Prospective Applicants

General Admissions Information

The Department of French welcomes applications from all students eager to pursue advanced study in French-language literature and culture.  We are deeply committed to fostering a dynamic and supportive community for scholars from a diverse array of backgrounds.

On-line graduate application form
General admissions information 

An application fee waiver is available for applicants from Minority Serving Institutions or who meet other criteria ( ).

 The Application Packet

For the PhD program, applications must be submitted online by January 15th. For the MA as a "Stand-alone degree", we accept applications through May 1, with priority review of applications and admission decisions beginning on January 15

Applications must contain the following items:

  1. The online admissions application. Our online application system asks you to identify whether you are applying to the MA or PhD program.  Please check the MA box ONLY if you are interested in the MA as a “stand-alone degree”.  If you currently hold the BA degree and are interested in the combined MA+ PhD, OR if you currently hold an MA in French from another institution and would like to pursue doctoral studies at UVA, please check the PhD box on the application.
  2. Two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant's academic work, preferably in advanced literature or civilization courses.
  3. A writing sample in French, such as an academic paper that gives an indication of the applicant's research interests.  It should reflect the skill level of the author and should not have been systematically corrected by a native speaker or professor.
  4. A personal statement of the applicant's intellectual interests, academic preparation, and motivation for undertaking graduate studies in literature and civilization. Applicants to the MA program who wish to pursue the pedagogy option must indicate this intention and explain their relevant experience.
  5. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required for applicants who are not native English speakers.  Students who have completed an undergraduate degree at an institution where the primary language of instruction is English are exempt from the TOEFL requirement, but must write to the Director of Graduate Studies to inform her/him of this.

Candidates from abroad should contact the Admissions Office of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences to request current information regarding any special rules for the admission of foreign students. The present rules require admission of foreign students by April 15 preceding registration. Foreign students should also consider that applying for student visas and presenting financial guarantees may require extra time.
All applicants should notify the Director of Graduate Studies by email (see contact information below) after submitting their application to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Also, since their transcripts may not be complete when they submit their application in December, they should notify the Director of Graduate Studies of any French courses they are taking (or intend to take) during the year in which they apply.

TAPIF Fellowship

The Department of French at the University of Virginia welcomes applications from former and current TAPIF (click here)  participants and will waive their application fee. In addition to our regular funding package, which is offered to all applicants admitted to our PhD program, a $5,000 start-up fellowship will be awarded to at least one qualified TAPIF alumnus/a who is accepted.

To receive the TAPIF application fee waiver,

1) begin your application (but don’t submit it!) at;
2) send an email message, with your CV attached, to  indicating that you are a TAPIF participant or aluma/i who is applying to the graduate programs in French;
3) go to, select “Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Fee Waiver” and use the same login credentials that you used for your application (or your fee waiver basis, select “Department Code” and enter “TAPIF”).

DEADLINE: You must complete all three steps by January 1.

You’ll receive an email by January 10 at the latest, letting you know that your fee waiver has been approved and then you will be able to submit your application without being prompted to pay the fee.

General Requirements for Admission

  1. To be considered for admission, an applicant must have at least a 3.0 both for their general GPA and for their major GPA; grades earned in advanced literature courses and during the final two years of undergraduate study will receive special attention.
  2. Since our graduate courses presuppose some acquaintance with major texts in French literature and with critical vocabulary in French, applicants to the MA program must have completed at least five undergraduate courses in French literature or French civilization/cultural studies, while applicants to the PhD program must have completed at least five undergraduate courses in French literature or French civilization/cultural studies (for those entering without an MA from another institution) and at least eight graduate courses in French (for those entering with an MA from another institution).

Contact Information

Applicants should first read the information above and then address any questions they have to:  

Maya Boutaghou
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of French
University of Virginia,
333 New Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, VA 22904
fax: (434) 924-7157