BA/MA Program

Program Description

The UVa French department is committed to strengthening the role of foreign languages, literatures and cultures within the College of Arts and Sciences.  We offer a wide range of courses on the relationship between French culture, society and expression of the human condition (in literature, in language, in visual media). Intrinsic to these courses is the development of skills that will serve students in a variety of professional fields: analytical, creative and critical thinking; problem-solving (individually and collaboratively); the capacity to recognize and transcend one's own cultural perspective in order to better understand other points of view; the ability to make connections to other times and places.

The new BA/MA program is designed to equip future graduates with exceptional cross-cultural understanding, keen analytical capacities, excellent, multi-lingual writing skills, and near-native fluency.

Program Requirements

After successful completion of the UVa BA in French (totaling 30 credit hours), 10 additional graduate courses at the 5000 level are required for the MA (30 credit hours). At least 8 of those must be taken in the French department.

Students who are on track to complete at least one 4000-level French course during their 3rd Year will be encouraged to apply to the BA/MA program in the spring of their 3rd Year, no later than April 15.  4th Year students who are on track to complete all the requirements for the major, but who missed the preceding year’s application deadline, should contact DGS to request expedited admission.

If accepted into the program, students will enroll in two 5000-level courses in their 4th Year of undergraduate study, after which they will matriculate fully into the MA. (Note that these two 5000-level courses will not count towards the 120 credits needed to graduate with a BA from the College. Nor do they count toward the major in French.  By GSAS regulation, B- is the lowest grade for which a student will receive credit for these courses, and students must maintain a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 (B) to make satisfactory progress). In the following year, they will enroll in seven 5000-level courses.  In the spring of that year, students will enroll in FREN 5993, an independent study in preparation for the MA exam. A maximum of two of 9 required courses may be taken in a department other than French (students must indicate the relevance of these courses for their studies and petition the DGS for permission prior to enrolling).  From the 7 total courses that must be taken in the French Department, at least two must be focused on the period before 1800; at least another two must focus on the period after 1750.

In their final semester, students will enroll in a 3-credit course of Independent Exam Preparation (FREN 5993), under the direction of a faculty advisor, to prepare the comprehensive MA examination.  Details on the administration of the examination can be found in the graduate handbook.

Eligibility and Application Procedures

Eligibility: French majors with at least a 3.5 GPA in the major at the time of application are eligible to apply.

Applications should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Study by April 15.  Please include:

  • A 1-2 page statement of purpose outlining your interests in French Studies and motivation for pursuing the MA.
  • A transcript of your undergraduate work so far at UVa.
  • A writing sample, in French, such as an academic paper (or two) that reflects your intellectual interests (10-15 pages total).
  • Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic work in advanced French literature and culture courses at UVa. 
  • Please also complete and return the application form (click here) with your dossier.

Students admitted into the BA/MA program must submit their application materials to the Graduate School, via the official online application system, no later than December 15 of their last year of undergraduate study.