French and Renaissance Studies

Combined Degree Program in French and Renaissance Studies

General Degree Requirements (French)


Sixteen courses at the graduate level are required.  Nine of these correspond to requirements of the Department of French, seven to the requirements of the Renaissance Studies Program.  Of the nine courses taken in French, one must be French 610 (Introduction to Old French), two others must fall within the medieval and early modern periods (eleventh through seventeenth centuries).  The six remaining courses in French must cover as broad a spectrum as possible of the various periods and subfields of French and Francophone literature.  Of the seven courses taken in Renaissance Studies, two must consist of the Renaissance Studies Core Course, two must be in a literature or literatures other than French, and three must be taken in other departments (History, History of Art, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy, etc.). 

Language Requirement

Latin and Italian, as required by RenaissanceStudies.  A written examination in Latin will consist of a passage of humanist Latin prose (one hour).  A written examination in Italian will consist of a literary passage from the Italian Renaissance (one hour) and a passage of modern Italian scholarship (one hour). 

Qualifying Examination

An oral qualifying examination must take place as early as possible in the third year of study, before spring recess at the latest.  The examination will consist of seven topics: four in French and three in Renaissance Studies.  Of the four topics in French one must center on Renaissance literature, two on other areas of French and Francophone literature.  The fourth will consist in the textual analysis of a poem or prose passage in French, provided to the candidate 24 hours before the examination.  Of the three topics in Renaissance Studies,  one/two must center on a Renaissance literature other than French, the remainder on an area or areas of Renaissance Studies other than literature.  The French part of the examination will be conducted in French; the Renaissance Studies part will be conducted in English.


A formal prospectus defense must take place no later than two weeks before the end of the sixth semester (third year) of study.  The prospectus committee will consist of three faculty members, including the dissertation director(s) and at least one member of the Renaissance Studies Executive Committee.   Once approved by the committee, the prospectus will be submitted to the graduate faculty of the Department of French for a vote on final approval and advancement to candidacy.  More than one dissertation adviser is permitted and indeed encouraged, but the principal adviser will normally be in the Department of French.  The official readers of the finished dissertation need not be members of the original prospectus committee, but will include at least one member of the Department of French and at least one member of the Renaissance Studies Executive Committee.