Skip to Navigation
    Louisiana State University
  Oct 16, 2017
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

French Studies, Ph.D.

Return to The Graduate School Return to: The Graduate School




The PhD goal is to write an original contribution to existing scholarship on any given topic in French or Francophone literature. At this stage the students should be oriented towards both breadth and specialization.

PhD Students will be required to complete 27 hours of regular course work (beyond the MA) at the 7000 level. At the discretion of the director of graduate studies, students entering the PhD program who hold an MA from another program may be required to take the MA exam.

  1. PhD distribution requirements: Students must take one 7000-level course from each of five core areas listed above (see section I.A, “MA distribution requirements ”). Except under extraordinary circumstances, the Proseminar is to be taken during the student’s first semester in the PhD program. Courses in the five core areas that were taken at the 7000 level for fulfillment of the MA degree in our program will count toward the fulfillment of PhD distribution requirements but will not count toward fulfillment of the 27 hours of PhD course work.
    Breadth of coverage is a requirement. The departmental-level academic course plan, designed by the student with his or her major professor, must be submitted to the director of graduate studies before being submitted to The Graduate School, so that breadth of coverage is assured.
  2. PhD General Exam
    The PhD General exam will include:
    1. Dissertation Proposal: 30 pages (7500 words) with a bibliography, a chapter outline, and a projected timeline for completion.
    2. One written exam essay (15 pages; 3,750 words or more) on a general problem related to the dissertation proposal or a general theoretical or methodological problem arising from the dissertation topic. The formulation of the exam question will be determined by the student’s major professor in consultation with the student’s examining committee. The student will be given one week to write the exam essay.
    3. Oral defense of the written exam essay and the dissertation proposal, preceded by the candidate’s short presentation of the dissertation project.
      Copies of the dissertation proposal and completed written exam essay should be distributed to all examining committee members at least two weeks prior to the scheduled General exam date.
  3. PhD Final exam (Dissertation Defense)
    There will be an oral defense of the completed dissertation. The defense will commence with a brief presentation in which the candidate summarizes his or her achievement and its significance within the candidate’s field of study. The dissertation should make an original contribution to scholarship in the field.
    The committee should be in possession of a finished copy of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense date.

MINOR FIELD: If they wish, students may elect, in consultation with the DGS, a minor field. The minor may be defined within a specific department or discipline other than French, such as Spanish, history, art, English, or drama, or it may be an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary field such as women’s studies or literary theory. The department(s) or interdisciplinary program will define the requirements of the minor field. If there is a minor, the student’s examining committee for the PhD must include a faculty member from the minor field, and the advisory committee should include a member from the minor field as well. The student must take at least one 7000-level course in the minor.

LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT: Students working toward the PhD must, prior to the general exams, demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language other than French. Proficiency may be established by satisfactory performance on the ETS (Princeton) reading exam, by completion of appropriate course work in the language(s), or by satisfactory performance on a departmental reading exam.

DOCTORAL COMMITTEES: Doctoral committees must include at least two full members of the French Studies Graduate Faculty. The Dean of The Graduate School will appoint an outside member to serve on all general and final exam committees for the PhD The outside members represent the Dean and The Graduate Faculty and are full voting members of the committee, with all rights and responsibilities of other committee members. In the French department, committee chairs are responsible for providing copies of written exams and dissertations at least two weeks in advance of examinations to all committee members, including outside members.

REQUIREMENTS TO MAINTAIN CANDIDATE STATUS: The candidate must enroll in FREN 9000  Dissertation Research (1-12 per sem.) during each semester of enrollment as a degree candidate after completion of the general exam.

TIME LIMITS: The Graduate School limits the period for completion of the PhD to seven (7) years after classification as a doctoral student. Reconsideration of a student for the PhD program after this period has passed will be considered only in exceptional circumstances and must be initiated by written petition to the graduate faculty of the Department of French Studies who will evaluate the petitioner’s record and make a decision regarding exceptions to the 7 year time limit.

Language & Society PhD track

Required Courses

In addition to the Proseminar, PhD students in LS must take all three of the following courses, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses.

Research Courses:

PhD students in LS must take three research courses (nine credits) from the following list, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses. The intent of this research section is to determine a student’s skill level in applying research methodologies to his/ her area of concentration.

Optional Courses:

PhD students in LS must take eight optional courses (24 credits) from the two areas of concentration below, or receive transfer credit for analogous courses. FREN 7915 , FREN 7962 , FREN 7980 , and FREN 4100  can only be taken once.

General Examination:

for PhD students in the LS track, the format of the exams is up to the doctoral exam committee, and tends to vary somewhat with the field of study. The exams might test broad knowledge of a subject. In this case, the committee will submit a written question (or questions) to the student who will answer the question(s) in a time period judged appropriate by the committee (sit-in or take-home questions). The examination might focus more narrowly on material relevant to the student’s upcoming dissertation proposal (see next section). The exams must be completed by the end of the fifth semester of enrollment in the PhD program. Normally, this would be the end of the fall semester of the third year. At that time, a full advisory committee is established.

The student, in consultation with her/his permanent major professor (advisor), expands the doctoral committee to include: four members of the LSU Graduate Faculty.

Of these four members of the doctoral committee, two must be from the Department of French Studies and two must be full members of the LSU Graduate Faculty (with one of these last two must be a full member of the Department of French Studies).

A scheduled exam cannot be deferred for more than one semester after the time at which it was originally scheduled.

Evaluation procedures for general examinations in all tracks: An examining committee is made up of the student advisor, plus three other faculty members appointed by the department chair in consultation with student and DGS, and is normally finalized by May 1 of the year preceding the examination. (The Graduate School provides a GS representative for the general examination.) Students are urged to consult with committee members before May 15 to form a plan of study for the summer preceding the examinations. The committee recommends whether or not the student should continue with PhD study (that is, should be advanced to “candidacy”), should be put on probation, or should be dismissed from the program.

Copies of the examination and the committee report are made available to the graduate studies committee, which meets within two weeks of filing of last committee report for the semester (by Dec 15 at the latest).

If the examination committee recommends dismissal from the program, the graduate studies committee must ratify this decision.

If the recommendation is “fail with retake,” only one retake of no more than two separate examinations is allowed (no more than one area in the major field is allowed to be retaken). Retakes must be finished by March 15 of the following semester. The examining committee writes a report on the retake and includes it in a separate report on the whole of the examination. The reports are due to the chair within two weeks of the end of the exam (April 1), and a special meeting of the graduate studies committee will also be held to ratify the committee’s recommendation on the retake and on the entire examination. The graduate studies committee may at this time allow the student to continue with PhD study or may recommend dismissal.

Language & Society Dissertation Prospectus

At or before the end of the sixth semester of enrollment in the PhD program, the student must submit a substantial (approximately 30 page) proposal of the dissertation. The dissertation proposal should be sufficiently detailed and clear to serve as a blueprint for the study that will follow. The proposal should contain the following elements, although some major professors may require different emphases:

Purpose and significance of the study
Formulation of the problems to be addressed
Framework within which the problems will be addressed
Compact review of the relevant literature
Methodology and Data
Data collection procedures
Data analysis procedures
Preliminary or prospective results if available
Reference section or bibliography

This proposal must be supervised and approved by the major advisor of the dissertation, and approved by members of the student’s dissertation committee. As stated above, the proposal may be used in the general examination.

Return to The Graduate School Return to: The Graduate School