Graduate French Studies

Why Grad School in French Studies at UBC?

An MA is increasingly essential to stand out in a crowded professional job market. An MA in French language, culture, and literature highlights your internationalism as well as your powers of communication, critical thinking, and careful reading. Equally, an MA can also be a way of postponing the demands of the job market for a year or two and considering your options while you pursue your passion.

Our MA program is broad and wide-ranging. It offers a dynamic curriculum that focuses on a contextualized understanding of the languages, literatures, and cultures of France, Québec and the Francophone world. Students may specialize in literature or linguistics, or propose a research program combining both fields. Here, coursework broadens your knowledge and helps you to explore possible fields for subsequent investigation, as well as to learn key concepts and theoretical approaches by means of comparative analysis. Graduate seminars are normally conducted in French. Course offerings vary from year to year, as they are related to the active research projects of program faculty. You have the option to pursue a topic in more detail and depth by writing an 80-page MA thesis.

A PhD involves advanced training and research that usually leads to a career in academia, though it can also lead to jobs in areas such as high-level administration, policy, or communications. PhD students are guaranteed funding and are involved in the life of the program as paid teaching assistants or research assistants, as well as having access to grants for conference and research travel.

UBC is a world-class university, in a vibrant multicultural city, with a keen and enthusiastic team in French Studies and a nurturing environment in which you can grow and learn. It may well be the very best fit for you.

The French Studies program is lively and growing, but small enough that the individual student is always our priority. The faculty is a dynamic group of established and emerging scholars with expertise that ranges from Medieval French literature to 21st-century Francophone cultures.

Graduate students join a tight-knit community and are encouraged to participate in and even help lead initiatives such as our research seminar, reading groups, research clusters, colloquia, and conferences organized both within the department and in interdisciplinary centres such as the UBC Public Humanities Hub, Green College and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. The program hosts visiting speakers to contribute to the university’s vibrant intellectual dialogue. UBC’s Koerner Library ranks among the top research libraries in North America. Its holdings in French and Québécois literature, as well as in the history of the French language and dialectology are among the best in Canada. The Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) houses significant collections and early printed books, pamphlets, and historical maps as well as many rarities from the French colonial period in North America.