M.A. in French (Advancement to Candidacy)

The M.A. Program in French at SFSU requires the completion of 30 units of course work in French Literature, culture or language, and offers two different culminating experience options: Master's Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations, or a Master's Thesis and Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination.

Option I

30 units of coursework and Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations.
 

Option II

27 units of coursework and FR 898 Master’s Thesis (3 units), plus a Master’s Comprehensive Oral Examination.
 
Students must take a minimum of 15 units of graduate courses in French.
 
For the remaining courses, they have the choice of 6 units of graduate / paired courses in French, and 9 or 6 units (according to the option) of graduate /paired / undergraduate courses in French, or related subjects. For instance, students interested in the teaching profession can take two courses in related subjects from the Foreign Language Department: Curriculum and Instruction I and II, e.g. 6 units of graduate course work towards the completion of their degree.
 

Transfer of units and cross-registration:

You may transfer up to 12 units taken as an Unclassified Graduate Student at SFSU, subject to approval of the graduate adviser.
 
If you cannot find courses to meet your interests or time schedule in our program, you may take up to 3 units per semester through cross-registration at other universities, in particular U.C. Berkeley, subject to approval by the graduate adviser.
 
You may transfer up to 6 post-baccalaureate units you took at another university, subject to approval by the graduate adviser in French and the graduate division of SFSU, as long as these units were not counted towards another diploma.
 

Level I and Level II English requirement

All graduate students at SFSU must complete Level I and Level II writing English requirements. The level I requirement is met when applying to the French M.A. program, by giving to the French Program a statement of purpose in English (500 words) along side the same or a similar statement written in French.
 
The level II writing requirement needs to be met while in the graduate program. It can be met in the following ways:
 

Option I:

by submitting for evaluation to the French faculty either a 15-20 page essay written in English for a graduate class (program other that the French Program), or the English translation of a 15-20 page essay written in French for a graduate class from the French Program, unless the French instructor of that class accepts to receive an essay written in English.
 

Option II:

students writing a thesis must write a 15-page summary of their thesis in English, if they do not choose option I. This summary will be submitted for evaluation to the French faculty.
 
In order to fulfill this requirement successfully, discuss how to be best prepared for it with the graduate advisor early in the course of your graduate studies, especially if English is not your first language or if you have deficiencies in writing.
 
For more information on the M.A. Program in French requirements and option, consult the following documents:
 
 
 

THE M.A. PROGRAM IN FRENCH - COURSES DESCRIPTIONS:

Here is a sample of French M.A. courses taught in the past 3 years:
 
  • L’Amour et la Guerre au Moyen Age
  • Les Femmes du Moyen Age à la Renaissance
  • Le Corps à la Renaissance
  • Le Conte de Fées du 17e siècle
  • Le Spectacle du Moyen Age au 17e siècle
  • Le Merveilleux du Moyen Age au 17e siècle
  • Le Théâtre du 17e et 18e siècle
  • Les Philosophes (18e siècle)
  • Les Deux Sexes du Roman (18e siècle)
  • Le Roman du 19e siècle
  • Paris: Capitale du 19e siècle
  • Monstres du 19e siècle
  • Théâtre et poésie romantique
  • Art et Poésie 1860-1940
  • Le Roman du 20e siècle
  • Humour, Arts et Littérature (20e siècle)
  • La Francophonie (20e siècle)
Exhaustive on-line French MA course titles and descriptions are available in the University Bulletin.
 
For a description of the MA and upper-division courses offered during the current semester, go to the course section of this web site. You can also check the schedule at https://webapps.sfsu.edu/public/classservices/classsearch
 

INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM

Students can do part of the M.A. degree in France. They can participate in an exchange program with universities in Paris (MICEFA), coordinated by the office of International Programs on campus. The number of credits earned abroad that may be counted towards the M.A. is determined though consultation with the Graduate French Program advisor at San Francisco State University.
 
In addition to the aforementioned requirements, students are advised to do the following:

 

SEEK GRADUATE ADVISING EVERY SEMESTER

Students should plan their courses in consultation with the graduate advisor and fill out the “Advising Worksheet - MA student in French” every semester. Pay attention to the type of courses and number of units needed to graduate and cross-registration regulations if you want to take courses in universities such as U.C. Berkeley or other universities from the CSU system. Send an electronic copy to your advisor to keep him/her informed of the courses taken.

If you are conditionally admitted to the program, seek the advisor for “Advancement to Classified Graduate Standing” when you complete the courses specified as preconditions (Such course work may NOT be used to meet degree requirement).

Begin studying early the document containing the “Reading List” of the French MA Program and the description of the culminating experience requirements (option I or option II). It is a good idea to begin preparing your reading list for the oral exam early on. It is also a good idea to start reflecting on your preferences concerning the culminating experience requirements. Check also the document: “Guidelines Thesis – French”.

FULFILL THE SECOND LEVEL ENGLISH PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT

All graduate students must complete Level I and Level II writing English requirements. The level I requirement is met when applying to the graduate program, by giving to the French Program a statement of purpose in English (500 words) along side the same statement written in French.

The level II writing requirement needs to be met while in the graduate program. It can be met in the following ways:

Choice I: by submitting for evaluation to the French faculty either a 15-20 page essay written in English for a graduate class (program other than the French Program), or the English translation of a 15-20 page essay written in French for a graduate class from the French Program, unless the French instructor of that class accepts to receive an essay written in English.

Choice II: all students writing a thesis must write a 500/700 word or 2-3 page summary of their thesis in English. An extended version of this summary in English (15 pages) or a 15 page translation of part of the thesis can be submitted for evaluation to the French faculty. In order to fulfill this requirement successfully, discuss how to be best prepared for it with the graduate advisor early in the course of your graduate studies, especially if English is not your first language or if you have deficiencies in writing.

A SEMESTER BEFORE THE SEMESTER YOU EXPECT TO GRADUATE

You will need to fill out and turn in two forms at the beginning of that semester, typically before the third week of instruction:

  1. The "ATC" (Advancement to Candidacy), and
  2. The “Culminating Experience”

Check the deadlines on the website.

You will thus have to choose your option for the culminating experience (option I or II) by that date. At the same time, decide also how to fulfill the second level English requirement (15-20 page essay written in English or 15 page summary of the thesis written in English).

Make an appointment with the graduate advisor to discuss your ATC - it is a good idea to make a first draft of it, and discuss your choice for the « culminating Experience » requirement: you can either take a written and oral Comprehensive examination (Option I), or an oral Comprehensive examination and write a thesis (Option II). In the second case, you need to choose a topic and a title for the thesis, you also need to choose a thesis committee.

When you are ready, fill out the “ATC” form online Option I or Option II. You will find all necessary forms on this site: http://grad.sfsu.edu/content/current-students/current-student-forms. Print it out and have it approved and signed by the graduate advisor. The ATC should show at least 6 units yet to be completed for the degree. If you are making any substitutions for the program requirements stated in the Bulletin, file a petition for ATC substitution along with the ATC.

Fill out also the form “Proposal for culminating Experience” online: either « Comprehensive examination » (Option I) or « 898 Thesis without animal human subject » (Option II). On this form, you will write a paragraph summary of your project, give the title of the thesis and list the members of your committee. Any change made later in the title chosen or the composition of the committee will require to fill a new form indicating these changes. As a general rule, any change in the content of a form submitted to Graduates Studies will require submission of a new form. Print it out and have it approved and signed by the Graduate adviser and the members of your committee. 3 Both forms will be signed by the Chair of the Modern Languages Department and sent together to Graduate Studies by the Foreign Languages Department.

If you choose the thesis, read carefully the document prepared by the French Program: “Guidelines Thesis – French”. Check the format of the thesis and the administrative requirements at: http://grad.sfsu.edu/content/current-students/thesis-dissertation-page. You will have to present your thesis prospectus to your committee for discussion some time during that semester (one hour). You will also have to take your oral exam at the end of that semester (one hour).

THE SEMESTER YOU EXPECT TO GRADUATE

Fill out online the form “Application for Award of Degree” typically before the third week of instruction of the term you expect to graduate. Check the deadline.

Complete the Culminating Experience Requirements chosen to obtain your French MA (OPTION I or OPTION II).

If you chose OPTION I (written and oral exams), you will need to select a date with the graduate advisor towards the end of the semester for taking the written exam (4 hours). The oral exam (1 hour) is typically set two weeks after the written exam. During that semester, meet with the graduate adviser to discuss how to be best prepared for the written and oral exams.

If you chose OPTION II (thesis), you should enroll in FR 898 and write your thesis during that semester. Be careful about the calendar you set for yourself in order to submit the final approved copy of your thesis in time to Graduate Studies (check the deadline).

When your Culminating Experience Requirements are completed, obtain the Graduate Advisor’s signature on the form “Report of Completion of Specified Graduate Program Requirements” (not available on line) and file it with the Modern Language Department Office (which submits the report to Graduate Studies).