How to Apply for Graduate Study in French and Francophone Studies at UC Davis

The admission application for Fall quarter is available online.  (See Applying for Admission below.)  For more information about the application process, please contact the staff, Mandy Bachman at Questions about the French and Francophone Studies graduate program and faculty should be directed to the Graduate Advisor, Associate Professor Jeff Fort via e-mail at

We know that choosing a graduate program is a difficult and consequential task. We thank you for considering the program in French and Francophone Studies at UC Davis. We believe that our program offers a number of very attractive features.

We are looking for students who would benefit from our flexible curriculum in pursuing a master's or doctoral degree in French and Francophone Studies. Because we are a relatively small department, we are able to offer individualized attention and a program of study tailored to suit the interests of each student. Our ideal environment for close mentoring of students is complemented by a breadth of possible areas of specialization open to students in French and Francophone Studies, thanks to our close affiliations with faculty in related programs. We invite you to explore the faculty profiles on our web site to discover the breadth of interdisciplinary interests represented among our faculty. Mentoring Guidelines are available at the Graduate Studies website.

In addition, our affiliation with six designated emphases (graduate minors) - African American and African StudiesClassics and Classical ReceptionsCritical Theory, Environmental Humanities, Feminist Theory and ResearchSecond Language Acquisition, and Studies in Performance and Practice - allows doctoral students the freedom to pursue interdisciplinary work, and to acquire a solid foundation in a range of methodological and critical perspectives necessary for research today. Again, we invite you to follow the links on our web site to explore the diverse areas of study reflected in the designated emphases.

Students in the graduate program in French and Francophone Studies at UC Davis have opportunities to teach in a number of areas as part of their professional training. The department offers teaching assistantships for students to teach in the beginning and intermediate language programs in the department. More advanced students may have the opportunity to assist in the teaching of upper-division literature and linguistics courses. In addition, many of our students have taught courses in other programs, notably Humanities and Film Studies. We believe that our unique flexibility in offering graduate students the invaluable experience of teaching in a wide-range of areas prepares them well for today's competitive job market.

To complement student support through teaching assistantships, UC Davis also offers a number of attractive internal fellowships, available to both new and continuing students. For further information concerning fellowships, please contact Mandy Bachman at

In considering your application for admission, we will weigh a number of factors. We are interested in your academic interests and the subjects that you would like to pursue as part of your graduate program. We would like to get a sense of your previous academic work. We are also interested in whatever teaching experiences you might have had. These questions, as well as numerous others, enter into the admissions process.

As you put your dossier together, please try to think about selecting a sample of your written work that reflects your academic interests and that demonstrates your research and analytical skills. Your personal statement should summarize your academic experiences in French and Francophone Studies and related disciplines. More importantly, you should aim to give us a strong sense of the areas of study that you would like to investigate as part of the graduate program.

Application Dossier Checklist

Applicants to the graduate program in French and Francophone Studies must submit a completed online admissions & fellowship application and submit additional material as described below by the deadline. Upon completion of the M.A., students may petition to continue on to the Ph.D. program.


  • The priority deadline for admissions is January 15th. Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted by that date in order to be considered for fellowships. Once your application has been processed, we will verify that all application materials have been received. We will notify you via email if any materials are missing, typically within a week of your submission.
  • The final deadline for admission applications is May 31st. Applications for admission and all supporting materials must be submitted by this date. Applications completed after January 15th, but by May 31st will be considered for admission only if space is still available. Materials submitted after the respective deadlines will not be considered for admission.

Click here to begin the online admissions & fellowship application:

  1. Application Fee: $135 domestic, $155 international.
  2. Statement of Purpose (4,000 character limit, including spaces)
    Please highlight your academic preparation and motivation; interests, specializations and career goals; and fit for pursuing graduate study at UC Davis.


    • preparation and motivation may include your academic and research experiences that prepare you for this graduate program (for example: coursework, employment, exhibitions, fieldwork, foreign language proficiency, independent study, internships, laboratory activities, presentations, publications, studio projects, teaching, and travel or study abroad) and motivation or passion for graduate study.
    • interests, specializations, and career goals may include your research interests, disciplinary subfields, area/s of specialization, and professional objectives.
    • fit may include how your preparation, experiences, and interests match the specific resources and characteristics of your graduate program at UC Davis. Please identify specific faculty within your desired graduate program with whom you would like to work and how their interests match your own.
  3. Personal History and Diversity Statement (4,000 character limit, including spaces)
    The purpose of this essay is to get know you as an individual and potential graduate student. Please describe how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. You may include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, community service, outreach activities, residency and citizenship, first-generation college status, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how your life experiences contribute to the social, intellectual, or cultural diversity within a campus community and your chosen field; or how you might serve educationally underrepresented and underserved segments of society with your graduate education.
    This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in the Statement of Purpose.
  4. Sample of recent written work
    The writing sample should be in French on a literary, cultural or linguistic topic. An M.A. paper or Thesis or other well-developed research project could also be appended. It will be submitted online during the application process.

Please make sure that all information in your online application is correct and that all statements and writing samples are revised/uploaded before submitting. No changes can be made to your application once it is submitted.

Additional Required Materials for ALL Applicants - Must also be received by the deadline

  1. Three letters of recommendation (from Professors) 
    The letters will be used for admission, TA, and fellowship applications. During the online application process, you will be required to provide your recommenders' contact information, including email addresses. Your professors will be contacted to submit their recommendations electronically once you have provided this information. No letters sent by mail/email will be accepted. Letters must be submitted online in the Apply Yourself system.
  2. Transcripts:  We require academic records from each college-level institution you have attended.  You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.  For more details visit   Upon admission, an official transcript must be shown to graduate studies as a condition of admission, but may be retained by the student. Falsified records will be immediate cause for revoking any offer of admission and funding.
    International Applicants: Certified English translations of your transcripts must be uploaded along with the original-language transcript.
  3. Financial Support:  You will automatically be considered for fellowships if you complete the online application for admission by the priority deadline (January 15th). 
  4. Spoken French Sample - Required of all applicants, native speakers included.
    As an indication of your language proficiency, we ask that you submit a three to five minute MP3 file (preferred format) or cassette tape recording of yourself. The audio sample should include: 1) a reading of this passage from Flaubert's "L'éducation sentimentale," and 2) some extemporaneous remarks about the ways in which you see an M.A. or Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies contributing to your career goals and general life plan. Please mail this audio sample to the address below or email it to (preferred method).

Additional Required Materials for International Applicants - Must also be received by the deadline

  1. TOEFL Scores - International Applicants must submit TOEFL Scores. The minimum requirements for admission are a total score of 80 in the internet-based test. Typically successful applicants score significantly higher than the minimum. Applicants must score at least 23 on the speaking section to be considered for Teaching Assistant positions.  A speaking score of 26 is preferred. Students scoring 23-25 must pass an additional English Exam when they arrive in order to be eligible to TA. Please request OFFICIAL SCORES from ETS using the following codes:
    UC Davis Institution Code: 4834
    French Department Code: 16
    (If you have earned a B.A. or M.A. from a university where English is the language of instruction, we can waive the TOEFL requirement. Please make sure this university is listed on your application with the degree received and the date.)
  2. Transcript Translations - As mentioned above, certified English Translations are required for all transcripts issued by the institution in a foreign language. Please upload both the non-English transcript and the English translation. For more information, please see the graduate studies website:
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Should my Statement of Purpose and Personal History statement be in English or French?  We will accept either.  However, we recommend English so that the fellowship committee can read it.  (The fellowship committee is composed of faculty from various departments.)  The same is true for letters of recommendation.
  • Did you receive my materials? Once we have processed your application materials, we will email you a courtesy notice to let you know if any items have not been received.  This will typically take about 1 week.  You can check online to see the status of your letters, scores, and transcripts (but not TA application or Audio sample).
  • When I preview the application, it seems like I didn't fill in some of the information, but I wasn't asked.  What should I do?  Our graduate program opted out of asking some questions because we felt they were redundant. You may not be able to fill in the following sections (and that is okay!): GRE Scores; Prior Experience; Prerequisite Course History; Future Interests or Goals; Resume/CV (upload).
  • Is funding available for international students? Yes. For information on graduate student financial support, click here.
  • Is funding available for undocumented or DACAmented students? Some scholarships and loans may be available to undocumented students thanks to the California Dream Act. In order to work as a Teaching Assistant, Associate Instructor, Reader, or Graduate Student Researcher, students must be authorized to work (by DACA or other means). To learn more, please visit the Undocumented Student Center website.
  • How do I apply for Spring admission? Applications for admission are accepted for fall quarter only admission.
  • Do my recommendation letters have to be from professors? Even if you obtained your degree a few years ago, it is still best to get at least two of your recommendations from professors. 
  • Do you accept transfer students from other universities? Students wishing to "transfer" must follow the same application process above. Once you have successfully completed one year at UC Davis, you may request to transfer up to two graduate courses (roughly one quarter of coursework) toward your degree at Davis. Transfer requests will be reviewed by the graduate committee.
  • I made a mistake in my online application.  Can I send you a corrected version? Unfortunately we are not able to alter your application once you have submitted it. Please take care to proofread your documents before the final submission.