The Department of French, Francophone, and Italian Studies offers a comprehensive graduate program (M.A. and Ph.D.) in French and Francophone language, literature, and culture. Our faculty is dynamic, professionally active, and committed to excellence in scholarship and teaching.  The major emphasis of teaching and research is French and Francophone literature.  The department also offers courses in literary theory, cultural studies, and film. The department offers a balanced emphasis on all periods from medieval through twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Our students represent a diverse group, and we encourage equally applicants from traditional and nontraditional backgrounds.  Excellent facilities, strong library holdings, and a faculty dedicated to both teaching and research assure students of a challenging and professional graduate preparation.  Please visit the Graduate Program page of the department website for additional information.

Departmental Funding

The department does its best to provide funding in the form of Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) appointments to all incoming graduate students.  GTA appointments are awarded for the academic year and .50 full-time equivalent (FTE) appointments come with:

  • a competitive academic year (9 month) salary
  • a 100% tuition waiver for all courses at KU
  • payment of up to 3 hours of student fees
  • optional University-subsidized group health insurance 

The appointments are guaranteed based on performance for up to 3 years for M.A. students, and 6 years for students who receive both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at The University of Kansas.  GTAs in the department receive thorough training in language instruction, close mentoring, and the opportunity to teach French at a variety of levels, providing them with a strong base of teaching experience upon entering the job market. Additional information about teaching for the department is available on the Graduate Funding page of our departmental website.

Additional Funding

Other funding opportunities for graduate students include the Office of Study Abroad’s Springer award; the department’s Cornell, Mahieu, and Magerus fellowships; awards for research abroad; and French university exchanges.

Visit the Graduate Studies website for additional information about funding opportunities for graduate students at KU.

Financial Aid and Scholarships administers grants, loans, and need-based financial aid.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Admission to the M.A. Program in French

In addition to the general admission requirements from the Office of Graduate Studies, applicants should have the equivalent of a major in French at the B.A. level, with a minimum of 9 hours of advanced undergraduate course work in French literature.

Submit your graduate application online.  For further information regarding the application process, including department-specific deadlines and required supplemental documentation, please visit the Admissions page of the department website, or contact the department's Graduate Program Coordinator, Cari Ann Kreienhop,


M.A. Degree Requirements

  1. 30 credit hours, including*
    FREN 704Methods in French Language Instruction3
    FREN 720Introduction to Graduate Studies in French3
    FREN 610Theme et Version3
    or FREN 620 Expository French Writing
    Select one of the following:
    Seminar in French: _____ (2 seminars of 3 hours each, totaling 6 credits)
    M.A. Thesis (3 credits of enrollment over 2 semesters, totaling 6 credits)
    As part of the 30-hour requirement, students may also take:
    • A maximum of two graduate-level courses (up to 6 hours) outside the department. (e.g. Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Linguistics, Art History, Film Studies, etc.) This selection should be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.
    • A maximum of 3 hours of FREN 795 Investigation and Conference.
    *In the event that a required course cannot be offered during the time when the student completes coursework, the student will take a substitute course in consultation with the DGS.
  2. A reading knowledge of a second Romance language, Greek, Latin, German, Arabic, or other relevant language.

  3. Comprehensive written and oral examinations.

Handbook for Graduate Students

A detailed presentation of departmental processes and regulations is included in the department’s Graduate Student Handbook.


Summer Language Institute in Paris

The department conducts a 6-week summer institute in Paris focusing on French language and culture. Students take courses in intermediate and advanced French language at L’Etoile, a private language institute in the center of Paris. Before the stay in Paris, students spend 10 days to 2 weeks touring regions such as Normandy, Brittany, and the château country along the Loire River. Some scholarship aid is available. Consult the department or the Office of Study Abroad for information.

Graduate Study Abroad

Graduate students have the opportunity to serve as program assistants for the department’s Paris Summer Language Institute. The department also has a graduate exchange agreement with the Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon, France.