Department of Modern Languages

The University of Mississippi

M.A. in Modern Languages – French

Master of Arts

Specialization in French

An M.A. in Modern Languages with a specialization in French gives graduates a high proficiency in communicative skills and a deep awareness of cultures in the French-speaking world. The degree prepares students for a teaching career at a variety of levels as well as doctoral work in the discipline.


Non-native speakers of French are required to take two non-thesis classes taught in French each semester.

M.A. students with a specialization in French must successfully complete Fr 672.

Course Requirements: Three options are available.

(1) The first option requires 36 hours of graduate-level course work in French. (2) The second option requires a minimum of 24 hours of graduate-level work in French plus 6-12 hours in a subfield, subject to approval of the department. (3) The third option requires a minimum of 24 hours of graduate-level course work in French plus 6-12 hours of credit for writing a thesis (Fr 697).

Please note: Under extraordinary circumstances, a candidate may petition the French faculty to allow both a subfield and a thesis, provided s/he can make a compelling argument as to why this is necessary.

Students must maintain a B average in their course work or be subjected to probation and/or expulsion from the program. Students must either pass a written comprehensive exam based on course work and the M.A. reading list or submit a thesis. Both the written exam and the thesis contain an oral component, during which the student clarifies or amplifies answers on the written component. Students opting to write a thesis must consult with members of his or her committee to discuss which items from the M.A. reading list will also be discussed at the oral thesis.

Students proposing a thesis are expected to decide on a topic and choose a tentative director as soon as possible after beginning Year One of their program so as to present a finished proposal for defense during their second semester of graduate school. The thesis director in consultation with the thesis committee decides the requirements for the proposal and the deadlines for each stage of development. The proposal for a thesis will normally consist of statements: (1) of a research question; (2) of a methodology or approach; (3) of a literature review or the state of the field; (4) describing the preliminary outline of chapters; and (5) of a bibliography.  The minimum length of the thesis proposal will be set by the thesis director. The proposal should be approved by the director of the thesis before being submitted to the whole committee, usually during the second semester a graduate student is in attendance. Students are encouraged to download the Graduate School’s style instructions for a thesis from the very beginning of the process and use them for the proposal as well.

Once a defense is scheduled, the thesis director will notify the graduate program coordinator (in advance of the proposal defense) of the date, time, and place, and afterward, of the result. The defense should be held in person, but under certain circumstances (study abroad, for example), it may occur by email or audio/video technology. It is important that the student receive comments from the whole committee at this stage of development. Following a successful proposal defense, the proposal will be placed in the student’s file by the thesis director. The thesis proposal committee normally will also be the committee for a student’s exams for graduation. Adjustments to the committee may be made as necessary, up to two months before the end of the exam process, the date by which the graduate school must be notified by the graduate program coordinator of the members of the comprehensive exam committee or thesis defense committee.

Reading List

View the reading list for specialization in French.

Courses offered