MA degree requirements

30 points
8 graduate-level courses (24 points)
25-40 page thesis in French (6 points)

All requirements for the MA degree must be completed by the end of the second year.

The minimum for good standing is a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 derived from all courses in which a student has registered and received a grade.

Registration at the Graduate School is a two-part process that consists of registering for individual courses and registering for Residence at the University. All students must complete BOTH parts of the registration process.

  • Students in all degree programs are required to register in each fall and spring semester until all degree requirements have been completed or until the time-to-degree limit has been reached. 
  • Enrollment is the completion of the registration process and affords the full rights and privileges of student status.

Students must petition for Transfer Credit within their first semester of registration.

The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will consider, in consultation with other faculty, transfer credit awards for graduate courses taken previously at Columbia. Students will submit the Application for Transfer Credit and relevant materials to the department’s DGS.

Degree requirments

The department’s ‘French Lecture series’ (Fall & Spring)

One course in the area of literary or cultural theory

Up to two courses counted for degree credit may be taken in other departments.

One language course may be counted toward the MA degree.

The MA thesis is a paper of approximately 30 pages, either developing a paper written for a class or presenting new research. It can take many different forms, e.g. original textual/ historical research, close reading and/or intervention in a critical/theoretical debate. Students choose a sponsor and consult regularly with this adviser.

  • The MA thesis gives students practice in carrying out a research project that, while limited in length and in scope presents a problem treated in more depth than in a term paper. They compile a bibliography, choose the appropriate methodological approach, organize the material, and present it in a scholarly and readable form.
  • The thesis should follow the MLA Style Sheet or the Chicago Manual of Style and must be approved by the sponsor. At the student’s request, the thesis can be defended orally before a committee consisting of the sponsor and one other member of the faculty.

To receive credit and a letter grade for the MA thesis, students must register for FREN G8092 MA Essay Direction.

The MA degree is awarded in October, February, and May. Please consult with the Graduate Coordinator, Benita Dace, for all questions concerning deadlines for applying. All requirements for the MA degree must be completed by the end of the second year (four years for students attending part-time).