Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies

Thank you for your interest in the UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies graduate program in French and Francophone Studies. Applications are accepted for Fall quarter only and the deadline is December 15.  Admitted students are not permitted to defer their offers of admission. 

We invite you to browse our website and learn more about the range of activities and wealth of accomplishments that characterize our extraordinary students and faculty in the graduate program. 


Graduate Degrees Offered 

Although the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies graduate program in French and Francophone Studies offers both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, we admit only those students who plan to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. We do not offer a separate master’s program. The program requires full-time attendance, and classes are held during the day.  

All applicants should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.  

Application Components

  • A statement of purpose – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. There is no minimum or maximum length, although the suggested length is 500 words. Be sure to include the reasons why you wish to pursue graduate studies, your goals, your academic interests, your preparation in the field you propose to study and anything else you think will offer an accurate picture of yourself for the Committee. Family background and personal information may be included if you think it is relevant but should not take the place of the discussion of your academic and professional goals. Care should be taken with the statement of purpose and the writing sample (below), as the quality of thought and argument these exhibit, as well as their style, weigh significantly in admissions decisions. 
  • A personal statement – Uploaded directly into the online application system, where you will find detailed prompts. The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may aid the selection committee in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study at UCLA. It will also be used to consider candidates for the Cota-Robles fellowship. The suggested length is 500 words. 
  • A writing sample – Uploaded directly into the online application system. The sample should be no more than 10 pages, in English or FrenchPlease do not submit your entire thesis. Please do not submit more than one paper. Extra papers are not considered during the faculty’s review. The writing sample must be an academic paper (or portion of an academic paper), preferably a paper written for a course, and should demonstrate the applicant’s interest, competence, and experience in the chosen field of specialization. A writing sample has become increasingly important in the evaluation process and you should choose something you are proud of and consider representative of what you can do. 
  • Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from scholars who can address the applicant’s intellectual qualifications. Recommenders will receive an email request with instructions for submitting their letters. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online by the December 15th application deadline. No more than three letters will be considered. 
  • Transcripts – Unofficial transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be uploaded into the online application system. (To read more about the parameters that define an acceptable unofficial transcript for the purposes of application review, click here). Admitted students will be required to provide official, sealed transcripts directly to the department (see address below) at a later date.  
  • NOTE: Transcripts from community colleges and short-term study abroad programs are not necessary, as the coursework will be reflected on your undergraduate transcript. 
  • GRE general test scores – In order for your application to be complete, the Department must receive score reports for the GRE general test taken within the last five years. Applicants must request score reports using department code 2603 (French) and institution code 4837 (UCLA).  If you do not provide ETS with both a department code and institution code, your application may not be processed. There is no minimum acceptable score for the GRE. Applicants submitting their GRE score should plan to take the GRE no later than October or November. Applicants who live outside of the United States can  find test center and date information on the ETS website.  Scores are valid for five years following your test date. 

Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from a university located in the United States or in another country in which English is both the primary spoken language of daily life and the medium of instruction are REQUIRED to submit valid Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to verify their English language proficiency. 

You are encouraged to earn a minimum TOEFL score of 87 on the Internet-based test (iBT) or 560 on the paper and pencil test. Applicants who elect to take the IELTS must earn an overall band score of at least 7.0 to qualify for admission. 

The GRE institution code is 4837; the Department/Major Field code is 2603/TOEFL iBT code is 16. 

All admitted applicants are automatically considered for recruitment fellowships and teaching assistantships. These awards are usually made in mid-March. Questions about need-based aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at (310) 206-0400. 

Please visit the UCLA Graduate Division website at for information regarding funding, application procedures, and general graduate information. 

The mailing address for transcripts:
Graduate Admission 
UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies/French and Francophone Studies 
212 Royce Hall 
Box 951539 
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1539 

If your institution supports electronic transmission of transcripts, these should be sent directly to   

If you should have further questions about the admissions process or the status of your application, please contact Kerry Allen, Student Affairs Officer, either by e-mail or telephone, (310) 825-1147. More academic issues may be addressed to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies. 

For the most complete and up-to-date information on application procedures, as well as program requirements for the M.A. and Ph.D., please consult the Graduate Division website,  

Deadline for all applications: December 15. 

For additional information and/or assistance, please do not hesitate to email our Student Affairs Officer, Kerry Allen.

Program Requirement

The following general overview of the Ph.D. program is intended to introduce and summarize the program’s structures and degree requirements. Students consult regularly with the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies.

First and Second Year Requirements

  • Students should take at least 13 graduate courses overall during the first and second years. First year: students should be enrolled in a total of nine (9) courses: three (3) courses per quarter of which at least two (2) must be from departmental offerings. Second year: students should be enrolled in a total of four (4) courses of which at least three (3) must be from departmental offerings: one (1) course in the Fall in addition to the Teaching Apprentice Practicum, two (2) in the Winter, and one (1) in the Spring.
  • Two satisfactory progress reviews are required for continuation in the Ph.D. program, completed at the end of the third and sixth quarters.
  • Timely progress toward fulfilling the language/interdisciplinary requirement.

N.B. The Teaching Apprentice Practicum, language courses, or the 597 Second Year Review Preparation course do not count towards the above requirements.

Third Year Requirements

  • Students should take at least three (3) additional graduate courses.
  • Complete the language/interdisciplinary requirement.
  • Complete the Doctoral Qualifying Written examinations.

Fourth Year Requirements (C. Phil.)

  • Complete the Oral Qualifying examination (prospectus defense)

Fifth and Sixth Year Requirements (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. degree is awarded upon the successful completion and filing of the doctoral dissertation. This is expected during the fifth or sixth year of study. Requirements for the Ph.D. degree also include one year or more of teaching experience and completion of the Teaching Apprentice Practicum.

Language / Interdisciplinary Requirement

Interdisciplinary is integral to a contemporary conception of scholarship and criticism. Doctoral candidates are expected to acquire proficiency in two additional disciplines pertinent to their dissertation research. Fulfillment of the additional proficiency will be discussed beforehand with the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies.

  1. The first discipline is a foreign language other than French in which the student achieves a high degree of proficiency, as demonstrated by obtaining a B or better grade in at least two upper division or graduate courses in another language department, reading texts in the original language. These two courses must be taken for a letter grade.
  2. The second discipline requirement may be satisfied in either of two ways:

a) By taking three courses in another department in an intellectual discipline pertinent to the dissertation project, of which at least two must be graduate courses and one may be an upper-division undergraduate course. These two courses do not necessarily have to be taken within one department or program.

b) By a second foreign language, in which the candidate demonstrates reading proficiency by taking reading or placement exams where these are available, by passing language courses (level 3), or graduate reading courses offered by some departments (level 2G). Students fulfilling the second discipline requirement by studying a language are still required to take two graduate courses outside the department.

Students must complete the language/interdisciplinary requirements before nominating a doctoral committee and taking the oral qualifying examination.

Review Requirements

The Review procedures for granting continuation in the Ph.D. program are as follows:

The Third Quarter/First Year Review
Students are evaluated by the faculty before the end of the third quarter. The Vice Chair of Graduate Studies will also solicit input from faculty in other departments with whom our students have taken courses. This first review evaluates academic performance and other evidence of professional promise, and it is meant to be advisory in nature. After being provided with a departmental evaluation letter, the student has the opportunity to meet with the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies to discuss the content of the letter.

The Sixth Quarter/Second Year Review
The second review is conducted during the student’s sixth quarter of study by a departmental review committee. This committee is appointed each year by the Chair and consists of three to four departmental faculty members, including the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies ex officio, and endeavors to reflect as broadly as possible the department’s faculty expertize. The review is based on two components:

  1. An expanded term paper. The student must select this paper by the beginning of the fifth quarter (winter of the second year) and write an expanded version in consultation with a departmental faculty member of her/his choice. The student should enroll for this purpose in 2 two-unit individual preparation courses (FR597)—one in Winter quarter, one in Spring. The paper must be 20-25 pages in length, written in French, include additional research, and be approved for submission by the consulting faculty member. This must be submitted to the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies by week 8 of Spring quarter.
  2. The oral review is conducted by the departmental review committee and takes place at the end of Spring Quarter of the second year. This one-hour review is designed to gauge the student’s general literary knowledge and is based on a reading list of works from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period selected by the faculty. The intellectual orientation of the oral review is guided by two problematics/thematics/questions developed by the student in consultation with the faculty. Detailed information and calendar of deadlines are available on the Vice Chair for Graduate Studies CCLE site. Please contact Professor Lia Brozgal for questions.

During a departmental meeting scheduled within two weeks of the oral review, the departmental review committee is given the opportunity to discuss the performance of individual students with the faculty as a whole. This is also the occasion on which the faculty share their views on each student’s overall progress in the program and preparedness for further advanced study. Following deliberation, the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies meets with students individually and presents them with an oral evaluation of their progress, and subsequently with an official departmental review letter. Students who have obtained a satisfactory review will be invited to continue in the Ph.D. program in French and Francophone Studies.

Students who elect not to continue with advanced doctoral research at this juncture are responsible for contacting the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies and SAO in order to petition for the M.A. degree. This should be done as early as possible after completion of the oral review. Eligibility for the M.A. degree is contingent on having satisfactorily completed the sixth quarter review, a minimum of thirteen (13) graduate courses with a grade of B or above, and the first foreign language requirement.

Doctoral Qualifying Examinations

The doctoral qualifying examinations consist of two parts: 1) two written examinations normally taken in the 11th quarter of the fourth year of study, and 2) an oral examination in the quarter following the written examinations. The oral examination is based on the dissertation prospectus, which must be submitted prior to the examination itself. The oral examination can only be taken after completion of course and language requirements.

The Written Qualifying Examination
This examination is based on two reading lists of approximately 15 works each, established in consultation with two different faculty members. The first list covers primary materials related to the proposed dissertation topic. The second list covers critical theory relevant to the proposed dissertation. These two four-hour examinations are to be taken within one week of each other. See CCLE site for detailed information. Please contact Professor Lia Brozgal for access.

The Oral Qualifying Examination
The department requires that, prior to taking the oral qualifying examination, the student submit to each member of the doctoral examination committee, including the “outside” member(s), a dissertation prospectus. The prospectus is a descriptive text of approximately 20-30 pages outlining the nature, scope, and significance of the proposed dissertation topic, as well as a bibliography. For the preparation of the dissertation prospectus, the student works in close consultation with the guidance committee chair. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the prospectus be submitted to the committee in good time for administering the examination.

The oral qualifying examination, taken during the quarter following the written examinations, takes two hours and includes a review and discussion of the dissertation prospectus.

After successfully passing the doctoral qualifying examinations the student is said to have been “advanced to candidacy” (C. Phil.) for the Ph.D. degree in French and Francophone Studies and begins work on the dissertation.

The student writes the dissertation under the personal supervision of the dissertation director and the guidance of at least two other members of the committee that administered the oral qualifying examination, one of whom must be from outside the department. No defense is required unless specifically requested by the doctoral committee. The Ph.D. is awarded on approval of the dissertation by all committee members and its filing with Graduate Division. Students ready to file for the Ph.D. degree should pay close attention to the guidelines, procedures, and deadlines for submission of the dissertation to the proper university office and consult the Graduate Division for detailed information. The dissertation is expected to be written in one to two years and the department strongly encourages careful planning and timely completion of the dissertation. Students who go over the maximum allowed time to degree (21 quarters for the Ph.D.) may be dropped from the program.

Teaching Assistantships

Most graduate students receive teaching assistantships in UCLA’s French Language program. The following section provides some relevant information concerning the pedagogical development of TAs and their teaching activities. For more details, consult The Teaching Assistantship in French at UCLA.

Teaching assistantships provide direct experience in teaching at the undergraduate level. The department is strongly committed to its distinguished tradition of providing its graduate students with professional training in language teaching. TAs are closely supervised in all aspects of their teaching responsibilities.

New TAs participate in a week-long orientation held before the beginning of Fall classes, including an all-day campus-wide workshop for foreign language TAs sponsored by the Office of Instructional Development. In addition, they are required to enroll in French 495 (Teaching French at College Level), in which they learn the theory and practice of Communicative language teaching, including the use of technology in the classroom. An integral component of FR-495 is daily attendance of a pilot or demonstration class which helps new TAs plan their next day’s lesson. A TA consultant (TAC), an experienced French TA, assists with FR-495 and helps new TAs with exam preparation, grading, videotaping of their courses, the use of technology, and adjustment to the dual role of scholar-teacher. The TAC conducts the initial visitation of each TA’s class and provides constructive feedback. TAs should not hesitate to meet with the TAC whenever they have questions related to teaching, grading, discipline or balancing teaching with their own course demands. In addition, the French Graduate Students’ Association has established a mentorship system which links new and experienced TAs and graduate students. New TAs are normally assigned to teach beginning French courses.

Continuing TA development is provided through concurrent enrollment in French 375, which includes a pilot class available for all TAs teaching a new course, class visitations by faculty, course-specific meetings, and lectures related to the discipline of second language acquisition and teaching methodology sponsored by UCLA Foreign Language Committee. TAs’ linguistic and pedagogical progress is evaluated each quarter and they are encouraged to teach at progressively higher levels of the lower division French program.

The normal teaching load per quarter consists of one section of a multiple-section course, which entails five class preparations and meetings per week. Syllabi, tests, videotaping, and staff meetings are organized by the lead course instructor, a French lecturer. A number of Teaching Assistantships are also available each year for undergraduate literature or civilization classes, and advanced TAs who are selected to teach them are given the opportunity to work closely with the faculty member in charge of the class, from whom they receive training and supervision. Students advanced to candidacy can propose to teach a course based on their doctoral research through the Collegium of University Teaching Fellows.