graduate College and submit copies of the thesis to the library.

Non-Thesis Option
Non-Thesis Option: students prepare all periods listed above, but randomly draw and take only four of the exams (students will have two weeks to write the exams). At the discretion of the French faculty, students may be asked to take an oral exam within one week of the written exam in case areas are found to be deficient.

Students will receive a grade of "Pass," "Fail," or "Pass with recommendation to continue (or not to continue) on to the PhD." Students who fail the comprehensive examination in whole or in part may repeat the examination (or the failed portion) only once at the discretion of the faculty.
The Graduate Liaison notifies candidates and the Graduate College of the examination results.

Students are responsible for complying with all Graduate College regulations concerning applications for graduation and payment of fees