Following the fourth semester of course work, students in the Graduate Program in French Studies are required to take a series of Qualifying Examinations (QE) in order to move into the final year of course work and doctoral candidacy. These two-hour exams will be offered in each of the seven required areas of French literary history (le Moyen Âge; XVIe siècle; VXIIe siècle; XVIIIe siècle; XIX siècle; XXe/XXIe siècle; la Francophonie). Studenst may choose four centuries/periods in which they will take the QE, though they are expected to have a good working knowledge of all the areas.
The exams, based both on course work and on departmental reading lists (see below), will include close reading (explication de texte) and essays (at least one of which is to be written in French) covering literary movements, genres, critical issues, and themes in various centuries. Students who do not successfully pass the QE will receive a terminal Master's degree.