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College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts Degree in French, Hispanic, or Italian Literature and Culture

romance languages and literatures

Course Requirements Overview

Completion of 30 credits of coursework with an average of B or better.

An evaluation conducted in the second year of the program.

Distribution Requirements in French

During the first year of graduate study, MA students in French are strongly encouraged to take RL 704 Explication de textes whenever this course is being offered.

French students should endeavor to take at least one course from as many different areas of the curriculum as possible (Medieval, Early Modern, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, Francophone).

Distribution Requirements in Hispanic Studies

During the first year of graduate study, MA students in Hispanic Studies are strongly encouraged to take RL 901 Advanced Textual Analysis.

Hispanic Studies students must take a minimum of nine credits in Peninsular Spanish and nine credits in Spanish American Literature.

Other Distribution Requirements

MA candidates may receive a maximum of nine credits for courses taken in languages/literatures other than the primary language/literature of study, including courses on literary theory, history of the language, pedagogy, and linguistics. Included in this limit, up to six credits may be earned from courses in related areas of study, or from courses taken at other universities, with the approval of the advisor and the Graduate Program Director in consultation with the relevant Section.

Second-Year Evaluation for MA Students

Independent Research Project (IRP) (French and Italian)

M.A. Candidates in French and Italian are required to complete an independent research project between their first and second year. During the summer between their first and second years, Masters students write a paper of approximately twenty-five pages in length, in the target language, which represents a significant revision or extension of a paper written in a graduate course taken during the first two semesters of study. The candidate’s presentation and defense of the paper will be made before the faculty of the section, again in the target language.


  • In consultation with the faculty member whose course is at the origin of the project the student will define a precise topic by June 1 of the first year of study.
  • Work for the project will be carried out independently by the student over the summer between the first and second years.
  • The paper resulting from the project will be submitted for review to the project director by September 15 of the third semester of study.
  • The paper will be read by the project director, revised by the student, and copies will be distributed to the faculty of the French or Italian Section by October 15.
  • The candidate’s presentation and defense of the paper before the faculty of his/her section will be scheduled after November 1. The student’s brief presentation (ten minutes) in the target language will be followed by a short discussion with the faculty
    (20 minutes).
  • The IRP will be graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
  • A bound, final copy of the IRP should be submitted for the departmental library by December 15.
  • Changes to these requirements can be made in individual cases with the approval of the French or Italian section head. Student should discuss with their project director all of the preceding requirements before commencing their IRP work.

Master of Arts Degree in Hispanic, Literature and Culture

An oral, comprehensive examination

Each student must take an oral, comprehensive exam in the second year of study. The exam is one hour in length and is based on the student’s coursework and the Department reading list [Reading List for M.A. in Hispanic Studies]. The examination panel is comprised of three members of the Hispanic Studies faculty. The exam takes place in mid-March and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

MA Reading Lists

Course Offerings

Graduate Resources