Master of Arts Degree in French, Hispanic, or Italian Literature and Culture
romance languages and literatures
Degree Requirements Overview
- Completion of 30 credits of coursework with a minimum average of B or better.
- Completion of the Independent Research Project (see below).
- Participation in the occasional department workshops and “practica" on pedagogy and professional formation, including the department Orientation for new teaching fellows held during the last week of August. At the beginning of each year, the department Director of Graduate Studies will inform students of the schedule of any other workshops and practica to be offered during the academic year.
Students will be eligible for the MA degree after successfully completing all coursework, filing their approved independent research project with the department, and participating in the department pedagogy and professional formation workshops and practica.
A formal evaluation of the student’s performance will be conducted in the first semester of 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
Students will take ten 3-credit graduate courses, including seminars in four of the following distribution areas:
- Medieval Peninsular
- Golden Age Peninsular
- 18th-21th century Peninsular (including film)
- Colonial to 19th century Latin American
- 20th – 21st century Latin American (including film)
During the first year of graduate study, MA students in Hispanic Studies are strongly encouraged to take RL 901 Advanced Textual Analysis.
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 RLL Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the faculty of the relevant section.
The Independent Research Project (IRP)
All M.A. Candidates in French, Hispanic Studies, 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 20 to 25 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 should demonstrate critical competence in textual analysis, in developing and sustaining an argument, and in appropriate use of evidence and citation of sources.
- 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 January 15.
- Changes to these requirements (including deadlines) can be made in individual cases with the approval of the French, Hispanic Studies, or Italian section head. Student should discuss with their project director all of the preceding requirements before commencing their IRP work.
- Students may apply for departmental summer research prize to engage in research related to their independent research project. The best essays will be eligible to compete in the annual departmental Sue Nyugen Prize for Excellence in Graduate Studies. Information about the Summer Research Travel Prize and the Nyugen Prize can be found on our Graduate Resources page.