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 Christine Bard on feminism and anti-feminism, Silyane Larcher on Colonial and Postcolonial French Antilles, Audrey Célestine on the relationship between the “Outremer” and the metropole, Marie-Eve Thérenty on Press, Society, and Literature since the 19th Century, and Ivan Jablonka on masculinities. In 2020-21, our visiting professors will include political sociologist Choukri Hmed (Université Paris Dauphine, CNRS) on French foreign policy, historian Craig Lanier Allen on the history of African Americans in Paris, historian Alexandra Bacopoulos-Viau (Weill Cornell Medicine Department of Psychiatry) on psychiatry in French History, Christelle Avril (EHESS-INED) on social inequalities in health, and socio-demographer Patrick Simon (INED) on population sciences
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 (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 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?
Ordinarily, yes (see text below). However, given the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, stay tuned for more updated information regarding open house events.
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 Peyton Vann, 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.
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 top applicants may receive additional aid, up to 100% of tuition for the very best. For more information please visit our Funding and Financial Aid page.
Does the IFS offer Diversity Scholarships?
Yes, for more information on how to apply please visit: http://gsas.nyu.edu/admissions/financial-aid/diversity-and-access-funding-programs.html
What are the requirements for admission?
To apply for admission to our Master's program, you must hold a B.A. degree (or the equivalent). In addition to the required forms, you must submit three academic letters of recommendation, 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. 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.
Please visit the GSAS Application Resource Center for up-to-date application instructions, requirements and deadlines and consult our How to Apply page for an overview of program-specific application information.
I am an international student. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. International students are eligible to apply for admission and IFS scholarships. Admitted international students will receive visa and immersion assistance from NYU's Office of Global Services.
How do I apply?
The application and all applicable information are available online at the Application Resource Center. Applicants submit their personal statement, writing samples, transcripts, and letters of recommendation online. Specific information about application materials can be found on our How To Apply page. Please pay careful attention to the GSAS Application Instructions, especially the Application Policies.
All materials must be uploaded to the online application; nothing should be sent to our department directly.
How do I apply to a joint or dual program?
With the exception of our J.D./French Studies M.A. degree, all joint programs require submission of a single application. Note that it is NYU's policy that applicants may only submit only one application within GSAS for consideration in a given term. When you begin your online application you will be prompted to select the joint program to which you would like to apply.
Pay close attention to the Requirements and Deadlines of each joint department. You must submit your application by whichever department's deadline is earliest. Some programs may require additional writing samples and test scores beyond what the stand-alone French Studies M.A. requires.
Since the Law School is a separate school within NYU from GSAS, applicants to the dual J.D./M.A. degree must submit separate applications to both. Applicants must be admitted to both schools in order to gain entry to the program. See the NYU Law site for J.D. application requirements.
Further details regarding joint and dual program applications can be found on our How To Apply page.
When is the application deadline?
M.A. in French Studies: The application deadline for admission with financial aid consideration is March 1st prior to the fall semester you are applying for. In the case where March 1st 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.
Joint M.A. Programs: The deadline for application to the joint Journalism/French Studies M.A. is January 4th prior to the fall semester you are applying for. Please see the Global and Joint Program Studies site for more information.
Dual Law Degree: Applicants to our dual degree 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 March 1st. See the NYU Law site for J.D. application requirements.
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. Applicants are assessed holistically on the basis of the undergraduate transcript, statement of purpose, writing sample, and letters of recommendation.
For admission to our joint and dual programs, applicants must be reviewed and admitted by both departments in order to enter the program.
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.
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 the Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator, Peyton Vann or attend one of our virtual open house meetings by signing up here and clicking on this link when it is time to join.