Ph.D. Program FAQs

Whom should I contact to learn more about Ph.D. programs in French Studies at NYU?

 

If you have questions about the masters, doctoral, and certificate programs at the Institute of French Studies, please don’t hesitate to email Professor Frédéric Viguier, the Director of Graduate Studies (frederic.viguier@nyu.edu).  He can also arrange for a phone conversation or appointment at the Institute.

 

What are the different Ph.D. programs you offer in French Studies?

 

The Institute of French Studies at NYU sponsors two Ph.D. programs:  one Joint Program in French Studies and French Literature, in partnership with the French Department, and another Joint Program in French Studies and History, in partnership with the History Department.

 

Can I apply to more than one Ph.D. program at NYU?

 

No.  The Graduate School of Arts and Science allows you to apply to only one program in the school in a given admissions season.

 

How do I decide whether to apply to the Joint Program in French Studies and French Literature rather than simply to the Ph.D. program in French Department

 

The Joint program is especially geared for students who are able to bring a strong, professional engagement with history and/or social science to their work as a literary scholar.  This kind of engagement goes beyond the usual interest most literary scholars have in historical context.  Applicants to the joint program should already have enough background in history and/or social science to have a good understanding of why and how they want to combine this kind of training with their literary study.  By the same token, literature and literary criticism remain at the center of studies in the joint program.  Students currently in the joint program are writing dissertations on such topics as the construction of “beur literature” as a literary genre (a study that combines literary analysis, contemporary history, and the sociology of publishing and the media), automotive culture in the literary and social history of colonial Indochina (a study that combines literary analysis and social history), and women’s religious devotion in nineteenth-century France (a study that combines literary analysis and cultural history).  This kind of interdisciplinary work is challenging, and not for everyone.  But for students eager to do it, NYU is an exciting, supportive environment to work at this frontier in interdisciplinary literary study.

 

How do I decide whether to apply to your Joint Program in French Studies and History rather than simply to the Ph.D. program in the History Department?

 

Students doing doctoral work in modern French history (since the late eighteenth century) can do so either through the Joint Program or through the regular Ph.D. program in European history in the History Department.  If you take the latter path you prepare a major field in European history (with a special focus on France), plus a minor field in another area of history, such as early modern Europe, another geographical region, or a thematic field.  If you pursue the joint program you do the same major field in European history but combine it with an interdisciplinary focus on France.  You take courses both in the History Department and in the Institute of French Studies, which offers courses in history as well, but also sociology, politics, and anthropology in relationship to France and the French-speaking world.  Either path works well.  The historians of modern France on the faculty at NYU are equally involved in the Institute and the Department.  Most students, though not all, choose to do the joint program.  Students who do opt for the joint program should feel committed to taking advantage of the multidisciplinary intellectual environment and curriculum at IFS.  If you have questions about which option is best for you, contact the Director of Graduate Studies at IFS, Frédéric Viguier (frederic.viguier@nyu.edu).

 

What kind of financial aid does NYU offer doctoral students?

 

NYU offers entering doctoral students a five-year fellowship that covers tuition and provides a full stipend for each of the five years.  The stipend level changes a bit every year, so check the website of the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) for the current year’s stipend.  Graduate students may also teach at some point in their graduate training, and for this they are paid a salary over and above their fellowship.   Which year or years you teach depend on the availability of teaching opportunities in your department and the guidance of your advisers about when it may be best to teach, given your research schedule.  Students in the Joint Ph.D. Program in History and French Studies usually teach in the History Department and in the university-wide core curriculum, the Morse Academic Program.  Students in the Joint Ph.D. program in French Literature and French Studies teach principally in the French Department.

 

How strong is your placement record for your doctoral graduates?

 

Very strong.  Most of our Ph.D. graduates have launched successful careers in university and college teaching and research.  To get an idea of where our graduates are teaching, visit this page.

 

What sorts of dissertations are your students currently working on?

 

Students in our two joint doctoral programs are pursuing research in a remarkably wide range of areas.  To get an idea of what they are doing, visit this page.