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Our students

Our graduates find jobs in institutions in and outside New York City. Some of them are currently working at St. John's University, Swarthmore College, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Middlebury College, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Augustana College, York College, the University of Connecticut, 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 Ivory Coast, Singapore, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Canada, and different regions of the United States. We welcome students with native or near-native French skills from diverse academic and professional backgrounds (e.g. literature, philosophy, art history, political science, music, publishing, translation) who are interested in pursuing a rigorous course of study leading to a Ph.D. in French.

Our students find a dynamic community of mutual support and faculty mentoring. They serve on the Program's committees, such as the Executive, Admissions and Awards, and Curriculum committees, and thus participate in the academic decision-making process. This constitutes a valuable part of their professional development, as students gain an “insider’s perspective” on the dynamics of the department and the Graduate Center at large.

As of Spring 2014, the Program has over 40 students enrolled, of whom 20 are currently working on dissertations in areas that include Literary Criticism, Francophone Studies, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, and Film Studies, and range in focus from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century.

Financial Support

Each year, the Program awards Graduate Center Fellowships to four successful candidates. These fellowships provide recipients with five years of paid tuition, health care, and guaranteed support of $25,000 per year. In exchange, students teach one course per semester in years two through four and participate in the CUNY Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) network in the fifth year.

The Program also works closely with the Henri Peyre French Institute, which sponsors conferences and symposia and offers limited support to advanced students. For more information on Financial Aid, including MAGNET fellowhips, visit the Graduate Center's Office of Financial Aid online here.


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: