What are the strengths of the IFS’s M.A. program?
The greatest strength of the program is the quality of the faculty and the students who make it what it is. No less important, the students who pursue degrees through the Institute bring tremendous talent and experience to the program. Another strength is the unparalleled opportunity to take courses in English as well as in French. Every year, the Institute brings to the NYU campus four stellar scholars from France, giving students the opportunity to work with top academic figures. Nearly all of our M.A. students also spent the summer term in Paris, where they take two courses and fully immerse themselves in French culture. Other strengths include the opportunity to complete an M.A. in a single calendar year and our rich program of lectures, seminars, films, and conferences. All of this makes the Institute a lively intellectual community — a tight-knit group of faculty and students who take full advantage of living and studying in New York and Paris.
Who makes up our faculty?
NYU has long had top faculty in the areas of French and Francophone Studies, from historians and political scientists to sociologists and anthropologists. Our permanent and affiliated faculty also represent several areas of interest and approaches to French Studies. In addition, scholars from France broaden the scope of our curriculum. Recent visitors include Laure Bereni on Gender and the French Social Sciences, Silyane Larcher on Colonial and Postcolonial French Antilles, Pap Ndaye on Race and Racism in Modern France, Marie-Eve Thérenty on Press, Society, and Literature Since the 19th Century, and Patrick Weil on Immigration and Minority Issues. In 2018 and 2019, our visitors will include among others filmmaker Isabelle Boni-Claverie (director of “Too Black to Be French”), sociologist Marie Cartier (Université de Nantes), political scientist Sarah Gensburger (CNRS), and historian Ivan Jablonka (Paris 13).
Who are our students?
We are very committed to building a diverse and inclusive class. Our students come from all over the United States and from many countries abroad. Some of them come directly from undergraduate programs. Others have worked, studied or traveled after college before coming to our program. Many (though not all) have had some experience studying and living in a French-speaking country. Our students are diverse in background, interests, and goals, thereby enriching the community of learning and research at the Institute.
How can I complete the program in a single calendar year?
Most students, in fact, do it this way. The M.A. program begins in September and ends the following July. You take three courses at IFS in New York during the fall semester, another three the same way in the spring. Then you take two IFS-sponsored courses in Paris at NYU in France in the summer, thereby completing the eight courses required for the degree. The program concludes with a one-day M.A. exam in Paris in July.
Is there a Master’s thesis?
No. Our program currently doesn’t require a Master’s thesis. However, our curriculum has a strong research component. Whether they choose archival investigations, ethnographic fieldwork, or journalistic reportage, students conduct research in both New York and Paris (during our summer program) for research term papers. On both sides of the Atlantic, they receive close mentoring from our faculty. Students also submit a Master's Essay on the day they take the written part of the M.A. Comprehensive Examination. Normally this essay is a course research term paper. It may be revised before submission.
Is the summer session in Paris required?
No. You may opt to complete the degree by taking two courses at the Institute in New York during a third semester. A few students usually take this option.
Can I be a part-time student?
Yes. Many students have completed the M.A. as part-time students. If you are interested in this option please contact Professor Herrick Chapman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Part-time students are eligible for scholarships.
How proficient should I be in French to pursue this program?
You needn’t have been a French major in college to pursue our M.A. program, and many of our students aren’t. But you do need good skills in the language. Our students’ level of French ranges from near-native ability to proficient. Because half of our courses are taught in French, you must be able to read French scholarship and understand the spoken language. Your written work may be in either French or English. Students improve their language skills in the natural course of their work and activity at the Institute, but we do not teach language per se.
I am interested in the M.A. program, and would like to meet with faculty or sit in on a class. Is this possible?
Absolutely. You may do so in the fall, before sending in your application, or after receiving news of our decision in the spring. Prospective students often attend our Tuesday luncheon workshop series, sit in on a class, and meet with faculty and students. Please email Wendy Diaz, our graduate student affairs coordinator, to arrange your visit. Note that these informal meetings are intended to address prospective students' questions and concerns. They are not application interviews.
What are the requirements for admission?
Applicants are not required to take the GRE or fill out financial disclosures. They are assessed on the basis of their undergraduate transcript, a writing sample, and letters of recommendation. Applications will be received until December 15 for the M.A./M.B.A. dual degree and January 4 for the Joint Global Journalism degree and February 7 for M.A. in French Studies application. To apply for admission to our Master's program, you should hold a B.A. degree (or the equivalent). In addition to the required forms, you should submit three academic letters of recommendation, upload an official copy of your academic transcript from each school you have previously attended, a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and, for international students, results from the TOEFL or IELTS.
Please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center for up-to-date application instructions, requirements and deadlines.
Whom should I ask for recommendation letters? What kind of recommendation letters is most effective/useful?
Letters from professors or advisors with whom an applicant has studied are most useful to the admissions committee. If you are unable to provide letters from three academic references, professional references from people who can discuss your abilities as a researcher or writer are acceptable. We do not recommend character references from friends, family, or religious advisors.
How should I apply?
NYU no longer mails hard copy application bulletins. The application and all applicable information are available online from Graduate Enrollment Services. Applicants now submit their personal statement, writing samples, transcripts, and letters of recommendation online.
When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for admission with financial aid consideration is February 7th prior to the fall semester you are applying for. In the case where February 7th falls on a weekend day, then the deadline will fall on the Monday immediately following. All applications received by that date will be guaranteed consideration. Applications that arrive afterwards will be considered on a rolling basis.
Applicants to our dual degrees with Law or Business Administration must submit two applications, one to each of the schools. Applications must be submitted by each school's deadline and an interest in the dual degree indicated at that time. The application deadline for admission with financial aid consideration for the dual degree (M.A.-M.B.A.) in French Studies/Business Administration is December 15th. However, applications to GSAS do not have to be submitted until February 7th.
How are admissions decisions made?
The Admissions Committee is made up of permanent Institute faculty. We look for strong academic training, an inquisitive mind, prior acquaintance and curiosity about France and its place in the world, and sufficient command of French.
For admission to our joint and dual programs, both departments must say yes.
May I go on to pursue a Ph.D. at NYU after completing the M.A.?
The M.A. in French Studies does not automatically admit you to a Ph.D. program at NYU. You would have to apply to the Ph.D. just like other applicants. Many of our M.A. graduates have gone on to excellent Ph.D. programs. Because admission to our Ph.D. programs is highly competitive, we always encourage students to apply to a number of programs, and not just NYU’s.
I have other questions. Whom should I contact?
Please write Herrick Chapman, the Institute’s Director of Graduate Studies (email@example.com).