The Johns Hopkins PhD program in French focuses on research, argumentation, and writing, and is therefore especially attractive to independent-minded students. After a two-year period of intensive seminar work, admission to the PhD is based on the preparation and defense of the dissertation prospectus (ABD), rather than on comprehensive exams. This model enables students to fully understand important periods of French studies and to develop the tools of criticism. These range from literary history and poetics to philosophy, history of science, cultural theory, historiography, genetic criticism, and film aesthetics.

Following the ABD defense, students are encouraged to pursue research toward the dissertation through our graduate exchange program with the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, or doctoral internships with other French universities.

Graduate students in French engage in classroom teaching at all levels under the close guidance of our language teaching faculty, and receive training in innovative classroom techniques through various workshops. Advanced students are eligible to offer upper-level undergraduate courses on a research topic of their own choosing, through the Dean’s Teaching Fellowship (DTF) program. Our graduates are thus uniquely equipped to fill a variety of teaching duties in an academic environment.

Since 2000, tenure-track and tenured positions in French have been awarded to our graduates at the University of Basel; the University of California, Davis, and University of California, Irvine; the University of Colorado, Boulder; Duquesne; Emory; Harvard; Indiana University, Bloomington; Princeton; Reed College, SUNY, and Swarthmore College.