Ph.D. in French – Specialization in Literature or Linguistics

See Admission for entrance requirements.

The first two years of the Ph.D. program are devoted to coursework, preparing and taking the Qualifying Examination, the Comprehensive Examination, and obtaining approval of the Thesis Proposal. The following years are devoted to the writing and defence of the thesis.

UBC invites doctoral students interested in getting international research experience to consider applying for a Joint PhD (or cotutelle). A cotutelle gives the student an opportunity to work with two supervisors at their respective academic research institutions in two countries and is customized to meet specific research objectives.

For information about UBC cotutelle policy, see the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website.
Visit the French Embassy website for a complete presentation of the procedures for enrolling in a cotutelle.

Ph.D. candidates in French who are interested primarily in Linguistics may write a thesis on an aspect of French Linguistics and will be permitted, after consultation with the Graduate Advisor, to supplement the Linguistics courses offered in the Department itself by taking courses elsewhere at UBC (in the Department of Linguistics or the Faculty of Education, for example), or at other universities under the Western Deans’ Agreement.

Students concentrating in French linguistics will be required to take some courses in French literature to complete their degree.  The concentration in linguistics does not entail a purely linguistics degree but rather an emphasis.  Students can write a thesis on an aspect of French linguistics but they will have to take courses in literature as well.  Course offerings are a combination of French literature and French linguistics.

Program requirements

A minimum of 18 credits of course work numbered above 500 in the first 16 months of the program, 3 of which may be taken in another department (6 exceptionally). A first-class average is required in these courses. Additional coursework may be required for candidates who have deficiencies in certain areas.

When the language skills of a graduate student do not meet the expected standards of the Department during the first year of the program, this student, at the discretion of the Graduate Advisor, will have to take the appropriate undergraduate course(s) and obtain a minimum mark of 80%, in addition to the program’s course requirements

An annual progress report must be submitted by March 1st for every year that the student is enrolled in the program.

Qualifying Examination

In February of the first year of the program, the candidate will take the Qualifying Examination.

Comprehensive Examination

In November of the second year of the program, the candidate will take the Comprehensive Examination.

Ph.D. Thesis Proposal Defence

In September of the third year of program, the candidate will defend the Ph.D. Thesis Proposal.

The Final Doctoral Examination

Please refer to the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies website at