Master of Arts in French
The M.A. Program in French is primarily focused on the study of literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Our main objective is to offer interesting and challenging courses, based on original research and the fields of specialization of the French faculty, to inspire and teach students to do graduate work while developing their knowledge of French and Francophone literature and culture. All graduate courses in the French Program are conducted in French and students are expected to use French in all their work, including in their master’s thesis. We offer a variety of courses on periods, genres, and themes. Courses are rotated and renewed over a period of two to three years to cover most areas and periods of French and Francophone literature. Students are required to take courses covering five different centuries from the Middle Ages to the 20th century among the seven periods/areas offered. Courses available are listed in alphabetical order in the Bulletin (consult Index for page reference). Short descriptions of the specific courses offered for the academic year can be found on the French website.
Admission to Program
Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or better. They must demonstrate a proficiency level in French and the knowledge of language, culture, and literature expected at the conclusion of a baccalaureate major in French. Consideration will also be given to students with advanced French competency who have obtained a B.A. in another field. They may be admitted as conditionally classified graduate students and are required to remediate or complete all deficiencies before attaining classified status. In order to be accepted by the program, applicants need to send directly to the French graduate advisor (see Faculty page) an analytical statement of purpose of approximately 500 words written in English, and another one in French covering the same content, a sample of written work in French (such as a literary dissertation), two letters of recommendation, and make an appointment for an oral interview in French (in person or by phone).
Please note that the only upper-division courses accepted for the graduate program are the elective courses (for which graduate students are also expected to complete additional work) recommended and accepted by the graduate advisor. The following courses are not accepted: FR 304, FR 305, and FR 306.
Written English Proficiency Requirements
All graduate students at SF State must complete Level One and Level Two English writing requirements.
Submission of a Statement of Purpose in the application for admission to the French M.A. The statement must be written in English (500 words) and include the same or similar statement written in French.
Level Two may be met in one of two ways:
- Option I: Submit either a 15 to 20 page essay written in English for a graduate class (program other than the French Program) or an English translation of a 15 to 20 page essay written in French for a graduate class in the French Program, unless the French instructor of that class accepts an essay written in English.
- Option II: Submission of a 15 page summary of the M.A. thesis written in English. This summary will be submitted for evaluation to the French faculty.
Students are advised to consult with their graduate advisor early in the program on how best to prepare for the Level Two writing requirement.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the Master of Arts in French the student will:
- Develop proficiency in the varieties of written and oral language that mark academic prose in French.
- Describe French and Francophone cultural history and analyze practices and beliefs as part of a historically grounded exploration of cultural codes operating in and beyond France.
- Students will read complex literary texts, recognize textual operations, identify its place in the literary history of the target language, and trace social and literary debates in and between literary fields.
- Acquire and utilize research skills with the goal of writing coherent, engaging, and rigorous critical and research essays, and communicate critical opinions about literary and cultural themes coherently.
French (M.A.) — Minimum 30 Units
Graduate Courses (15 Units)
Upper Division/Graduate Courses (6 Units)
in French language, Literature, or Civilization.
One of the Following Options (9 Units)
Upper division/graduate courses (9 units) in French or related subjects, with approval of graduate advisor
and Master's Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations
Upper division/graduate courses (6 units) in French or related subjects, with the approval of a graduate advisor.
- FR 898 Master's Thesis
- and Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination
Written and Oral Examinations Option
Students are admitted to oral examination upon passing the written examination. Both examinations may be attempted not more than two times.
Master's Thesis Option
Students must pass an oral examination at the end of the semester preceding the semester when they write their thesis.