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Overview of the graduate program in French

The strengths of the graduate program in French lie in the faculty’s disciplinary diversity. In addition to the major historical periods of French cultural and intellectual history (medieval, early modern, Enlightenment, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries), the faculty covers an impressive geographic breadth: Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Canadian, North African and Sub-Saharan Francophone cultures and literatures, as well as those of the French hexagon, are among our notable areas of research.

Interdisciplinary approaches that incorporate feminism, marxism, post-colonial, film and immigration studies, comparative literature, linguistics and digital humanities are a hallmark of our program. The Center for Second Language Studies and the W.T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies are two closely affiliated research centers that round out the resources for our graduate students. Our program also has close interdisciplinary ties to The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Jewish Studies, African American and Diaspora Studies, and the center for Medicine, Health, and Society.

All accepted students receive 100% funding for five years of study, including tuition, health cared and a stipend for living expenses. Graduate students also have an opportunity to spend a year in Paris or Aix-en-Provence. All students who have earned a B.A. or equivalent should apply to the Ph.D. program in French.

The M.A. degree is earned as a stage in the doctoral program.

The Ph.D. program in French at Vanderbilt is a #1 ranked program for French & Francophone Studies in the United States. (NRC Rankings)

See what our graduates are doing.


2013 graduates (L-R): Roxane Pajoul, Eva Dessein, Robert Watson, Virginia Scott, Laura Nelson, Patricia Ward, Olivia Grenvicz Jones