French PhD Programs (Fall 2012)


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Posted

So, where is everybody applying?

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Posted

I'm just finishing my application for UPenn's French Studies program--I'm also planning on applying to NYU, PSU, and Rutgers.

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Posted

PSU, UVA, UConn and BC. I am only applying to MA programs because I don't think that I would get in to PhD programs.

BTW, what do you all think of NRC ratings re: French grad programs? Do you think that they accurately measure (general) program strength?

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Posted

Yale, Columbia, UPenn, NYU, PSU, UMichigan, UWisconsin, Emory, UC Berkeley

Just have the PSU application left to submit. Any idea what they're looking for in the audio recording?

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Posted

I recently took a look at the newest (2010) NRC Rankings and was baffled by some of the rankings. Just by the "R" rankings, there's a four-way tie for 1st place: Duke, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Then the order is: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Indiana Univ. Bloomington, UChicago, Stanford, Harvard.

Surprisingly, NYU and Berkeley don't even make the top ten!

So many of these rankings are subjective and incorporate external variables such as "Percent of Faculty with Grants" or "Average GRE scores" that do not directly correlate to the rigor and quality of the department's pedagogy. Another thing to consider is that each French Literature graduate program has a unique, different "flavor": some departments are more "traditional" whereas others are more welcoming to theoretical ideas (psychoanalysis and literature, etc.). Cornell (12th place on the NRC's R Ranking) is a great example of this inter-departmental flexibility. Additionally, some departments are "stronger" in some fields (for example, Medievalists would strongly consider Princeton or Yale over Duke).

The best gauge is to assess the department in regards to your interests (i.e., Do they offer a strong Francophone program? Do they provide research funding? How many Renaissance specialists are there?, etc.). Then, look and see the Post-Grad job placement rates of that particular school.

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Posted

Yale, Columbia, UPenn, NYU, PSU, UMichigan, UWisconsin, Emory, UC Berkeley

Just have the PSU application left to submit. Any idea what they're looking for in the audio recording?

Unlike a lot of other schools, they actually don't seem to want a reading from a text (I looked at a lot of other schools' apps and most require a textual reading). So, I think that PSU is really looking for ease of expression and fluency as well as accuracy--essentially, an indication that you will be able to participate in class (rather than sit there like a bump-on-a-log because you don't know how to say in French what you want to say) as well as evidence of your future potential as an instructor (no matter how good your writing sample, no one wants an applicant who cannot speak the lang, especially if you are applying for a TAship).

They clearly state not to talk about things that you've already addressed in other parts of the app, so you really have a lot of opportunity to be creative. I am fairly certain that they will appreciate anything creative, insightful and interesting--something that will not only be entertaining but will also distinguish you from the many, many other applicants, as well as give them a better idea of who you are as a person (as opposed to all of the other info in the app that they have about you as a student).

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Posted

Hey guys! I ended up actually applying to six schools: University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Rutgers University, New York University, and Tulane University. Good luck with all of your applications!

What areas of French and francophone studies are you all interested in?

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Posted

Modernism, poetry, art and lit and colonial/post-colonial studies.

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Posted

Unlike a lot of other schools, they actually don't seem to want a reading from a text (I looked at a lot of other schools' apps and most require a textual reading). So, I think that PSU is really looking for ease of expression and fluency as well as accuracy--essentially, an indication that you will be able to participate in class (rather than sit there like a bump-on-a-log because you don't know how to say in French what you want to say) as well as evidence of your future potential as an instructor (no matter how good your writing sample, no one wants an applicant who cannot speak the lang, especially if you are applying for a TAship).

They clearly state not to talk about things that you've already addressed in other parts of the app, so you really have a lot of opportunity to be creative. I am fairly certain that they will appreciate anything creative, insightful and interesting--something that will not only be entertaining but will also distinguish you from the many, many other applicants, as well as give them a better idea of who you are as a person (as opposed to all of the other info in the app that they have about you as a student).

Thank you so much! That really helps!

Hey guys! I ended up actually applying to six schools: University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Rutgers University, New York University, and Tulane University. Good luck with all of your applications!

What areas of French and francophone studies are you all interested in?

19th & 20th century literature, art and culture, romanticism, impressionism, absurdist philosophy, gender, sexuality, political movements

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Posted

Alors, quoi de neuf ? Des résultats ? Matt, t'as eu des nouvelles de UPenn ? Le forum des français me semble un peu mort...

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Posted

(Aucune idee la maniere dont on fait des accents orthographiques sur ce site)

Ouais, c'est vrais. Il parait que le forum des francais souffre une crise existentialiste.

J'ai recu une invitation au "Open House" de UVA a la fin de fevrier. Je suppose que PSU ne m'accepte pas parce que je n'ai rien ecoute d'eux. Des autres programmes, je n'ai recu aucune notification.

Felicitations pour ton succes !! Tu a pris une decision?

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Posted

(T'inquiètes pour les accents, on se comprend sans ! J'ai changé les paramètres sur mon clavier pour le rendre "international" et ça permet de faire des accents plus facilement...)

Trop bien pour UVA ! Félicitations ! J'ai failli poser ma candidature là-bas, c'est une très bonne école.

Et merci pour tes félicitations. :) Je n'ai pas encore choisi. J'attends toujours des réponses des autres écoles, puis je fais des visites à Emory et UPenn en février et Berkeley en mars. Mais j'ai trop peur pour les entretiens !

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Posted (edited)

Pour les etudes coloniales et post-coloniales, UVA est excellente: en fait, Maryse Conde y etait prof, c'est quelquechose que je trouve presque impossible a croire.

Et moi aussi, je suis completement terrifiee de mon entretien, surtout parce qu'il y aura des autres etudiants qui rivalisent avec moi pour une position (eek!)

Au moins, tu as deja une acceptance, et c'est a Berkeley!! Je considerais y poser ma candidature (ma mere y a grandi et ma tante y habite encore) mais je n'esperais pas reussir. C'est une tres, tres tres bon programme dans une tres belle ville!

Edited by Starlajane

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Posted

Oui, je suis trop contente pour Berkeley ! Pour l'instant c'est mon préféré parmi les programmes où je suis prise. Mais j'attends les autres réponses avant de prendre une décision. C'est surtout Yale qui me tue à ce moment...

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Posted

Hi everyone!

I am currently a French undergraduate major and applied to several MA programs for the fall of 2012. I picked some really good programs and I also picked some back-up programs. I'm surprised that I haven't heard back from any schools yet, but I expect to receive letters soon.

My top picks are:

Florida State University

University of Iowa

University of Missouri

Michigan State University

As of now, I'm not sure if I want to pursue a PhD after completion of the MA.

Any tips for picking the right program/school? I obviously will cross out any programs that don't offer tuition waivers and a TA/GA position. How much do schools usually pay TA/GAs?

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Posted

Hey everyone! I'm a current 1st year grad student in French. I remember how exciting this time of year was last year. Congratulations to those of you who have gotten acceptances so far and best of luck as you await other decisions. I'll try my best to be available if you should have any questions about grad school or French programs in general. Once again, félicitations à vous tous et bon courage pour la suite ! :)

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Posted

Hi france2010! Congrats on hearing back from Princeton and Cornell! I majored in French at Princeton for undergrad, actually, and I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the department there. As for Harvard's program, I'm really enjoying it! The faculty is exciting to work with and very supportive, I get along well with my fellow graduate students and the funding is generous. I'll send you some more specific comments via PM. :)

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Posted

JoeySsance, how did you like Princeton? I've been accepted there (for German, not French). I'm from NYC and the thought of moving to Princeton, NJ is a little scary. (Though truth be told, I'll probably be spending most of my time in the library no matter where I end up going!)

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Hey quiltedgiraffe. Congratulations on your Princeton acceptance. I loved Princeton, however, the experience for undergraduates differs from that of graduate students in very significant ways. Princeton is definitely more of an undergraduate-focused university, so in that sense, it was a wonderful place to go to college. I can't speak about the German department but I do know that the French department at Princeton (at the graduate level) is one of the top programs in the country. They all work really hard to finish the PhD in 5 years (whereas everywhere else people take 6 or 7 years on average). The town itself is small, chic, quite expensive and not very exciting. However NYC and Philly are each one hour away by train, so it's really not that bad. Princeton's campus is gorgeous. I miss it so much. Harvard's just doesn't come close. During the nicer months, you could definitely get a lot of reading done out and about on campus (Chancellor Green is a particularly awesome alternative to Firestone, i.e. the main library). Cloistering yourself in Firestone, especially in the underground floors, will get depressing fast, so I don't recommend it! I'd be happy to answer other questions via PM. Good luck with your decision!

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Posted

Hey! We're already starting to meet the prospective students visiting our department. It's a lot of fun reliving this whole experience albeit from "the other side." Good luck to you all during these interviews and visits. Just have a lot of fun with it all. The places that have invited you (even if it's for an "interview") really just want to court you and convince you to attend so make the most of it while it lasts! Make sure to interact with the grad students, especially, and ask them any questions you may have. We're usually pretty candid sources of information. If anyone has any questions, feel free to hit me up. Félicitations once again, everyone!

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Posted

I just got back from my visit with Penn last weekend and it's made my decision that much harder. I was really leaning toward NYU, but now it's all up in the air. I really liked the faculty, the grad students were awesome, and their pedagogy program is nothing short of phenomenal. I also loved Philly and since the funding for the two programs is pretty much equal, I'm thinking I would be a lot more financially comfortable than in NYC. I'm visiting NYU March 2-3. How am I supposed to choose??

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Hey quiltedgiraffe. Congratulations on your Princeton acceptance. I loved Princeton, however, the experience for undergraduates differs from that of graduate students in very significant ways. Princeton is definitely more of an undergraduate-focused university, so in that sense, it was a wonderful place to go to college. I can't speak about the German department but I do know that the French department at Princeton (at the graduate level) is one of the top programs in the country. They all work really hard to finish the PhD in 5 years (whereas everywhere else people take 6 or 7 years on average). The town itself is small, chic, quite expensive and not very exciting. However NYC and Philly are each one hour away by train, so it's really not that bad. Princeton's campus is gorgeous. I miss it so much. Harvard's just doesn't come close. During the nicer months, you could definitely get a lot of reading done out and about on campus (Chancellor Green is a particularly awesome alternative to Firestone, i.e. the main library). Cloistering yourself in Firestone, especially in the underground floors, will get depressing fast, so I don't recommend it! I'd be happy to answer other questions via PM. Good luck with your decision!

Thanks, Joey. That helps. The German department at Princeton is amazing, really world-class, and that's what matters most! They're doing an open house weekend next month, which I'm really excited about.

Though it seems shockingly expensive to live in Princeton on the (admittedly very generous) stipend. Graduate housing on campus is as much as I pay in rent in NYC! Granted, I have a housemate here, but still!

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Posted

Hey! We're already starting to meet the prospective students visiting our department. It's a lot of fun reliving this whole experience albeit from "the other side." Good luck to you all during these interviews and visits. Just have a lot of fun with it all. The places that have invited you (even if it's for an "interview") really just want to court you and convince you to attend so make the most of it while it lasts! Make sure to interact with the grad students, especially, and ask them any questions you may have. We're usually pretty candid sources of information. If anyone has any questions, feel free to hit me up. Félicitations once again, everyone!

Is this really true, for all French departments? Why wouldn't they just accept a candidate that they wanted to attend?

Mind you, I am seriously hoping that you are right, b/c if I get into the school with whom I have an interview this week, I will be over the moon! Still, I'm not going to get my hopes up; I am convinced that an interview means that they can always decide that I'm a completely inept dufus who looks better on paper than in person.

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Posted

I just got back from my visit with Penn last weekend and it's made my decision that much harder. I was really leaning toward NYU, but now it's all up in the air. I really liked the faculty, the grad students were awesome, and their pedagogy program is nothing short of phenomenal. I also loved Philly and since the funding for the two programs is pretty much equal, I'm thinking I would be a lot more financially comfortable than in NYC. I'm visiting NYU March 2-3. How am I supposed to choose??

I think that you will know once you visit NYU. However, have you checked out the "Decisions, Decisions" thread as well as the "Cities" thread? You might get a lot of useful advice there...

In the end, it depends on your personality. But also remember that you will have to be living in the city in which you are getting your PhD. You want to live someplace in which you are comfortable on all levels.

If it were me, I would be torn between Berkely and UPenn; Berkeley b/c I already know (and love) it, UPenn b/c I already know (and love) it. I wouldn't even consider NYU b/c I wouldn't want to live in a very urban environment (and neither would my GSD).

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In the end, it depends on your personality. But also remember that you will have to be living in the city in which you are getting your PhD. You want to live someplace in which you are comfortable on all levels.

I love big cities, so I think I would be comfortable in either NYC or Philadelphia. I haven't visited Berkeley yet, but I've always seen myself as more of an east coast person. Plus I love the idea of being a train ride away from D.C., Boston, and the like.

If it were me, I would be torn between Berkely and UPenn; Berkeley b/c I already know (and love) it, UPenn b/c I already know (and love) it. I wouldn't even consider NYU b/c I wouldn't want to live in a very urban environment (and neither would my GSD).

The thing about NYU is that their program is pretty much perfect for my academic interests. I got in to do the joint PhD in French literature/French studies and I'm most interested in looking at 19th (-20th) century literature, art, and culture through the perspective of political history. The joint program is about 1/2 lit and 1/2 civ and they focus almost exclusively on post-revolutionary France. Penn's program is great too, but it's more traditional, and I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing for me. I guess I'll know better after I visit NYU...

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