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A&S—French and Italian Languages and Literatures

The Department of French and Italian offers programs leading to the MA in Italian, a PhD in French with an MA en route and the PhD in French. Students may also apply for the PhD in Film Studies with a Concentration in French (granted by Film Studies). The following tracks are offered at the MA level in French and Italian:

French Language and Literature
Italian Language and Literature

The following tracks are offered at the PhD level in French:

French Language and Literature
           Film Studies with a Concentration in French
French Language and Literature with a Concentration in Romance Languages and Literatures

Students enrolled in the PhD program may take courses in the following thematic clusters:

French Language and Literature: Literature and Politics

In addition, the department encourages students to participate in various interdisciplinary programs, such as African Studies, Cultural Studies, European Union Studies, Film Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Global Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, West European Studies, where students may work toward a graduate certificate in conjunction with their degree.

Contact Information

Department Chair: Lina Insana
Main Office: 1328 Cathedral of Learning
412-624-5220
Fax: 412-624-6269
E-mail: frit@pitt.edu
www.frenchanditalian.pitt.edu/

Additional information concerning the department’s graduate program may be requested from the University of Pittsburgh, Department of French and Italian, Assistant to the Directors of Graduate Studies, 1328 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Phone: 412-624-5220. Fax: 412-624-6263. E-mail: frit@pitt.edu.

GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

Admissions

Students accepted into the graduate program must meet the following criteria:

  • They should have completed an undergraduate major (or equivalent) in the language and literature they propose to study at the graduate level or substantial coursework in a related field.
  • They must be able to enroll in courses that are taught entirely in French and/or Italian. This presupposes a high level of skill in speaking, reading, and writing in their major language.
  • It is recommended that incoming students have a reading knowledge of German, a second Romance language, or Latin.

Applicants for admission must submit transcripts of all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and scores on the verbal, quantitative, and writing assessment-analytical sections of the Graduate Record Examination. The GRE is not required for applicants to the MA program in Italian. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit either the TOEFL administered by the Educational Testing Service IBT (internet-based test) with a minimum score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the 4 sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing), or the IELTS administered by the University of Cambridge, Local Examinations Syndicate with a minimum score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections). For a complete list of required items for admission, go to www.frenchanditalian.pitt.edu/graduate/about/admissions.php.

Applications for fall term admission will be accepted until April 15. For funding consideration, applications must be completed by January 10 for French and February 1 for Italian. The department admits students only for the fall term.

Financial Assistance

All applicants to the graduate program in French and Italian are considered for departmental funding. The Department of French and Italian offers teaching and research positions to graduate students at all levels. Most teaching assistantships and fellowships are renewable on a year-to-year basis for students in good academic standing. Students in the PhD who adhere to guidelines established in the departmental graduate policy statement may receive up to five years of support as a teaching fellow. Students enrolled in the PhD with MA en route may receive a sixth year of funding through competitive university fellowships.

Master's Degree Credit Requirements

All master's degrees in French and Italian require a minimum of 24 credits. Specific course requirements are described below.

Requirements for the French MA en route

A minimum of eight one-term courses in French literature and culture is required, of which at least six must be 2000-level courses. French 2710 (Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory) is required for all students. French 2970 (Teaching of French) is required for students holding a teaching assistantship or a teaching fellowship, but does not count among the eight courses.

Candidates for this degree must also fulfill the following additional requirements:

  • Comprehensive Examination
    The MA comprehensive examination is a written and oral examination designed to ensure that the candidates have acquired a thorough overall knowledge of French language, culture, and literature, as well as a strong competency in literary analysis.
  • Seminar Paper
    This research paper (5,000–8,000 words) is written in French, usually in a course specifically designated as a seminar. It must receive a grade of A- or better and a revised version must be approved by a second faculty member.
  • Second Language
    Candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Latin or German or a Romance language other than French. Other languages will be considered upon petition.

NOTE: Students should also consult the department’s Graduate Policy Statement for information on comprehensive examinations and other departmental regulations.

Requirements for the MA in Italian

A minimum of eight one-term courses is required. These courses will include Italian 2701 (Introduction to Literacy and Cultural Theory). Students holding Teaching Assistantships are also required to take FR/ITAL 2970 (Teaching of French/Italian), though this does not count toward the required eight. Candidates must also fulfill the following additional requirements:

  • Comprehensive Examination
    The MA comprehensive examination is a written examination and is given in three sessions on separate days during the second year of the MA program; an oral interview is held after completion of the exams to discuss the comprehensive exam results, as well as the student's research paper.
  • Research Paper
    This paper, written in Italian, must be approved by two faculty members.
  • Second Language
    Candidates must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Latin or German or a Romance language other than Italian. Other languages will be considered upon petition.

Requirements for PhD with MA en route

This degree is intended for students who wish to pursue the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in French Language and Literature but who do not already hold an MA in this field or in a closely-related discipline.  Students must first successfully complete the requirements for the MA in French Language and Literature listed above, normally within their first two years of full-time enrollment. Students doing the PhD with the MA en route will be awarded an MA degree at the completion of these requirements.

To ensure the acquisition of a broad knowledge of French literature and culture, candidates must take at least one course or one exam in each field (Middle Ages, Renaissance, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and African and Caribbean literatures) before they reach candidacy. 

Before students may be considered for admission to candidacy for the PhD, they must successfully complete a minimum of five 2000-level courses (15 credits) beyond the MA. In addition, the candidate must present an oral explication de texte before a faculty committee, and pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. The PhD language requirement and explication de texte will normally be satisfied at the MA level.  The eight courses must include:

 

1. FR 2710 (if not taken at the MA level) and an additional course in literary or cultural theory.

2. With the adviser's consent, students are free to take some of the additional required courses in other departments. Students in French are encouraged to pursue certification in one of the various programs offered by the University (African Studies, Cultural Studies, European Union Studies, Film Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Global Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, West European Studies). However, only three exterior courses may count towards the degree in French.  

Upon admission to candidacy, the candidate will write and defend a doctoral dissertation.

Requirements for the PhD

Before students may be considered for admission to candidacy for the PhD, they must complete successfully a minimum of eight 2000-level courses (24 credits) beyond the MA (a minimum of 72 credits). In addition, the candidates must present an oral explication de texte before a faculty committee, satisfy PhD language requirements, and pass written and oral comprehensive examinations. Upon admission to candidacy, the candidate will write and defend a doctoral dissertation. The course work must include:

          FR 2710 (if not taken at the MA level) and an additional course in literary or cultural theory.

          With the advisors consent students are free to take some of the additional required courses 

          in other departments. Students in French are encouraged to pursue certification in one of the

          various programs offered by the University (African Studies, Cultural Studies, European

          Union Studies, Film Studies, Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Global Studies,

          Medieval and Renaissance Studies, West European Studies). However, only

          three exterior courses may count towards the degree in French.  

 

With the adviser's consent,

PhD in French with a Concentration in Romance Languages and Literatures

Candidates for this concentration will typically already hold an MA in one of the Romance languages and literatures or the equivalent, and will, upon entering the program, choose two major and one minor linguistic areas from among the four language areas (French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish). Portuguese may not be used as one of the major areas, and one of the major areas must be French.

Field of Study

The student will also choose a major and a minor period from among the following four periods: (1) Middle Ages; (2) Renaissance and Baroque; (3) Enlightenment, Romanticism and Realism (18th and 19th centuries to 1848); (4) Modern/Postmodern. If Spanish is one of the major linguistic areas, the student will also choose, as appropriate, between the peninsular and Latin American areas.

Course Work

The candidate will then take at least four 2000-level courses in each of the two major linguistic areas, and at least two 1000-level courses in the third area. At least one of these courses will be a 2000-level course in linguistics in one of the major fields (a course in the history of the language or in comparative Romance linguistics is recommended). At least three of these courses should involve the writing of a long (or seminar-type) paper of 20–30 pages, and one of these papers must be written in English.

Dissertation Committee

The dissertation committee should include one faculty member with expertise in each of the three major periods/areas. In all cases, the choice of linguistic areas and periods will be limited by the availability of faculty and course offerings in the concerned departments.

It is expected that candidates will teach at least one language course in each of their major linguistic areas before completing the degree.

Credit Requirement: Minimum of 72 hours, including the master’s degree, earned from any suitable combination of formal course work, independent study, research, teaching or dissertation work as detailed elsewhere in this bulletin.

Preliminary Examination/Evaluation: Students in the PhD program will undergo a preliminary evaluation at the end of the first full year of residence.

Explication de Texte: Before taking their comprehensive examinations, PhD students must present an oral explication de texte in French before a jury comprising members of the faculty.

Comprehensive Examination: Students must take written and oral comprehensive examinations on a topic with historical coverage and an topic in the area of specialization. Candidates will work with a faculty advisor and a committee to prepare the reading list in the areas chosen. The purpose of the comprehensive examinations is to ensure that the candidate is able to develop a relevant and original approach to the study of French and Francophone literature and culture. These examinations should be passed at least eight months (two terms) before the degree is to be awarded. Students may schedule their examinations only after passing all preliminary examinations and language and other requirements.

Prospectus Presentation: As soon as the comprehensive examinations have been passed, students and their advisor should agree on a dissertation committee including at least three members of the department (including the director) and one member chosen from another department in an area of expertise relevant to the dissertation topic. Usually during the third year, but in no case later than the first term of their fourth year, students must submit a prospectus to the director for circulation among the committee members. The scope, size, organization, and format of the prospectus are specified in a separate departmental document, which PhD students should receive or request as soon as they pass their comprehensive examinations.

Dissertation Defense: The final oral examination in defense of the doctoral dissertation is conducted by the doctoral committee and is open to the University community.

PhD in Film Studies with a Concentration in French

The PhD in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree that stresses the history, theory, and aesthetics of international cinema, video, television, and new media. While the student will earn a PhD in Film Studies (granted by the Film Studies Program), he or she will also be a full member of French, fulfilling all requirements for the PhD in French. French will appear as an Area of Concentration on the student’s transcript. Thus, the student graduating with a PhD in Film Studies will be doubly qualified: in film studies as well as in French Studies.

Students must fulfill all of the requirements for the PhD in French (listed above) and the following additional requirements:

Core Courses in Film Studies (7 credits):

- a two-course (6 credit) sequence taken in any order:
           Film History/Theory I ENGFLM 2451
           Film History/Theory II ENGFLM 2452

- 1 credit Film Studies Proseminar ENGFLM 2905

 

Note: This will not count toward seminar credit within the French program and will be given on aSatisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.

Electives in Film Studies (12 credits):

 

 

- Four elective Film Studies courses (in any department).

Of the total six required seminars, the student must take at least two courses taught by a member of the faculty outside of French. These courses can include the two required core courses as well as any of the four electives.


Teaching: All film PhD students will be required to serve as TA/TF for at least one film class. If the Department of French and Italian does not offer a film course or has no TA/TF positions for a film course, students will be required to teach one term of the undergraduate course Introduction to Film (or another such introductory course developed in the future) as part of his/her overall experience as a TA/TF.


Credit Requirement: Minimum of 72 hours, including the master’s degree, earned from any suitable combination of formal course work, independent study, research, teaching or dissertation work as detailed elsewhere in this bulletin.


Preliminary Examination/Evaluation: The two required core courses in Film Studies (Film History/Theory I and II) will serve as the preliminary exam in Film Studies. Successful completion of these two classes with a grade of B or better will constitute passing the preliminary examination.
To maintain funding, students must also pass the required preliminary evaluation conducted by the French faculty at the end of the first year of enrollment.

Comprehensive Examination: The Comprehensive Exam must contain at least one component focusing on Film Studies, and at least one component on French Studies (including its relation to cinema).

At least one member of the exam committee will be a member of the graduate faculty in Film Studies.


Dissertation Committee: The dissertation will be completed in the Department of French and Italian and must involve film and/or media studies as subject matter incorporated with French Studies (as determined by the dissertation director).


The Chair of the dissertation committee will be a graduate faculty member in the Department of French and Italian who is also a member of the interdisciplinary Film Studies graduate faculty. The external member of the committee will be a member of the Film Studies graduate faculty from outside the Department of French and Italian. It is expected that students will have been exposed to these faculty members in taking the required Film Studies courses (taught by the interdisciplinary Film Studies faculty), elective Film Studies courses (outside the student’s associated Department), and in the Proseminar (taught by the interdisciplinary faculty).

 

Course Listings:

French

Italian

Faculty

 
 
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