Student Handbook Hidden
- Part I - General Information
- Part II - Your Academic Program
- 1. Important Departmental Rules
- 2. Graduate College Rules Regarding Course Load
- 3. Role of Faculty Advisors
- 4. The M.A. Program and Examinations
- 5. The Ph.D. Program and Examinations
- 5.1 Course work
- 5.2 Ph.D. Language Requirements
- 5.3 Preliminary Examination
- 5.4 Guidelines Regarding Dissertation Direction
- 5.5 Thesis Defense or "Final Examination" (Graduate College Handbook)
- 5.6 Thesis Deposit
- 5.7 Student Checklist for Preliminary Examination and Thesis Defense
- 6. Graduate Studies Minors
- 7. Graduate College Resources
- 8. Grants and Fellowships
- 8.1 Departmental Support for Reading a Paper at a Conference
- 10. Teaching Opportunities in Francophone Countries
- 11. Graduate Student Teaching Assistanships
- 11.1 Department Policy Regarding Graduate Teaching Assistant Appointments
- 11.2 Responsibilities of Graduate Student Teaching Assistants
- 11.3 Evaluation of Graduate Teaching Assistants
- 11.4 Professionalism
- 11.5 Desk Copies
- 11.6 Grade Books
- 12. Ethical Conduct
- 13. Grievances
- 14. Sexual Harassment
- 15. Graduate Students in French and Italian (GSFRIT)
- Students who hold a teaching assistantship are required (by virtue of their contract letter) to take a minimum of 8 hours of course work per semester.
- Students may take 4 to 8 thesis hours (FR 599) in the semester during which they will take prelims.
- Students may not register for more than 4 hours of FR 591 per semester. Any exception to this rule must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
- Students may ask to transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours at the M.A. level (stage I). For a specification of which kind of credit hours can be transferred, see the GC Handbook. Please direct your request for credit transfer to the Director of Graduate Studies. Per GC policy, credit from outside the Graduate College may not be transferred to count at the Ph.D. level (stage II and III).
- First-year teaching assistants must take a course in teaching methodology, FR 505, as part of their contractual obligations; this includes exchange TAs. Credit for this course does not count toward the completion of the academic program, regardless of a student's specialization.
- To help the student constitute the prelim and dissertation defense committees from faculty within and outside the Department of French and Italian.
- To arrange regular meetings with the student in order to assess his or her progress.
- To record the student's course program in the student's file.
- To guide the student's thesis research.
- To make certain that theses prepared under his or her direction are presented in final draft form to members of the examining committee not less than 3 weeks before the final examination of the candidate.
This document is intended to describe the Graduate Program in French and Italian and to summarize some of the policies of the Graduate College that pertain to graduate students. It is not intended to be a complete description of the policies and procedures of the Graduate College or the University. Students are advised to consult the Graduate College Handbook of Policy and Requirements for Students, Faculty and Staff for a complete description of topics such as Credit Loads; Credit/No Credit; Time Limit; Travel for conferences; Travel for Dissertation Research; Stipend Payments; Payroll Forms; Tax Status; Health Insurance; Vacation and Sick-Leave; University Resources (for TAs); Mediation of Conflicts between Faculty Supervisors and TA/RA; Resources and Procedures outside of Department (Grievance); Ethics: Academic Integrity, Professional Codes of Conduct; Academic Misconduct Policies (e.g. plagiarism, discrimination, sexual harassment).
The Graduate College Handbook explains your privileges and responsibilities as a graduate student, describes many of the services provided to you by the University, and summarizes the Graduate College regulations that apply to all graduate students. Much of the Handbook deals with rules and regulations, but it also contains a lot of helpful information. All policies in the Graduate College Handbook are followed by the Department of French and Italian.
Important: in the event any major changes in the departmental requirements described herein occur, a continuing student may choose to fulfill the requirements in effect when the student began graduate study or to adopt the changes in the revised document. In all such matters, students should consult their advisors.
We want to provide each student in the department with the best opportunity for success in graduate school and after graduating. We are sincerely interested in listening to any suggestions that may improve the graduate program.
Graduate student mailboxes are located in the main office, 2090 Foreign Languages Building (FLB). These boxes provide a convenient means of getting in touch with you. Important messages will sometimes be left in your mailbox, so please be sure to check its contents regularly.
Many departmental notices and the monthly newsletter are sent out by electronic mail. Please read your e-mail regularly. If you are not receiving departmental e-mail notices, please notify Jill Gurke in 2090 FLB (phone 244-8243, or at firstname.lastname@example.org). The Department web page is www.frit.illinois.edu.
2124 FLB is the shared computer lab for French and Italian TAs. Keys for this room are distributed at the beginning of the semester. For other computer sites and for CITES' Netfiles online storage services and University's policies and procedures regarding both on- and off-campus computing, see here.
If you are carrying out research or are a teaching assistant, in addition to the key to your office, you will be given a key to the outside doors of the building to enter after hours.
The French and Italian Department staff assigns graduate student offices to all graduate students with teaching assistant appointments. Smoking is not allowed in these offices or anywhere in the building or on campus.
Graduate teaching assistants may obtain supplies for the course they are teaching. Specific requests should be made to Jill Gurke in 2090 FLB. Research assistants should check with their supervisors before obtaining supplies for their work or operating the copying machine.
Vending machines stocked with cold and hot drinks and snacks are located on the ground floor behind and to the left of the elevators.
The emergency phone number is 9-911.
Please be security conscious. Do not leave personal valuables in your office or desk. Do not share your keys or invite others to the graduate student offices or other department facilities. Close and lock your office doors whenever you leave the office.
See information about the Graduate Employee Organization at http://www.uigeo.org/.
Attendance at departmental events is expected from all graduate students in French and Italian. You are strongly encouraged to come to all dissertation defenses, unless it interferes with a class. You should also make every possible effort to attend talks given by invited scholars or by your peers, as well as any professional gathering organized by the department. These are important occasions for intellectual exchange with the faculty and with scholars from other institutions, and provide the opportunity to familiarize yourself with aspects of academic life.
The Graduate College specifies a minimum amount of credit for which a Teaching/Research Assistant must enroll in accordance with the following table:
Appointment Percentage Minimum Load in Hours
11-24 percent 12 hours
25-67 percent 8 hours
Students with fellowships should take 12 or more hours per semester. Students working on dissertations should register for the maximum number of hours permissible (either 599 exclusively, or a combination of a course plus 599). Teaching Assistants are strongly advised to take three courses during the semesters when they are teaching only one course.
Beginning French graduate students should be advised by the designated advisor for the specialization they have chosen: French Studies, Language Learning and SLATE, French Linguistics. For current information about the advisor for each of these specializations, click on the specialization.
Students meet with their advisor at least once per semester, prior to registering, in order to discuss their choice of courses for the following semester and to ensure that they are fulfilling the degree requirements. Faculty advisors record students' progress in their files (kept in the Graduate Student Services office, third floor). It is absolutely required to meet with the advisor before registering for courses.
At the doctoral level, a student selects a director of research whose expertise will permit him or her to direct the student's program of course work and research leading to the preliminary examination and dissertation defense. It is the student's responsibility to identify a faculty member who will agree to direct his or her dissertation project.
The director of research shall have the following responsibilities at the doctoral level:
32 hours. See here for rules about courses in the three specializations.
A student is expected to complete the M.A. degree for the specialization to which he or she was admitted. If a student wishes to switch from one specialization to another, he or she may do so at the Ph.D. level through an internal application for admission to the other specialization during the semester the M.A. exam is taken (normally the fourth semester after a student's entry into the original graduate program).
The Department's Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid shall evaluate (1) the student's statement of purpose explaining the reasons for the intended change of specialization and the interest in doctoral studies in the chosen specialization, (2) the student's academic record, (3) three letters of recommendation by UIUC faculty, and (4) two writing samples. The student's internal application for entry into a different specialization will be evaluated in consideration of the pool of external applicants for that specialization.
In exceptional cases a switch of specialization may be authorized during the first year of the M.A. In a written statement to the Department Head and the Director of Graduate Studies, the student shall petition for changing specializations and lay out his or her reasons for it. The academic advisors for the two specializations involved also shall explain why the student's switch is in the best interest of the student and the department, and at least two faculty members of the specialization to which the student wants to switch shall provide statements in support of the student's petition. These statements shall be provided as soon as possible by the end of the Academic Year. The Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid shall evaluate the petition, also taking into account the pool of external applicants.
Information on department procedures for M.A. and Ph.D. examinations is also found in the respective description of each specialization posted on the departmental web page.
Students may not normally take the examination before the semester in which they finish course work for the M.A. If circumstances prevent students from taking the examination during the last semester of course work, they may arrange to return to the campus for that purpose.
Before scheduling the M.A. examinations, the chair of the examination committee should ask the Director of Graduate Studies to check the student's dossier to make sure that the required 32 hours of course work have been taken in the distribution specified by the course of study for the specialization that the student has elected (French Studies, French Linguistics, Language Learning). When a date is agreed upon, the committee should let Graduate Student Services know.
A French/French dictionary may be used for the written portion of the M.A. exam.
The M.A. examination committee will evaluate examinations as either pass or fail, with no partial pass. A student who fails the examination may retake it once, no sooner than the following semester. The examination may not be taken more than twice.
The exam committee fills out the "M.A. Comprehensive Examination Report Form" (there is a different form for each specialization) and adds it to the student's file in 3080 FLB. The chair of the exam committee should notify the Director of Graduate Studies, who will notify Graduate Student Services that the student's name should be put on the graduation degree list if all course work is completed.
In addition, the committee will provide each student and the Director of Graduate Studies with a written evaluation of the student's performance. The Committee will further provide an evaluation of each pre-doctoral student's qualification for Ph.D. study and will forward to the Admissions Committee, along with examination copies, one of the following recommendations:
- Acceptable for Ph.D. study
- Acceptable for Ph.D. study with reservations
- Not acceptable for Ph.D. study
If the student wishes to enter the doctoral program, he or she must apply to the Department's Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. The Committee considers (1) the recommendations of the M.A. Exam Committee, (2) the student's statement of purpose, (3) two letters of recommendation by UIUC faculty members who support the student's application to the doctoral program, (4) the student's academic record, and (5) two papers submitted by the student.
Students wishing to apply to the doctoral program should take the M.A. examination before the end of February during their second year. The M.A. examination may not be taken a second time as a test of Ph.D. qualification.
Appeals may be considered only on grounds of alleged unfair treatment and would be directed to the Graduate Policy Committee.
The members of the M.A. Examination Committee in French Studies are named by the head of the department.
The examination is in French. It has two parts, written and oral, and is based on a reading list, covering the fields of French literature and culture.
The written part of the M.A. examination in French Studies will have three parts with choices offered within each part:
- Explication de texte 1.5 hours
- Broad, cross-period/cross-cultural question 1.5 hours
- Shorter, more focused questions 1.5 hours
The explication de texte part will offer a choice between poetry and prose. The examination committee will select these texts from those that appear on the reading list. The section of shorter questions may focus on a particular text, period, genre, theme, or approach. Sample questions can be consulted in the department. Please ask Jill Gurke.
The oral part of the examination will be about 1.5 to 2 hours and will be scheduled within a few days following the written portion, if the student has passed the written. The oral exam will include a discussion of the student's written answers as well as questions on other items on the reading list.
The examination is designed to test students' knowledge of the required texts, their ability to discuss them critically, and the quality of written and spoken French.
The M.A. examination is comprised of a written and an oral part and includes a section of French Literature and/or culture. The written examination typically lasts 4 hours; the oral examination, 1 hour. The oral is administered a week after the written, if the student has passed the written.
The Linguistics part, both written and oral, is based on an extended reading list of books, book chapters and articles covering the following areas of French Linguistics:
- French Phonetics and Phonology
- Syntax of French
- Sociolinguistics and Language Policy
- History of French
The Literature/Culture part is based on a subset of books that each student selects in consultation with the French Studies faculty designated to give the M.A. examination. This list includes about a third of the titles on the reading list for the M.A. in French Studies. Students are advised to cover a broad range of periods and genres.
The written examination consists of two essays covering at least two areas of French Linguistics mentioned above. One part is in English, the other one in French. The oral examination is a discussion of the written examination and short questions about topics defined in the reading list. It is typically conducted in French.
No later than the mid-point of the semester preceding the final semester of course work, the candidate should consult with his or her advisor for the purpose of establishing an examination committee. This committee shall consist of three members of the regular faculty: two members shall represent the area of second language learning, the other member shall represent the candidate's interest or interests within French studies. The candidate's advisor should chair the committee.
It shall be the responsibility of the committee to prepare a comprehensive written and oral examination based on a list of readings from the candidate's areas of study, selected by Committee members in consultation with the candidate. The examination will be approximately four hours in length and will include.
- a written discussion in French of the stylistic expression and/or cultural context of a selected French passage (1 hour)
- a written discussion of some aspect of second language acquisition theory (1 hour)
- an essay bearing on one or more aspects of teaching French culture, language and/or literature (1 hour)
- an oral interview based on all of the above (1 hour)
Parts of both the written and oral portions of the examination will be conducted in French as a means of evaluating the candidate's communicative competence in written and spoken French. The examination cannot normally be administered during a Summer Session.
Please refer to the Graduate College Handbook for information on general requirements for the doctorate:
- course work
- examinations (prelims and defense)
32 hours beyond the M.A.; no 599s (thesis credits) before the semester during which prelims are to be taken.
Doctoral students in the French Studies program who are specializing in medieval or renaissance studies must demonstrate a reading knowledge of Latin.
The modern foreign language requirement may be fulfilled by demonstrating satisfactory proficiency in a language other than English and French. Students who are native speakers of a third language may opt to fulfill the requirement by that langauge.
In general, the foreign language to fulfill the requirement should be chosen according to a student's need to read essential scholarship for his or her doctoral research. Each student should therefore select the foreign language in consultation with his or her academic advisor.
Satisfactory proficiency can be proven by passing a fourth semester language course in the language offered at UIUC (pass/no pass), by a UIUC course offered to graduate students equivalent to FR 501 (e.g. GER 501), or by a proficiency exam administered by a UIUC department.
Ph.D. students in French Linguistics who wish to receive course credit for the Ph.D. Concentration in Romance Linguistics should take a Romance language for their modern foreign language requirement, as defined in the Programs Catalogue. Students may fulfill this requirement by passing a fourth semester course with the grade of B or better, or by demonstrating equivalent ability by examination.
Nota Bene. The foreign language requirement may be fulfilled after passing the Ph.D. preliminary examination.
The Preliminary Examination will be based on a reading list approved by the exam committee and on the thesis proposal. It will include a written and an oral part. Results (Pass, Failure, Adjournment) will be reported to the Graduate College within 30 days of the scheduled date. If some part of the examination is found to be unsatisfactory, the student may be reexamined on that part. If the examination is failed, it may be retaken once. Failure a second time eliminates the student from the program. Appeals may be considered only on grounds of alleged unfair treatment and would be directed to the Graduate Policy Committee.
A French/French dictionary may be used for the written portion of the preliminary exam.
Prelims should be scheduled normally about 2 years after beginning doctoral course work. Before scheduling, the director of research or academic advisor as well as the Director of Graduate Studies should check the student's record to make sure 32 hours have been taken. No outstanding Incompletes are permitted.
At least four weeks before the student's examination and as soon as possible, the chair of the examination committee asks Graduate Services for a PhD exam schedule form. On this form, the chair is asked to provide a date, time, and room preference for both the written and oral parts of the preliminary exams. The committee chair will also list on that form all the committee members. After receiving the completed form, Graduate Services will fill out and submit the Request for Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee form. This is sent electronically to the Graduate College, which must approve the constitution of the committee.
Graduate College examination policies and procedures are presented here.
Important: the committee should include 4 voting members. At least 3 must be Graduate faculty; at least 2 tenured. At least 2 members of the committee must be in the Department of French and Italian.
Nota Bene. All committee members need no longer be present for the exam. If not present, however, they must participate in the examination via "appropriate electronic communication technology"--in the case of the Department of French and Italian, via conference call and/or Skype.
The committee must render a unanimous decision, reported on a "Certificate of Result" form (yellow for prelims) which the Graduate College, through Graduate Student Services, will send the chair of the approved exam committee. The form is returned to Graduate Student Services.
The Director of Graduate Studies should be advised of the projected date of the prelims.
Any changes in the doctoral committee should be made by the director of research and communicated by the director of research to the rest of the committee, to the Director of Graduate Studies, and to Graduate Student Services in a timely fashion, in no case less than 90 days before the scheduled defense date.
The final draft of the dissertation should be distributed to the doctoral committee a minimum of three weeks before the scheduled defense.
Each member of the doctoral committee should submit in written form to the candidate and director of research the changes they require to be made before the thesis may be deposited.
The student's director of research requests the defense committee just as for prelims (see above). According to Graduate College recommendations, this committee should be appointed as early as possible after the prelims. There is no time limit on the committee's approved service other than the length of time the student is permitted to complete the degree.
Nota Bene. At least 2 members of the thesis defense committee must be faculty in the Department of French. The director of research does not have to be a member of the Graduate Faculty but the committee chair does. The constitution of the defense committee does not have to be exactly the same as that of the prelims committee.
In exceptional cases, some committee members may not be present for the defense. As in the case of the prelims committee, if members are not present, they must participate in the defense via "appropriate electronic communication technology." The candidate passes the final exam if the director(s) of research vote pass and no more than one of the remaining committee members votes fail. The results of the defense are reported on the "Certificate of Result Form" (white copy for defense) and sent to the Graduate College. The chair of the defense committee will also have received from the Graduate College a Supplemental Grade Report for the student. This changes all the 599s from DF (Deferred Grade) to either S (Satisfactory) or U (Unsatisfactory) depending on the decision of the committee. The director of research or the chair of the defense committee must sign this form after the defense and give it to Graduate Student Services. At the conclusion of the defense, the committee shall also sign four copies of the Certificate of Committee Approval (formerly called the "Red-bordered Form") and give them to Graduate Student Services. These are kept in the student's file until the student is ready to deposit the thesis, at which time the Head signs them.
Do not forget to advertise the defense by contacting Graduate Student Services: check with them to make sure that a flyer is prepared and put up about a week before the defense.
Do not forget to notify Graduate Student Services after the defense has been successfully completed.
Students and directors should consult the most recent issue of the "Thesis Handbook" available from the Graduate College.
Graduate Student Services must approve the format of the final version of the thesis before the student takes it to be checked at the Graduate College Thesis Office. See Thesis Format Rules below.
Please also see and use this checklist for graduating doctoral students provided by the Graduate College.
The Graduate Student Services office must be notified when the thesis has been deposited so that they can verify that the student's name is on the appropriate degree list.
The Director of Graduate Studies is required to approve the format of a Ph.D. thesis before it can be deposited. This format check takes place after the thesis has been defended and all final changes made to the contents. An approval form must accompany the thesis just like the Certificate of Committee Approval form. Once deposited, dissertations are bound and stored in the library, available to the public. As such, they should look like professional work - hence the university's requirement for the format check.
The format check concerns matters of typography, spacing, reference style, title page format, table of contents style, and so on. There are very specific guidelines for some of these items in the thesis office, but in addition every discipline has discipline-specific formatting that must be adhered to. In our case, this usually means either the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition, or the MLA Handbook, with a preference for the first, which is used almost universally by book publishers. Students may consult the Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition) in the Department of French library (2142 FLB) or online (login required; VPN required for off-campus access). Thesis advisors should inform students about an accepted style sheet for dissertations in each of our areas of study (for instance, linguistics usually follows a different format than literary critical studies).
Students writing a dissertation should follow the appropriate style guidelines from the moment they start to write. Any style manual used in our fields is acceptable, as long as it is approved by the thesis director and followed consistently. The Graduate College's formatting guidelines are available here.
The Graduate College holds workshops on depositing the thesis typically in early September and during March. See the PowerPoint presentation available online.
Issues such as typography and spacing are very important, but in addition it is absolutely essential for the student to proofread the thesis very carefully. Typographical errors, spelling mistakes, errors in proper names, grammatical mistakes, and glaring inconsistencies are simply not acceptable after final revisions. The format check performed by Graduate Student Services is not proofreading or editing; the student is responsible for these sorts of review.
It is a good idea to bring sample pages to the Director of Graduate Studies for a preliminary format check.
----One month prior to preliminary or final examination, submit a request for
---- Appointment of Doctoral Examination Committee to Graduate Student Services.
----One month prior to the preliminary or final examination, reserve a room for the
---- examination through Graduate Student Services.
---- Two weeks prior to preliminary or final examination, reserve any AV equipment.
---- Ten days prior to final examination give Graduate Student Services informationÂ for a flyer announcing the thesis defense to the public.
---- After the examination give signed paperwork to Graduate Student Services.
---- Notify the Director of Graduate Studies of the examination results.
Graduate students are encouraged to consider the completion of a minor, concentration, or certificate during their course of study. Before pursuing any of these additional qualifications, a student should consult with his or her academic advisor about its usefulness and feasibility.
A graduate minor is an approved program in a secondary area of study that relates to but is outside of a student’s chosen major and may be included on an academic transcript. The following minors might be of particular interest to graduate students in French:
African American Studies
Media and Cinema Studies
European Union Studies
Gender and Women's Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
For a complete list of currently offered minors, please go here.
Please note: Credit used toward the completion of a minor may not be applied toward the completion of any other transcripted credential (i.e., course work completed for one minor cannot be counted toward another minor nor toward the major degree). Go here for requirements and policies for graduate minors and concentrations.
The following concentrations might be of particular interest to graduate students in French:
For a complete list of currently offered concentrations, please go here.
The following certificates might be of particular interest to graduate students in French:
The graduate minor in gender and women's studies offers sophisticated training in feminist theory and methodology to graduate students who want to incorporate gender and women's studies into their degree work. Because gender has become a central category of analysis in many disciplines and fields, the graduate minor strengthens students' formal credentials and offers a versatile area of specialization.
The Graduate Minor in Cinema Studies promotes the graduate-level study of cinema and related screen media and their cultural and institutional contexts and offers formal recognition of such work, undertaken alongside and in conjunction with UIUC graduate students' primary fields of study. The Department of Media and Cinema Studies administers the Minor.
The Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory offers a certificate in Criticism and Interpretive Theory to graduate students enrolled in participating departments or programs. Students affiliated with the Unit are encouraged to participate actively in the Unit by regularly attending colloquia and seminars, taking courses with a significant theoretical component, working with Unit faculty, and integrating theory into their written work and dissertations.
Students who are admitted to graduate programs in departments with medieval studies faculty are eligible to enroll in the graduate concentration in Medieval Studies after meeting to express interest and to discuss the concentration with the Director of the Program in Medieval Studies. The program offers a Certificate in Medieval Studies. Advanced training is offered both in the various disciplines of medieval studies and in the technical skills appropriate to the field. The Program is also affiliated with the Medieval Academy.
Financial aid is available on a competitive basis to graduate students working for the Certificate in Medieval Studies. Through its financial resources the Program can lend support to individual research projects of students and faculty through grants-in-aid.
In addition to fulfilling the course requirements in their home departments, students pursuing a graduate concentration in Medieval Studies will fulfill the following requirements, enrolling in a minimum of 24 hours of graduate-level course work:
- Completion of Latin 460 (Medieval Latin), or (for students planning research in medieval Islamic or Byzantine fields) Arab 306 (Advanced Standard Arabic), or GRK 202 (Classical & Koine Greek II) with a minimum grade of B, or an equivalent approved by the Medieval Studies Advisory Committee. (3-4 hours) (Note: Students who fulfill this requirement by taking courses at the 200- or 300-level may be required to take additional coursework at the 400- and 500-level to meet the requirement of 24 hours of graduate-level coursework.)
- Reading knowledge of another medieval language with a minimum grade of B, or completion of a one-semester introductory course in a medieval language (such as FR 531 or ENGL 507) with a minimum grade of B, or an equivalent approved by the Medieval Studies Advisory Committee. (4 hours)
- Spring Medieval Studies Seminar (MDVL 500) (4 hours)
- Two further graduate courses at the 400- or 500-level in Medieval Studies selected by the student and approved by the Advisory Board of Medieval Studies (6-8 hours)
- Thesis units (6-8 hours)
A dissertation or thesis in the area of Medieval Studies. A member of one of the cooperating departments external to the student's home department will be a member of the student's dissertation or thesis committee.
The Graduate College Career Services Office (GCCSO) offers a number of resources that you will find useful at different stages of your career as graduate student.
The Graduate College also organizes workshops to help your professional development.
Check the Graduate College Calendar of Events for Graduate Student Professional Development for details about workshop offerings each semester.
Core workshops that are offered at least once during the academic year, usually each semester, include:
- Getting What You Came For: Thriving in Grad School
- CVs and Cover Letters
- Academic Job Search
- Nonacademic Job Search
- Translating the Advanced Degree: Transferable Skills
- Resumes and Cover Letters
- Interviewing Skills
- Negotiation Skills and Offer Evaluation
- Building Relationships for the Future: Networking Skills
- Crafting a Fellowship/Grant Proposal (for the Humanities)
- NSF Fellowships
- Fulbright Fellowships
- Dissertation Writing Workshop (advance registration required)
- Thesis Deposit Workshop
Other Graduate College events are offered on an ad-hoc basis and are listed on the online Calendar of Events as they are scheduled.
See also and take advantage of these Professional Development, Teaching Assistant, and Writing resources for graduate students offered among others by the Graduate College.
Please discuss grant and fellowship opportunities with your advisor and regularly consult the Graduate College fellowship site.
These are the most common Graduate College applications handled by the department:
- Dissertation Travel Grants
- Dissertation Completion Fellowships
- Conference Travel grants (see details below)
The Director of Graduate Studies is responsible for forwarding your application to the Graduate College. All applications for a GC Dissertation Travel Grant and a GC Dissertation Completion Fellowship must be completed by the student, checked by the dissertation advisor and fully ready for the DGS to review at least three weeks prior to the Graduate College deadline.
In consultation with their advisors, students should also consider applying to the Chateaubriand fellowship, which allows them to conduct research for their dissertation in France for a year. This is a very competitive, prestigious fellowship. There have been Illinois recipients in the past. One condition: you may not be a French citizen. Students of all other nationalities are welcome to apply.
FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships provide $15,000 for the academic year for students concentrating (mainly) in non-Western languages or area studies. U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens are eligible. Summer fellowships are available for intensive foreign language study. The U.S. Department of Education provides grants to area studies centers, which in turn award the fellowships.
The School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics offers competitive Dissertation Completion Fellowships to graduate students in the School. Application forms can be found on the Graduate Student Services site.
It is very important to first consult with faculty members in French to identify appropriate conferences, select papers to submit, and to seek advice on revising them.
Students should apply for Conference Travel Grants from the Graduate College, which has a competition once a semester in September and February ($350 limit). The department may submit up to two applications per semester. Students may apply for one Conference Travel Grant per year and may apply retroactively to cover a conference attended during the previous semester or summer.
Please provide the Director of Graduate Studies with the following material, at least two weeks before the Graduate College deadline:
- a brief letter or email from your advisor or the faculty member who recommended participation in the conference and approved your paper, explaining why the conference is significant and the nature and importance of your contribution
- an abstract of your paper
- a copy, paper or online, of the conference program indicating its name, location and date, and a copy, paper or online, of the program page with your own session. If the program is not yet available, please provide a copy of the acceptance letter or email, and supply the equivalent information
- a brief budget listing your expenses as closely as you can estimate them (conference registration, lodging, travel, local transportation)
- the completed application form from the Graduate College.
- the completed Department Graduate Travel application form.
International students. In order to obtain the Graduate College Travel Grant, international students must also provide the following documentation:
- Completed Foreign National Tax Information form. To locate it insert the form name into the search function for the UIUC website.
- Copy of passport pages including: a) Photo identification and passport number, and b) Entry visa.
- I-94 card (copy both sides)
- Copy of SSN card, ITIN or Certification of Application (Foreign nationals are required to have or have applied for an ITIN before they can receive a University payment.)
- Form I-20 (for F1 visa holders) or Form DS-2019 (for J1 visa holders)
Specific circumstances require additional documents:
- Non-primary status holders (B2, F2, J2, H4, etc.) require an EAD (Employment Authorization Document issued by the USCIS) as well as the same documentation as the primary status holder.
- F1 status holders who are not sponsored by the University will not be issued payment of any type of remuneration unless an EAD is submitted along with an I-20 form.
- H1 status holders who are not sponsored by the University may receive travel expense reimbursements only. A letter of authorization from the sponsoring institution is not needed.
- J1 status holders who are not sponsored by the University must submit a letter from a responsible officer of their sponsoring institution authorizing them to receive reimbursement for expenses or service payment from the University specifically.
- B1 and WB status holders must submit a Foreign National Compliance Statement. To locate it, insert the form name into the search function for the UIUC website.
Funding for Graduate Conference Travel
Graduate students presenting at conferences enhance the Department's visibility and public image. The Department of French and Italian is therefore committed to supporting graduate students who wish to present original contributions to their discipline at scientific conferences, and considers such presentations a clear sign of academic progress.
Who and why?
Pending satisfactory progress towards degree, students enrolled in any of the Department's graduate programs can apply once per year for travel funding to a national or international, professional-level conference. Graduate-level conferences (i.e. conferences where the presenters are mostly graduate students) are eligible for funding once during a student's M.A. and Ph.D. training.
Pending available funding, amounts for travel support will be as follows:
- Domestic conference travel: 75%, up to a maximum of $400, of actual cost of giving a
scholarly presentation at the conference, excluding expenses for food and subtracting any
other funding, such as a travel award from the Graduate College.
- International conference travel: 75%, up to a maximum of $600, of actual cost of giving a
scholarly presentation at the conference, excluding expenses for food and subtracting any
other funding, such as a travel award from the Graduate College.
- Travel to the MLA, LSA, AAAL or comparable conference for the purpose of a job
interview: 75 %, up to a maximum of $800, of actual cost, excluding expenses for food and
subtracting any other funding.
- Travel to the MLA, LSA, and AAAL conferences for the sole purpose of presenting a paper will be treated as travel to a national or international conference, whichever applies.
- the completed Department Graduate Travel application form.
- a short letter or email of support from the supervising faculty member (in case of
international travel, supervising faculty members will be asked to explain why travel to the
conference is essential for their advisee's progress to degree)
- the date of a practice presentation in the Department's or other speaker series and research groups, to obtain timely feedback from faculty and students knowledgeable in the
area of study.
- Lecturer position at the Universite Laval in QuÃ©bec
- Lecturer position at the Universite de Bourgogne, Dijon
- Lecturer position at the Universite de Lorraine
- Lecturer position at the Universite de LiÃ¨ge
- Lecturer position at the Universite de Poitiers
- Lecturer position at the Ecole Normale Supereieure - lettres et sciences humaines de Lyon;
- Financial aid shall be limited to 12 semesters for the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees combined, with a limit of 4 semesters for the M.A. degree. Students entering the Ph.D. program with an M.A. degree or the equivalent from other institutions shall be limited to 8 semesters of financial aid, excluding summer teaching appointments and participation in exchange programs.
- The level of support for first-year students shall be determined by the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid in consultation with the Head in accordance with available funds. Appointments to teaching assistantships thereafter will normally be limited to one-half time (50% FTE), budgetary conditions permitting.
- Degree students with assistantships will be required to register for at least 8 hours of course work in French per semester, until completion of doctoral preliminary examinations.
- In order that the Department may make its TA appointments in an orderly fashion for the subsequent academic year, master's students wishing to be admitted to a doctoral program in the Department should take the M.A. examination by the end of February of their fourth semester.
- In accordance with the terms of their contract letter, Graduate Teaching Assistants must report for all orientations which precede the regular Fall and Spring Semester(s) and attend such sessions as may be required in preparation for teaching assignments.
- As per the terms of their contract letter, Teaching Assistants must be present and available on campus at the start of the contract date and within a reasonable time (at least 2 days) prior to the start of the spring semester to allow for planning and course administration and to attend any required departmental meetings or orientations.
- All beginning Teaching Assistants including Exchange TAs must also enroll in French 505 in the Fall Semester. Credit for French 505 may apply to a degree in the curriculum in teaching (and in others only with consent of the advisor). All Teaching Assistants must attend any special meeting which may be called by their course coordinators or the director of basic language during the academic year.
- It is the Teaching Assistants' responsibility to meet the classes they are assigned to teach at the given time and place, unless permission to do otherwise is obtained from the Director of Basic Language and/or their Course Coordinator. In the case of unavoidable absence, Teaching Assistants must notify their Coordinator and/or Director of Basic Language. The TA is responsible for finding a replacement for that particular class period (preferably someone who is teaching another section of that course). It is the responsibility of the TA to administer all final exams on the dates scheduled, grade those finals, calculate final grades, and submit the final grade roster to the office staff before leaving the campus each semester. This responsibility cannot be delegated to anyone else. All final exams, grade books, and course materials must be submitted at end of each semester before leaving for break.
- Sexual harassment is defined by law and includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other sexual conduct when (a) submission is either explicitly or implicitly a condition affecting academic or employment decisions; or (b) the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating, hostile, or repugnant environment; or (c) the behavior persists despite objection by the person to whom the conduct is directed. The University considers such behavior, whether physical or verbal, to be a breach of its standards of conduct. It will seek to prevent such incidents and will investigate and take corrective actions for violations of this policy. Further, retaliation against those who seek remedies under this policy is prohibited.
- The University will not tolerate sexual harassment of students or employees and will take action to provide remedies when such harassment is discovered. The University environment must be free of sexual harassment in work and study.
- In order to ensure that the University is free of sexual harassment, appropriate sanctions will be imposed on offenders in a case-by-case manner.
- The University will respond to every case of sexual harassment reported. Reporting and grievance procedures are published on the Web sites of the Office of Diversity, Equity, Access and the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual assault are included under 1-302(b). (c)
How to proceed?
Funding must be requested at least four weeks prior to traveling to the conference. Students will submit to the Director of Graduate Studies:
Upon their return from the conference, students must submit the following receipts and
documentation to the Department Office manager:
1. the employee reimbursement form filled out as best as possible with all information known to students. This form is located on the SLCL website: log in by clicking on the padlock in the upper right hand corner, go to "Business Office Forms" and find the form on the list of forms shown on the page.
2. original receipts for lodging, transportation, conference registration attached to the reimbursement form. The receipts should be neatly taped on one side of a plain piece of paper, if they are smaller than 8.5" x 11".
3. a print out from the conference website and a copy of the program with the student's name included in the relevant session(s). Failing that, a copy of an email in which the student is identified as a speaker or presenter will suffice.
It takes a few weeks to receive partial reimbursement of expenses after the request has been submitted to the Department Office manager. Students are also required to submit a note to the Department's newsletter editor about their participation at the conference (with date and title of the paper presented) for inclusion in the online newsletter. 10/16/2015
The French and Italian Department awards two prizes: the Alumni Essay Prize and the Teaching Assistant Excellence Award for outstanding teaching assistants. Prize recipients must be graduate students in the department.
The Alumni Essay Prize competition is normally held about every two years. The Head of the department chooses three to four faculty members to form the committee which will select the best essay. Student essays are nominated by French faculty of the French and Italain Department. Papers are to be submitted in the language in which they were originally written: French or English. The prize carries a $150 stipend.
The Teaching Assistant Excellence Award is awarded every year. The Head of the department chooses three to four faculty members to form the committee which will select the two best teaching assistants. There are two categories, junior (second-year TAs) and senior (third year and beyond). Faculty members in a supervisory position in the upper-level courses taught by graduate students are asked to nominate candidates. The committee examines letters of nomination from course coordinators and faculty supervisors, class visit reports and students' evaluations. Each award carries a stipend of $150.
The Department of French and Italian oversees a number of exchange positions in Francophone countries. Two positions are available to students at any time during their graduate studies; four others are reserved for doctoral students. Not all these positions are filled every year.
Open to master's level students:
Open to doctoral students:
The following guidelines have been developed to ensure appropriate coordination between teaching/research assistants and graduate study functions within the department. As such, they apply to the appointment of all teaching assistants in French and Italian, with the exception of non-degree exchange TAs and Illinois students while participating in exchange programs. The Department adheres to the Graduate College policies on assistantships.
Criteria for reappointment shall be based on both academic and teaching performance.
The academic standards satisfactory for reappointment of a teaching assistant shall be defined in terms of a minimum grade point average of 3.25 and not more than one incomplete grade per semester. First semester students who have fallen below the specified grade point average by the end of the semester may be given a contract for the following year contingent upon achieving the specified average by the end of the academic year.
As to satisfactory teaching performance, it is expected that teaching assistants considered for reappointment will have adhered to the provisions defined below.
In conducting their classes, Graduate Teaching Assistants are to follow the syllabus and the guidelines set forth by the Director of Basic Language and Course Coordinators. In addition to the requirements mentioned below, TAs must follow the requirements of the Responsibilities and Duties of TAs and Course Coordinators, distributed at the start of the academic year.
At the beginning of each semester, all Teaching Assistants will schedule two separate office hours per week. During these periods they will be available not only to their own students, but also to any other students who are seeking aid. Like all members of the instructional staff, TAs are expected to be in their offices during these regularly scheduled hours even though no student may appear. TAs who are unable to keep their regular office hours on a given day should leave a note to that effect on their office door and notify the office staff.
Because most elementary and intermediate French courses are multi-sectional and have specific dates for the administration of exams and other major graded assignments, it is essential that TAs follow the presentation of material as detailed in the course syllabus. TAs are not permitted to change the date of any major graded assignments without first consulting the Director of Basic Language or their course coordinator to receive their approval.
Multi-section quizzes, hour exams, and combined final exams are given in basic language courses. This requires the cooperation of Teaching Assistants in the preparation, administering, and the grading of the examinations. Teaching Assistants may be asked to create exams for the courses which they teach, either alone or in cooperation with other individuals. It is essential that the Teaching Assistants writing exams follow the exam-writing schedule provided by their supervisor, in order to allow adequate time for revisions, colleagues' comments, and printing.
Teaching Assistants not involved in the writing of a given exam or other graded assignment for a course that they teach are required to participate in the test-creation process, by examining and critiquing exams created by their colleagues, and by sharing their comments.
In addition to creating examinations, Teaching Assistants may be asked to write lesson plans and share them with their colleagues. As is the case for exam writing, Teaching Assistants involved in lesson plan creation must observe the deadlines set forth by their supervisors. Teaching Assistants may be required to comment on lesson plan drafts and/or may be required to use provided lesson plans exclusively, according on the directives of their supervisors.
All Teaching Assistants are expected to devote a sufficient amount of time to preparing a coherent, communicative lesson plan. This may involve the preparation of additional materials, activities, etc. Teaching Assistants should allow ample time before their course meeting time for planning, reviewing the material to be presented, etc.
In courses that are not coordinated centrally by departmental staff, Teaching Assistants are expected to regularly submit copies of all individually prepared syllabi, quizzes, and examinations to the faculty member in charge. A file of these materials and those of previous years is kept in the main office and is available to all Teaching Assistants to help them in preparation of their own materials. In addition, files are maintained for all multi-section courses.
Class rosters are available on the Enterprise Self-service site. Grades are also entered on this site.
At the end of each semester, Teaching Assistants will submit the grades of all students enrolled in their classes by the deadline set for the section they are teaching. TAs will meet with the Director of Basic Language to submit grade books and desk copies of textbooks. Teaching staff should also retain students’ final exams for at least one year. Multi-section final examinations are retained in the department office.
Teaching Assistants are to administer the ICES student evaluation form each semester and to release the report to the department head.
The Director of Basic Language and Course Coordinators will visit the classes of the Teaching Assistants during the regular academic year. These visits will be made as often as seems appropriate. The visits and subsequent reports by Director of Basic Language and Coordinators and the student evaluation forms will serve as a primary basis for the evaluation of the Teaching Assistants as teachers. This information will be considered in the process of determining reappointment, as well as academic performance and progress, as evaluated by the departmental faculty. The purpose of evaluation is to keep Teaching Assistants aware of the obligation that we have in the teaching profession to strive for excellence in the classroom. Observation is intended as a genuine attempt to give perspective and insight that one may otherwise fail to gain. A class is observed by the Director of Basic Language or Coordinator or designated faculty representative and the observations are discussed with the Teaching Assistant. A report of the evaluation is filed by the Director of Basic Language in his or her office. In addition to these required observations, Teaching Assistants are free to invite peers and other faculty members to observe their classes. The Department sincerely hopes to aid the Teaching Assistant in the development of a sound methodology, and therefore, while requiring a certain conformity and uniformity in multi-section courses, the Department applauds and encourages the development, sharing, and implementation of innovative approaches in method and technique.
The observation process should be taken seriously by the Teaching Assistant, as the reports created and filed in the department represent the best "proof of teaching effectiveness" required in the application dossier for many teaching positions.
Teaching Assistants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional, respectful and courteous manner toward their supervisors, colleagues and students. This includes language, correspondence, verbal interaction, and behavior. In particular, it is important to avoid excess noise in the corridors at all times.
Teaching Assistants are similarly expected to respond in a timely manner to all written or oral inquiries, directives, etc., from their Course Coordinator and Director of Basic Language.
Teaching Assistants are expected to document all student issues as they arise and to communicate all instances of cheating, disciplinary problems, etc., with their supervisors in a timely manner. In all cases, the Student Code should be followed.
Copies of textbooks used in the classes taught by Graduate Assistants will be distributed by the Department and remain the property of the Department after being used. They are to be turned in at the end of the semester.
Grade books are available from the Department and must be returned to the Director of Basic Language at the termination of each semester.
The Department subscribes to the standards of academic integrity outlined in the Student Code, which provides definitions, descriptions and, as regards plagiarism, a series of clear examples. The Code also outlines the procedures to be followed to adjudicate infractions of these standards. In addition, a mandatory ethics seminar is given every fall to all incoming graduate students by the Director of Graduate Studies.
For complaints or queries concerning their status, their condition of employment or any other matter which directly affects their personal welfare, students may refer the Department's Grievance Policy and Procedures and to the Department's Graduate Student Grievance Committee, which consists of two faculty members appointed each year by the Head and one graduate student selected by graduate students in French.
For cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, matters of religious beliefs, observances, or practices, or capricious grading, procedures are described in the Student Code.
For grievance procedures in other cases, see Grievances and Complaints in the Student Code.
The Department subscribes to the policy outlined in the Student Code, which states:
Statement on Consenting Sexual Relationships
University guidelines on responsible professional conduct (in the Academic Staff Handbook) state that individuals assessing the work of others should base their assessments on appropriate professional criteria. Due to the inherent conflicts of interest, no individual should initiate or participate in institutional or educational decisions involving a direct benefit or penalty to a person with whom that individual has or has had a sexual relationship. Where supervisory or student-teacher relationships exist between husband and wife, or members of a couple, whether married or not, it is the responsibility of the teacher or supervisor to alert his/her supervisor so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
The Graduate Students of French and Italian (GSFRIT) is an organization that includes all graduate students affiliated with the French and Italian Department. GSFRIT represents the interests of graduate students to the department. GSFRIT also organizes social activities throughout the year in which graduate students and others can participate.
The only qualifications for membership are graduate student status and TA (or RA) appointment in the French and Italian Department, whether or not you are enrolled in the graduate program in French. Dues are not required in order to participate in the GSFRIT. However, a completely voluntary membership fee has been in place to help support GSFRIT activities. Those who pay the fee can receive discounts on GSFRIT-sponsored events.
Through this organization you are able to voice your opinions, and be assured that GSFRIT collective decisions are given consideration in the various departmental committees in formulating policies which affect us.
The following is a partial list of the elected GSFRIT Officers and Representatives:
Co-Presidents (one representative from French and one from Italian): calls and conducts meeting, represents GSFRIT before the head of the department, appoints members to internal committees of GSFRIT.
Vice-president: assists Presidents in above duties, assumes functions of President when he/she is unable to perform duties.Secretary/Treasurer: takes minutes of meetings, prepares and distributes minutes to all GSFRIT members, and is responsible for GSFRIT correspondence, is responsible for GSFRIT bookkeeping/finances.
GEO Steward (2): Represents the GSFRIT in the Graduate Employees Organization, attending relevant meetings and updating members on union activities.
Conference Funding Committee (2- one from French and one from Italian): Decide on criteria of the distribution of funds for conference travel, chooses recipients of these funds, and distributes these funds.
Representative (1) to the Faculty (1): Attends faculty meetings as a non-voting observer, brings student concerns to the faculty and reports back to the GSFRIT.
Representatives (2) on Graduate Policy Committee: This committee is responsible for all aspects of the graduate program, including admissions.
Representative (1) on the Graduate Student Grievance Committee: This committee reviews specific appeals, complaints or queries from members of the graduate student body regarding their status, condition of employment, or any other matter with direct effects on their professional welfare.
Representative (1) on the Capricious Grading Committee: The student representative must have had teaching experience. This committee receives complaints of students on alleged capricious grading by instructors.