PhD Program

Gain specialized knowledge of French literature or linguistics through our Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree program in French Studies at UBC Vancouver.

Degree Requirements

The first 24 months of the PhD program are devoted to coursework, preparing and taking the Comprehensive Examination, and obtaining approval of the Thesis Proposal. The following years are devoted to the writing and defence of the thesis.

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

The supervisory committee must meet at least once a year.

PhD candidates who are primarily interested in Linguistics may write a thesis on an aspect of French Linguistics. After consulting with the Graduate Advisor, they may also be permitted 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.

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.

Program Overview

The candidate will fill out the Comprehensive Examination Committee approval form.

The candidate will take the comprehensive examination in April of the second year (if your graduate program started in September) or August/September of the second year (if your graduate program started in January).

The candidate will defend the PhD thesis proposal in September of the third year (if your graduate program started in September) or January of the third year (if your graduate program started in January).

The candidate will fill out the Supervisory Committee approval form after passing the PhD thesis proposal defence.

The final doctoral examination is the culmination of years of research and writing. It is the last step toward the conferral of the doctoral degree.

An Annual Progress Report must be submitted by March 1st for every year that the student is enrolled in the program.

What is Co-op?

The Arts Co-op Program offers students enriched educational experiences for personal and professional growth. Co-op is a high-impact educational program that allows you to alternate dissertation-writing terms with work terms, during which you gain meaningful paid work experience. We work with a diverse range of community partners and sectors to provide transformative workplace learning for co-op students.

The Arts PhD Co-op Program allows you to explore different career options, while gaining paid, professional work experience and a network of contacts. Some students are able to secure work terms that are relevant to their dissertation research, while others choose to pursue work experience that diversify their expertise and give them range. Students complete three work terms of 4 months each over the two to three years after achieving candidacy.

Why PhD Co-op in French Studies?

Program goals:

  • to extend secure graduate funding into the fifth and possibly sixth years of the PhD program
  • to give graduate students well-paid, relevant work experience divided across their dissertation years (PhD co-op positions pay $20-$30/hour depending on the employer—a 14-week work term at 37.5 hours/week at $25 is $13,125)
  • to reduce the financial and academic strain often faced by students who run out of money after year four and must work nearly full-time, often substantially delaying completion of their degrees
  • to provide insight and experience into alt-ac careers for graduate students who may choose not to work in academia after graduation.

The UBC PhD Co-op Program gives you the opportunity to:

  • explore various career options and gain substantial, “alt-ac career” experience to put on your resume
  • enrich academic learning with workplace experience
  • develop your professional skills and network
  • apply to positions that require students to be in a co-op program (such as federal government jobs and some positions in the cultural industries)
  • finance your degree with relevant, paid work

Types of Work

Employers hire UBC PhD co-op students based on their specialized skills and potential career interests. You can expect to work in areas such as:

  • Academic Administration
  • Applied Research
  • Communications
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instruction and Training
  • Project Management
  • Writing and Editing

Co-op Coordinators work closely with employers locally, nationally, and internationally, to develop challenging, career-related positions for co-op students in the non-profit, government (federal/ provincial/municipal), and private sectors.

Read about the success story of previous UBC PhD Co-op student Henry John (History).

Applying to Arts Co-op

The application window for UBC PhD Co-op is open once per year, and usually closes in the first week of October.

You are eligible to apply to the UBC PhD Co-op Program if you have achieved candidacy (or are expecting to achieve candidacy by the time you begin your co-op term, typically in January of your third year in the PhD program). You also must have two years of PhD study left, in which to schedule three, 4-month work terms. You cannot enrol in the Co-op Program without advancing to candidacy first: that is, Co-op students must be ABD (all but dissertation).

SSHRC-holders and international students are both eligible to apply and go through the same application process.

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