Program Requirements: Four-Year and Five-Year

A.B./M.A. Requirements for completion in four years:

Freshman and sophomore years:

  • Three 200-level courses plus the Junior Seminar (with an average of 3.7 in French and 3.4 G.P.A.)

Junior year:

  • Two 300-level courses taken with extra work at BMC or abroad (called “flexicredit” to count toward both the A.B. and M.A.) and two 500-level courses at the summer Institut d’Études françaises d’Avignon to be counted for graduate credit. Students who succeed in a course during JYA at the M (=Maîtrise) level may count this as one of the two 600 or 700-level courses usually taken during Senior Year (see below).

Senior Year:

  • Semester I:
    Senior Conference (398) and one graduate seminar (600-level); 
  • Semester II:
    Usually one USW (701) for thesis research and writing in conjunction with primary and secondary reading in the student’s chosen field (for the written Master’s exam). (If the student is sufficiently advanced, one of these graduate seminars may be taken during the junior year.) The M.A. thesis is usually developed from these seminars, one of the 300-level or 500-level courses or the USW. The thesis should be delivered at least two weeks prior to the end of classes in April so that the student is deemed admissible to the end-of-year exams.  

    To be admitted to the program, the student must first be approved by the department; if so, then she makes formal application first to the Special Cases Committee of the Undergraduate College and, once accepted, to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She should apply during semester II of sophomore year or semester I of junior year to the Undergraduate College and, once accepted, to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. 

Language Requirement: 

  • One foreign language that coheres with the student’s field of research. Language skills will be tested by reading examinations administered by the department.


  • With a May degree in view, the four-hour written field exam takes place at the beginning of May and covers the thesis and selected primary and theoretical works chosen by the student as her “limited field.” It precedes the oral, which lasts 60-90 minutes and includes questions both on the thesis and on the written “field” exam.

A.B./M.A. Requirements for completion in 4.5-5 years:

  • Same as above, except that in Semester II, the student must follow the normal undergraduate route: either a 300-level course with a long Senior essay or an undergraduate thesis. Each of these options culminates in a Senior oral exam on the thesis or long essay, after whose successful completion the A.B. is awarded. During the first semester or both semesters of the following year, the student works on and completes the M.A. thesis. At its completion, she presents the written field exam and oral defense, exactly as described above.  Students considering this option will need to be able to fund the expenses of their USW and faculty direction.
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Contact Us

Department of French and Francophone Studies

Old Library 103
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5198; Fax: 610-526-7479

Rudy Le Menthéour, Chair
Phone: 610-526-5674

Oliva Cardona, Program Assistant
Phone: 610-526-5198