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Our students

Our graduates find jobs in the most prestigious institutions in and outside New York City. Some of them are currently working at Swarthmore College, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Vassar College, and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. We also take pride in our diverse body of students, who come from all over the world, including France, Spain, the Congo, Senegal, Morocco, the Caribbean, Canada and different regions of the United States. As they engage in their daily coursework, they find a dynamic community filled with mutual support and mentoring, where they can develop strong ties with one another. In addition, they are also encouraged to participate in the academic decision-making process by serving on our committees, namely the French Executive, Admissions and Awards, Faculty Membership and Curriculum committees and the Board of the Henri Peyre French Institute. While giving them an “insider’s perspective” on the dynamics of the department and the Graduate Center at large, this committee experience is a valuable part of their development as new members of the academic community.

Currently, the Program has 52 students, and 17 of them specialize in an area of  Francophone studies. 29 students are currently working on their dissertation. 15 of our doctoral candidates work full-time. 33 teach full time or part time either at CUNY or elsewhere, or both.

Financial Support

Despite having one of the most affordable tuitions in the country, we routinely offer financial support in the form of tuition awards, teaching and minority fellowships. While some of our new students are offered teaching positions in our CUNY colleges, others are encouraged to apply to The Graduate Center’s financial aid packages.  These include the new Five-Year Graduate Center Fellowship for incoming students, which provides recipients with five years of paid tuition and guaranteed support of $25,000 per year, with a teaching requirement in years two through four and participation in the CUNY Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) network in the fifth year.  Beginning in Fall 2013, there will be 200 new Graduate Center Fellowships awarded to incoming students each year in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences (excluding Biology, Chemistry, and Physics as well as Audiology, Nursing, Public Health, and Social Welfare).  Also beginning in Fall 2013, the Graduate Center will award 90 Five-Year Tuition Fellowships to students in the same disciplines (including French), making it possible for those students to cover payment for up to 16 credits per semester of coursework for a five year period. In addition, full tuition and an annual stipend of $27,000 are guaranteed for five years to recipients of the Presidential MAGNET Fellowship. Students must be nominated by their programs for this fellowship, which is for incoming students from underrepresented groups (who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents). For more information on Financial Aid, visit the Graduate Center's Office of Financial Aid online here.

The Program also works closely with the Henri Peyre French Institute, which sponsors conferences and symposia and offers several fellowships to students.


Recent events and conferences have included Edouard Glissant (Fall 1998), Queer Middle Ages (Fall 1998), Millenium Mallarmé (Spring 1999), Honoring Maryse Condé (Fall 1999), The Scandal of Art (Spring 2000), Quebec Film Festival (Spring 2000), Postmodern/Premodern(Spring 2001), Migration, Memory, Trace (Spring 2001), and New York Medieval Festival/Lire en Fête 2002: Les Moyens Âges (Fall 2002), Jean-Claude Schmitt: Visual Culture in the Middle Ages (Fall 2003), Venus Khoury-Ghata (Fall 2003), Around the Bicentennial: Haiti 200 Years Later (Spring 2004), Ahmadou Kourouma: A Conversation About His Work and Human Rights Legacy in Africa (Fall 2004), The American Premiere of Racine's Bajazet (Spring 2005), and Conference on Human Rights and the Humanities (Fall 2005).

Curricular Options

Students can elect to fulfill their requirements through a variety of courses ranging from the Middle Ages to the present, in all areas of the French-speaking world. They can also elect a curricular option that structures their courses according to a certain field of study. The Program offers five such options: