Download M.A. thesis procedures as a printable PDF.

As an M.A. student in either the French literature (“standard”) or applied linguistics track, you have the option of writing a thesis, which can be advantageous from many standpoints. First and foremost, this exercise aims to prepare you for advanced writing and research, but it can also be used for presentation at professional meetings in your field, and at best inform later doctoral studies and lead to publication.

Your overall course load is reduced by 6 credits. For the literature track with thesis, you will need to complete 27 hours of coursework, and for the applied linguistics track, 30 hours of coursework are required.

Things to Know

  • As a thesis track student, you will still need to take comprehensive exams during your final semester, but for Literature track students the thesis exempts you from one field of examination.
  • During both your second-to-last and last semesters of coursework, you will enroll in 3 thesis credits and work closely with your thesis adviser to develop your project, for a total of 6 thesis credits.
  • As soon as possible, discuss with your thesis adviser ideas for additional committee members. A thesis committee typically has three faculty members, one from outside of the department.
  • Draw from the French Reading List on the program’s website to develop your project.
  • A typical thesis is approximately 50 pages long, including tables, appendices, and bibliography. It is prepared in conformity with a standard style manual appropriate for the discipline, such as the MLA Handbook, the APA Manual, or the Chicago Manual. Students in the linguistics track should also adhere to the standards indicated in Special Instructions for a Prospectus, Thesis or Dissertation on a French Linguistics Topics (PDF).
  • Your oral defense of the thesis will generally take place during your final semester. Keep this in mind as you are scheduling comprehensive exams in consultation with your graduate adviser. The defense is open to the public and consists in a presentation (by you), followed by questions and answers from your committee and possibly the public.
  • The Graduate School submission deadlines are listed on the Graduate School website, but are generally around October 30th (Fall) and March 25th (Spring). Verify deadlines and schedule your defense in consultation with your thesis adviser well in advance of these deadlines in order to ensure that any changes required by your committee can be completed in time.
  • The Graduate School requires that your thesis be uploaded through its ProQuest* website as a carefully edited pdf file. You must obtain final approval from your thesis adviser prior to submitting the thesis to the Graduate School.