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. Our faculty come from numerous disciplines, from French and sociology to anthropology, politics, and literature. The students who pursue degrees at the IFS represent all kinds of undergraduate majors (not just French) and bring tremendous talent to the program. Graduates of our M.A. programs go on to careers in a variety of fields that prize clear thinking, global understanding of the world, and analytical fluency in more than one language. These include the Foreign Service, journalism, humanitarian assistance, immigration law, primary and secondary education, translation, international business.
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 visiting professors will include among others film-maker Isabelle Boni-Claverie (director of “Too Black to Be French”), political scientist Sarah Gensburger (CNRS), literary scholar Kaoutar Harchi (Paris 3), and historian Christine Bard (Université d’Angers).
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 — many of them through the TAPIF program (more below about the new partnership between the IFS and TAPIF). 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.
What about research opportunities at the IFS?
Our curriculum has a strong research component. Whether they choose archival investigations, ethnographic fieldwork, or journalistic reportage, students conduct research in New York for term papers. In addition, we are introducing in 2018 a New York-based research seminar in sociology, “French-Speaking Migrants in New York City.” During our Paris summer session, all students take an M.A. Research Seminar taught by an IFS faculty member. Students conduct original research leading to a significant final paper or project. In New York as well as Paris, our faculty provide close mentoring.
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 Frédéric Viguier (email@example.com). 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 fairly efficiently and understand the spoken language in a classroom setting. Your written work may be in either French or English. Students improve their language skills in the course of their work and interactions at the Institute. We also offer a weekly French Language Lab, in which a French instructor provides linguistic support as needed.
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?
The GRE general test is not required. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, while the Graduate School will notify you that the scores were received, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee. They are assessed on the basis of the undergraduate transcript, a writing sample, and letters of recommendation. Applications will be received until January 4 for the Joint Global Journalism degree and February 7 for the 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.
Does the IFS provide funding to M.A. students?
Yes! All of our students receive some financial aid, with no teaching or TA requirements. We understand that higher education is expensive and have worked with NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to offer all admitted M.A. students an IFS scholarship covering at least 50% of tuition. Our best applicants may receive additional aid, up to 100% of tuition for the very best. In addition, the IFS has entered into an agreement with the TAPIF teaching assistant program by which we reserve some of our most generous M.A. fellowships to top alumni of the program. These fellowships cover between 75% and 100% of tuition costs. Top former TAPIF alumni will also receive a $3,000 summer scholarship during our program’s summer session in Paris. When you apply, please indicate that you're affiliated with TAPIF and include your experience on your resume or curriculum vitae. To waive your application fee, please contact Wendy Diaz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whom should I ask for recommendation letters? What kind of recommendation letter 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 afterward will be considered on a rolling basis.
Applicants to our dual degrees with Law 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. 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 to Frédéric Viguier, the Institute’s Director of Graduate Studies (email@example.com).