French and Francophone Studies

Why pursue an M.A in French and Francophone Studies at Notre Dame?

Visiting French Author Fabienne Kanor With Students
French author Fabienne Kanor visited Notre Dame to speak to French students

Historic ties to France, Global Expertise

Founded in 1842 by a French missionary of the order “Congrégation de Sainte Croix,” based in Le Mans, France, the University of Notre Dame has a firm and deep commitment to the study of French at the graduate level. The Graduate Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of culture in France and in the Francophone world. You can take a wide range of courses covering the entire spectrum of literary history, combined with allied courses in cultural studies, comparative literature, film, literary theory, history, and philosophy.

Close Collaboration with Faculty 

Notre Dame is especially suited for you if you seek close collaboration with faculty and the opportunity to develop innovative research projects. Our faculty in the Program of French and Francophone Studies represent the array of disciplines from the medieval through the contemporary periods and include specialists in North African, sub-Saharan, and Caribbean Francophone literatures. We have strong areas of expertise in the following areas: cinema and media studies; the intersections of literature, philosophy, and religion; music particularly opera; gender studies, and migration. Learn about some impactful international and interdisciplinary projects such as:

Interdisciplinarity

The Graduate Program in French and Francophone Studies maintains active research and programmatic ties with various institutes and academic departments at Notre Dame. Our faculty hold joint or concurrent appointments with Film, Theater, and Television Studies and Gender Studies, as well as serve as Faculty Fellows in the Medieval Institute, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Our teaching reflects our commitment to interdisciplinary and innovative approaches. As part of your curriculum, you will have the opportunity to explore and collaborate with the Special Collections and Rare Books at the Hesburgh Library, the University Archives, the Snite Museum, and attend programming at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. We also regularly schedule class visits by artists and scholars, and organize lecture series, and international conferences. Read more about it here, here, here, and here

International Focus

We offer a graduate exchange program with the Université de Rennes 2—Haute Bretagne, in the historic capital of Brittany, and we welcome, on a yearly basis, a French student on the Notre Dame campus. The Université de Rennes 2 is the most important research center and higher education community for humanities and social sciences in Western France, and enrolls 20,000 students on three campuses. It is the site of a dynamic intellectual community and a lively cultural scene. Our exchange involves the college of Arts, Lettres et Communications on the Villejean campus. As a Notre Dame student, you will be in residence at Rennes 2 for the academic year and take coursework in Lettres (Modernes et Classiques, méthodologie) and Langue, and teach English language and American culture courses to French students.

For more information about the exchange program, please contact:

Alison Rice, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at arice1@nd.edu.

Teacher Training

Under the guidance of the French language coordinator, you will receive hands-on pedagogical training. You will learn to teach French-language courses through a rigorous teaching practicum course and individual mentoring. Recent graduates were awarded the Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award from the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning.

Apply

If you wish to apply to the M.A. program, you must do so online through the Graduate School. Fall admissions deadline is January 15. The M.A. program in French and Francophone Studies is a two-year program.

Questions?

If you have general questions about the department or the application process, please contact: 

Linda Rule, Senior Administrative Assistant and Graduate Studies Assistant, at linda.rule@nd.edu

If you have specific questions about the application process or Program in French, please contact:

Alain Toumayan, Professor of French at atoumaya@nd.edu

What can you do with an M.A. in French and Francophone Studies?

Our graduate alumni go on to have a variety of exciting careers; some immediately enter the workforce while others choose to pursue doctoral studies at highly-ranked institutions. The College of Arts and Letters recently caught up with one of our graduates who works at Sotheby’s auction house; read about it here.

Watch Krysta Dennis '07, '08 reflect on the impact of her Notre Dame experience:

Faculty