Jump to content


Welcome to The GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)
Guest Message © 2014 DevFuse

Icon Notices

  • [March 2012] February (and January) Stats: Did you make it to the top ten posters? Check here


French - Fall 2011


  • Please log in to reply
102 replies to this topic

Poll: Research interests & Programs (38 member(s) have cast votes)

If you had to choose *one* time period or area of interest in French studies, which would it be?

  1. Moyen âge (3 votes [7.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.89%

  2. Seizième siècle (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Dix-septième siècle (1 votes [2.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.63%

  4. Dix-huitième siècle (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  5. Dix-neuvième siècle (7 votes [18.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.42%

  6. Vingtième siècle (9 votes [23.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.68%

  7. Littérature contemporaine (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  8. Littérature postcoloniale (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  9. Cinéma français / francophone (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  10. Théorie critique (sociale ainsi que littéraire) (8 votes [21.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.05%

  11. Aucune de ces options / Autre champ (2 votes [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

To which of the following Ph.D programs are you applying? (This is my list, but I've included an "other" option)

  1. Berkeley (9 votes [8.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.57%

  2. Columbia (16 votes [15.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.24%

  3. Cornell (7 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  4. Harvard (10 votes [9.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.52%

  5. NYU (15 votes [14.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.29%

  6. Princeton (11 votes [10.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.48%

  7. Yale (14 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  8. Other (23 votes [21.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.90%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#21 katerinaver84

katerinaver84

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco
  • Program:Comp lit/French

Posted 30 October 2010 - 11:06 PM

Bonjour a tous!

I am so glad i found this thread. I am currently exploring the idea of applying to french MA/PHD programs and have many questions! So, if anyone can help me out I would greatly appreciate it!
I am almost done with my undergraduate degree and will be applying for fall 2012...so I have a little time but just want to do my research beforehand.
First of all I wanted to ask what everyone thinks of Comparative literature versus 1 lang/lit programs. Do, students often apply to both? I am considering this particularly because even though french has always been my passion, I speak 3 other languages fluently also so the idea of studying several literatures is interesting to me as well.

My second question involves writing samples: If I don't have any writing samples longer than 5 pages by the time I apply is it better to apply to MA programs first or do you guys think its possible to get into a good PHD program by sending several.

And finally: Just out of curiosity how many of you future French PHD students here are not of french origin or have not lived in france for a significant amount of years? I am always concerned with the problems non french natives might face when looking for a job!

Thank you all again!
  • 0

#22 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:17 AM

Hey, Katerina, welcome! I really wish I had been as diligent about grad school preparation as you are at this stage. That's great!

As for French vs. Comp Lit, this is a big question a lot of students in both fields have considered. I was pretty torn asunder with this question, actually. I happen to speak a fair handful of languages and people have always told me that I'm a walking, talking, breathing comp lit major...(as opposed to... a zombie? :P lol) ...except I actually majored in French in undergrad. There's just something about French literature and theory in particular that really draws me to it. The way I made my decision about which departments to apply to was by checking out French and Comp Lit departments at various schools and seeing which ones my interests resonated most closely with. It happens that in all cases, I either preferred the French department over the Comp Lit department, or neither (and I managed to whittle down my list to just 6 schools!). I would definitely advise you to take your time and check out many different departments to get a good sense for the breadth of faculty interests and research areas out there.

In terms of the writing sample, I was lucky in that at my undergrad school, writing a senior thesis was mandatory. Oh yeah, and I also didn't apply to grad schools right away. Taking a year off has given me time to really put my interests into perspective and to take some much-needed time off after a rigorous four years of undergrad. You might consider taking a year off for similar reasons and because it would also give you time to write a longer paper and work on your applications in general. If not, you could probably write it your senior year (whether as a thesis or an independent project) and get some guidance from faculty in your department. If not, then, yes, considering MA programs first could be a fitting option. Were you wondering if you could send several 5 page papers? I don't think that's possible because schools general expect the writing sample to read as an individual and internally coherent piece but I suppose it depends on the specific program. At one of the schools on my list, UC Berkeley, the required writing sample length is between 5-8 pages. You might want to look into Berkeley. All of the other schools I'm considering ask for anywhere between 15-25 pages; some in French, others in both French and English.

I'm not French but I've gotten to near-native fluency thanks to well... majoring in French and also to both studying and working in Paris for a while. In terms of the job market... That's a story for a whole other post. The outlook is pretty bleak in general. As long as you keep studying French, you should attain a near-native fluency level, which should ease your concern about proficiency. Furthermore, a lot of the French faculty with the most prestigious titles and awards from the French government, etc. that I've either worked with in undergrad or encountered in the various programs I'm applying to are mostly non-native French speakers! So no need to worry!

AS A SIDE NOTE: IT LOOKS LIKE THERE ARE SOME NEW RESPONSES ON OUR THREAD'S POLL... ARE THERE FELLOW FRENCH LITERARY AND SOCIAL THEORY FOLKS IN OUR MIDST? Sorry for the all-caps... I just wanted to make sure this didn't get overlooked. Feel free to introduce yourselves and tell us about your research interests and where you're applying!

Bien à vous tous !

joey

  • 2
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#23 katerinaver84

katerinaver84

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco
  • Program:Comp lit/French

Posted 02 November 2010 - 03:55 PM

Merci beaucoup!
Glad to hear your response. Yes I am beginning to make decisions slowly because I know that there are a lot of schools/programs to consider. I love the french language/literature too but am interested in other literatures as well. Thanks for your advice- i will definitely look into the programs in detail.
I am only concerned about my GPA since I know that in a lot of "State schools" they just look at your last two years (undergrad), but for such PHD programs as Ivy schools etc...they probably consider your whole GPA right? My concern is that since my first two years weren't that great I might not have a great chance to get in. Even if i am dedicated now.
Out of curiosity how many of those 6 schools did you get into?
Yes i am exploring the option of writing a research paper while abroad, but I really don't want to take a year off since I already took several years off before to work (and didn't go to undergrad. straight for 4 years).
How many years did you stay in Paris?
I am here now for a year and my French is improving very rapidly:)
  • 0

#24 katerinaver84

katerinaver84

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • LocationSan Francisco
  • Program:Comp lit/French

Posted 02 November 2010 - 04:01 PM

Also wanted to ask everyone: do you guys think there are more job prospects with a Comp Lit Phd since potentially one could teach in different disciplines?
  • 0

#25 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:58 PM

Hey again! I'd like to clear one thing up. I'm actually currently applying to French Ph.D programs for the first time... So I don't know yet where I'll be accepted...

Don't worry about the GPA issue. The general consensus is that programs tend to look favorably on upward trends in grades. If it really bothers you, you could even explain your circumstances but then frame it as a strength [i.e. acknowledge that your earlier grades weren't so strong - and if there are mitigating circumstances you feel comfortable mentioning, then bring them up - but then focus on how your grades have improved, especially (hopefully) in your French courses].

I studied abroad in Paris for the spring semester of my junior year, which was around 5 months or so and stayed on to complete a summer internship at UNESCO for another nearly 3 months. Then, my senior year, I got funding from my department to go back to Paris to do thesis research over fall and winter break (which added another nearly two months). Overall I've only lived in Paris for just under a year.

My thesis adviser told me that most students in Comp Lit end up seeking jobs in single-language departments... In my case, while I'm applying to French departments, I've noticed that at some of the schools on my list I can pursue Comp Lit jointly with French, either as part of the Ph.D (as is the case at Columbia) or as a secondary field (as is the case at Harvard). If some of your other languages are Romance Languages, then some of the schools on my list I would recommend to you are: Berkeley, Harvard and Cornell. All three of these schools, in their own ways, have a Romance Languages Ph.D option where you can work on literature in two or more languages. At Harvard, for example, to participate in the secondary Comp Lit track, you have to commit to teaching a Comp Lit course, which would obviously be favorable on your applications if you plan on eventually applying to teach in Comp Lit departments.

I hope you find my comments helpful! Oh, and by the way, profite bien de ton séjour à Paris ! :)

Edited by JoeySsance, 02 November 2010 - 09:00 PM.

  • 2
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#26 Alyanumbers

Alyanumbers

    Mocha

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts
  • LocationNew York, NY
  • Application Season:Already Attending
  • Program:Comparative Middle Eastern Literature

Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:29 PM

Do you accept Comp Lit candidates/French majors who intend to focus partly on French 20th century lit and film? :)
  • 0

#27 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 24 November 2010 - 02:25 PM

Do you accept Comp Lit candidates/French majors who intend to focus partly on French 20th century lit and film? :)


Bien sûr ! Welcome ! Feel free to share your research interests. If you're considering some of the same schools as others on this thread, it's likely that you're considering similar faculty as well since there's usually a fair amount of crossover between Comp Lit and French. Which 20th century authors and filmmakers ?
  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#28 Alyanumbers

Alyanumbers

    Mocha

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts
  • LocationNew York, NY
  • Application Season:Already Attending
  • Program:Comparative Middle Eastern Literature

Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:28 PM

Bien sûr ! Welcome ! Feel free to share your research interests. If you're considering some of the same schools as others on this thread, it's likely that you're considering similar faculty as well since there's usually a fair amount of crossover between Comp Lit and French. Which 20th century authors and filmmakers ?


OuLiPo and Nouvelle Vague. I want to work on the similarities between France in the 60s and contemporary Egypt, in literature, film and socio-political movements.
  • 0

#29 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 24 November 2010 - 11:14 PM

Awesome! I'd really like to explore some film studies courses. I'm not 100% sure about Comp Lit depts. (though in general they're usually open and interdisciplinary) but from what I've seen regarding "secondary fields," you might really like the opportunities at Berkeley and Harvard! All the French programs I'm considering have Francophonists, so working on Egypt would be possible. You could probably receive advice from French faculty, too... As for OuLiPo, at least two other posters on this thread hope to specialize in their work, so you're in great company. Where are you applying?

And hey, how's everyone else doing? It's the home stretch for a lot of us!! Just a few weeks left (about a month max for some schools). I know I'll be happy once everything's in... but then of course there's the accursed waiting... :P Definitely feel free to post here with questions, to vent or even as you're waiting for time to pass... I hope everyone's doing well! Good luck!

Edit: Lol Alyanumbers, I didn't realize your list of schools was in your signature. Those are some great depts.

Edited by JoeySsance, 25 November 2010 - 12:55 AM.

  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#30 Alyanumbers

Alyanumbers

    Mocha

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 241 posts
  • LocationNew York, NY
  • Application Season:Already Attending
  • Program:Comparative Middle Eastern Literature

Posted 25 November 2010 - 08:24 AM

Awesome! I'd really like to explore some film studies courses. I'm not 100% sure about Comp Lit depts. (though in general they're usually open and interdisciplinary) but from what I've seen regarding "secondary fields," you might really like the opportunities at Berkeley and Harvard! All the French programs I'm considering have Francophonists, so working on Egypt would be possible. You could probably receive advice from French faculty, too... As for OuLiPo, at least two other posters on this thread hope to specialize in their work, so you're in great company. Where are you applying?

And hey, how's everyone else doing? It's the home stretch for a lot of us!! Just a few weeks left (about a month max for some schools). I know I'll be happy once everything's in... but then of course there's the accursed waiting... :P Definitely feel free to post here with questions, to vent or even as you're waiting for time to pass... I hope everyone's doing well! Good luck!

Edit: Lol Alyanumbers, I didn't realize your list of schools was in your signature. Those are some great depts.


Berkeley is very attractive, but the funding isn't. :/ As an international student, I need guaranteed full funding for five years, or there's no point moving across the planet and then being unable to afford continuing my PhD. Harvard doesn't seem to have anyone working specifically on modern Arabic or Egyptian lit.

My top choices are Yale and Cornell, though I know I'm reaching, there. :) They both have amazing French specialists, and flexible programs that would let me take lots of courses outside my department. They also really encourage interdisciplinarity, and have interesting programs in Art History and Film Studies that would be useful to me. Oh, and of course, they have Egyptian/modern Arabic literature specialists. Some of them even work specifically on the Egyptian novel and film! :D

I'm also considering working on Latin America. I don't know that much about the literature, though I speak Spanish and understand Portuguese, so I'd like to be somewhere where there's a strong American Studies/Hispanic and Latin American Lit department, in case I do decide to go down that path. :)

Good luck, everyone! I hope we all have a successful application season.

Edited by Alyanumbers, 25 November 2010 - 08:26 AM.

  • 1

#31 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 20 December 2010 - 11:33 PM

Hey everyone! So I'm sure most people are finishing up their applications soon and some may even be done by now. *Whew*

Just wondering how everyone's doing. Feel free to come back here if the wait is killing you. You are absolutely not alone and will have a nice community of fellow applicants with whom to relate ... /commiserate.

En tout cas, je vous souhaite plein de bonheur et de réussite...

Oh yeah, and bonnes fêtes à vous tous ! :)

-Joey
  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#32 forsberg

forsberg

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Program:French

Posted 26 December 2010 - 06:08 PM

Warm greetings to y'all :)

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas :)

I'Ve been going through the results section on this forum, and found the following stats.

6 Jan 2010 UCLA Accepted via E-mail

14 Jan 2010 Wisconsin, Madison Interview via E-mail

20 Jan 2008 UVA Accepted via E-mail

25 Jan 2010 Princeton Interview via E-mail

25 Jan 2008 Berkeley Accepted via E-mail

26 Jan 2010 UPenn Interview via E-mail

28 Jan 2010 Vanderbilt Interview via E-mail

29 Jan 2009 Duke Interview via E-mail

31 Jan 2007 Chicago Accepted via Phone

1 Feb 2010 UT Austin Accepted via E-mail

4 Feb 2010 Yale Accepted via Phone

4 Feb 2008 Northwestern Accepted via Phone

5 Feb 2009 JHU Accepted via Phone

6 Feb 2009 Pittsburgh Rejected via Postal Service

7 Feb 2006 Columbia Accepted via E-mail

7 Feb 2009 NYU Accepted via E-mail

8 Feb 2010 Stanford Rejected via Postal Service

11 Feb 2008 Cornell Rejected via Postal Service

15 Feb 2010 Brown Wait listed via Website

17 Feb 2010 Michigan, Ann Arbor Accepted via E-mail

19 Feb 2009 Rice Accepted via E-mail

5 Mar 2010 Harvard Wait listed via Postal Service

These dates are, I believe, the earliest date mentioned by people being contacted by each of the above schools :) So most likely no news for a few weeks. And then things start to roll.

  • 0

#33 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:56 AM

Hey everyone.

First of all, thank you forsberg for compiling that really useful list. J'espère que vous avez tous passé de bonnes fêtes. If anyone hears back about interviews or quoi que ce soit, post here too and let us know !

As for me, I'm in Paris right now, having a great time ! Posted Image While it feels great to put my applications behind me and though it seems like decisions are pretty far off (admittedly most schools are probably only starting the review process), some of us may hear back by around February-ish (!)

What's on everyone's mind ? Feel free to share whatever you like. I hope there will be more discussion here in the coming weeks.

Bien à vous tous.

-J
  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#34 forsberg

forsberg

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 23 posts
  • Program:French

Posted 09 January 2011 - 12:50 AM

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself Joey :D It must be hard, not to, though. You are in Paris after all. ;)

I'm not letting myself be swept away by the stress of waiting for responses just yet. Still want to enjoy the last few weeks before school starts :lol:
  • 0

#35 Elucidarius

Elucidarius

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • LocationDenver,CO
  • Program:French

Posted 10 January 2011 - 07:29 PM

I'm not letting myself be swept away by the stress of waiting for responses just yet. Still want to enjoy the last few weeks before school starts :lol:


Man I don't know how you do it. The waiting is killing me! I know it'd be easier if I were taking classes the Spring semester but I finished in December.

Now all I have to comfort me is Le Mythe de Sisyphe and other various French novels.
  • 0

#36 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 14 January 2011 - 06:53 PM

Hey everyone! A quick update from Paris. I'm having an awesome time here! Being around French folks 24/7 coupled with going to various French museums and charming bookstores are all really psyching me up for the French Ph.D, as nerdy as that may sound. Posted Image Anyway, I won't say who, but a friend of ours on this thread heard back some great news about an acceptance, already ! I don't expect to hear back until at least February, but hey, that's pretty good news, n'est-ce pas? Has anyone else heard back yet? I'll be sure to post here as soon as I do. I hope you're all doing well! Hang in there, mes amis. Posted Image

Edited by JoeySsance, 14 January 2011 - 07:05 PM.

  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures

#37 gdqsm

gdqsm

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Program:French

Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:38 PM

Twofriends:

1. University Of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

French And Francophone Studies, PhD (F11)

Accepted via E-mail on 12 Jan 2011

A

13 Jan 2011

2. University Of Pittsburgh

French, PhD (F11)

Interview via E-mail on 13 Jan 2011

A

14 Jan 2011

Hey everyone! A quick update from Paris. I'm having an awesome time here! Being around French folks 24/7 coupled with going to various French museums and charming bookstores are all really psyching me up for the French Ph.D, as nerdy as that may sound. Posted Image Anyway, I won't say who, but a friend of ours on this thread heard back some great news about an acceptance, already ! I don't expect to hear back until at least February, but hey, that's pretty good news, n'est-ce pas? Has anyone else heard back yet? I'll be sure to post here as soon as I do. I hope you're all doing well! Hang in there, mes amis. Posted Image




  • 0

#38 gdqsm

gdqsm

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Program:French

Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:38 PM

Another one

Emory University

French, PhD (F11)

Other via Phone on14 Jan 2011

Invited to attend acampus weekend in February. They pay.


  • 0

#39 Elucidarius

Elucidarius

    Decaf

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • LocationDenver,CO
  • Program:French

Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:21 PM

Why have none of these people posted in this topic? I'd like to hear from them!
  • 0

#40 JoeySsance

JoeySsance

    Double Shot

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • LocationCambridge, MA
  • Program:French

Posted 17 January 2011 - 03:05 PM

Why have none of these people posted in this topic? I'd like to hear from them!


I second this sentiment! I'll encourage the friend I mentioned earlier to post.

As for me, I managed to prolong my stay in Paris by two extra weeks!! The longer I can stay in this beautiful city, distracted from the grad school wait, the better!

For those of you who've heard back already and been accepted, come and share. I bet I'm not the only one who'd like to learn a little more about your academic interests and your overall perspective at this point in the waiting game.

Everyone else, feel free to elaborate a little bit on your interests. Is anyone looking to explore a slightly (or very) different area of French studies in grad school from what you've already studied? Is anyone hoping to continue researching an idea from an undergraduate or masters thesis as a possible area of further investigation at the doctorate level? Is anyone particularly excited? Scared? Ambivalent? Looking forward to living or moving to a particular city among your grad school choices?

The questions above are meant as suggestions for discussion. Feel free to answer any or all of them, or to throw something fresh and new into the mix. I know we have a cool community in here somewhere. Posted Image

J'espère que vous allez tous bien.

-J
  • 0
Final decision: Harvard, PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users