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The Doctorate in Modern Foreign Languages

Students are expected through the Ph.D. program to acquire a broad factual and theoretical background in French studies, advanced oral and written proficiency in French, and a thorough grasp of research and teaching methodologies. The student will select one concentration that will become the field of specialization. 

Upon completion of the Ph.D. degree program, the graduate will be prepared to teach and to conduct research in French and in literary studies at the college or university level. He or she will also be prepared to teach the elementary and intermediate levels in a second foreign language or, if trained in applied linguistics, to supervise French language programs at the college or university level. To achieve these goals, doctoral students should seek to develop a solid base in French language, literature and culture, if not already possessing such a base when entering the program. 

Program Structure:

The French Ph.D. in Modern Foreign Languages has two tracks. Students must complete at least 63 hours of course work beyond the bachelorís degree. 

Students in Track I complete 39 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree in their first concentration, and distributed as follows : 

--a maximum of 6 hours of 400-level classes may be counted ; 
--a minimum of 21 hours of 500-level classes, of which 512*, 516, 584 ; 
--a minimum of 12 hours of 600-level seminars. 
Students in Track II complete 45 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree in their first concentration, and distributed as follows:
--a maximum of 6 hours of 400-level classes may be counted;
--a minimum of 27 hours of 500-level classes, of which 512*, 516, 584; 
--a minimum of 12 hours of 600-level seminars. 
These hours do not include those for the dissertation (French 600), for which students register only after successfully completing the Comprehensive Examination. While students may register for as many dissertation credit hours as the need, only 24 of those hours may count towards the degree. Again, eligibility to register for
dissertation hour credit is open only to students who have successfully completed their Comprehensive Examination. 

Doctoral students in MFL take a second concentration in either Applied Linguistics or another foreign language. Foreign languages that may be taken for a second concentration by Track I students include German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. Students in Track II may choose any of the Track I language options, or Portuguese. Portuguese is not available as a second concentration for Track I students. Track I students are required to take a minimum of 18 hours beyond the bachelor's degree in the second concentration, while Track II students take a minimum of 12 hours. The option to take 12 hours (or Track II) in the second concentration is available to students who would like to place stronger emphasis on the first language. 

When choosing a 12 or 18-hour second concentration, keep in mind that certain institutions of higher learning, including UT, will not allow a person to teach a subject unless at least 18 hours of graduate work have been taken in that subject.

The cognate includes six hours in graduate courses numbered 400 and above in a field outside the department or language family of the first concentration but related to the student's principal area of research.  Students choosing applied linguistics as a second concentration are strongly urged to take their cognate work in a second language. With the consent of the student's graduate committee, the 6 hours in the cognate field may be substituted by 6 hours in either the first or second concentration.

The Written Examination:

The examination is written in French. It is developed by the graduate coordinator with input from exam committee members, and proctored by the graduate coordinator. In preparing for the examination, you are expected to choose three areas of study on which to be examined: Linguistics or Applied Linguistics; Film; Theater; Medieval literature and culture; sixteenth and/or seventeenth century literature and culture; eighteenth and/or nineteenth century literature and culture; twentieth-century/contemporary French and Francophone literature and culture. In addition to the study of the Reading Lists, you will be responsible for the theory discussed in the Literary Criticism course (French 584 or its equivalent, such as German 560).

The written exam is organized in two different sessions of five hours each, for a total of ten hours. Three essay questions, to be answered as follows:

First Session: One question on your preferred area of specialization, to be answered in five hours, (i.e. one hour for thinking through and organizing your points, and four hours for writing your answer). Use of appropriate reference material and dictionaries is permitted during the exam. 

Second Session: Two 2 and one-half hour questions on the other two areas you have chosen.

The Oral Examination:

The oral examination will be given ideally within two weeks following the second session of the written examination. It will last TWO hours. Although it will be based on the written examination, it will cover all materials from the Reading Lists of all three areas, plus critical theory. Approximately thirty minutes will be devoted to each of the areas, with the faculty person(s) in each area asking the questions dealing with that specialty. The exam will be conducted in French.

Successful completion of the exam will be determined by the unanimous vote of the three committee members. If a committee member determines that the candidate has not passed his/her area of specialty, the candidate may retake that area once. If the candidate fails the retake, he/she then has the option to replace the area with another area specialty and take the written and oral exams for that area. If the candidate fails the substitute area, he/she is ineligible to pursue the doctoral degree.