Romance Languages and Literatures

French and Francophone Studies

UChicago provides a rigorous and intellectually dynamic setting for students studying French and Francophone literature and culture. Our section is defined by its international and collaborative approaches to research and teaching.

UChicago provides a rigorous and intellectually dynamic setting for students to study French and Francophone literature and culture. The French section is defined by its international and collaborative approaches to research and teaching—evidenced, for instance, in the workshops, team-taught courses, and colloquia, as well as the extensive transnational exchanges, in which graduate students actively participate.

Visit the Undergraduate Program section for information on College majors and minors in French.


All Romance Languages and Literatures PhD students are awarded 6-year fellowships that include a stipend and teaching remuneration, full tuition, and health insurance coverage. The Division of the Humanities has additional information on the types of financial support available to doctoral students.


Students will be exposed to a variety of teaching methodologies through coursework, mentoring and workshops, and will gain teaching experience by serving in different roles in our undergraduate program..

Interdisciplinary Engagement

In addition to the primary field in French and Francophone Studies, all of our PhD students create an individual course of study in a secondary field, which can be in a second romance literature or in another discipline.  By defining their own path of study while acquiring a rigorous grounding in their chosen fields, students develop the skills and versatility necessary to adapt and succeed in an evolving profession. Secondary field tracks in Cinema and Media Studies and in Gender and Sexuality Studies have been developed.

Students may also choose to complete a dual degree program with Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS), or to apply to the Masters in Legal Studies (MLS) program. 

The University of Chicago’s graduate workshops are a hallmark of graduate study at this University. The Department is closely involved with several workshops, including Interdisciplinary Approaches to Modern France and the Francophone World, the Medieval Studies Workshop, and Early Modern and Mediterranean Worlds (1200-1800). Many of our students participate in additional workshops. These workshops provide opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange among students and faculty across the University. PhD students participate in and coordinate these forums for sustained interdisciplinary exchange among students and faculty.

    International Exchange

    • Qualified doctoral students may apply to be part of a dual degree program between the University of Chicago and a French institution. Program and application requirements may be found here.
    • The University of Chicago Paris Center. The University has its own dedicated Center in Paris located in the Parisian research hub between the Université de Paris Diderot and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The Center annually hosts a dozen graduate students from the University of Chicago, who work in close communication with faculty through the Research Residency Program, while also participating in the Center’s own graduate student workshops. The Center furthermore promotes scholarly collaboration with French academic institutions such as the Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po); the University of Paris-IV (Sorbonne); the University of Paris-VI (Pierre et Marie Curie); the University of Paris- VII (Diderot); the University of Paris-IX (Dauphine); the University of Paris-X (Nanterre); and the École Normale Supérieure. 
    • École Normale Supérieure exchange program.  Each year the University sends two graduate students for fully funded year-long residences as visiting students at the ENS on the rue d’Ulm in Paris. 
    • Collège de France Exchange Fellowship. Each year, this program offers full funding for a graduate student to conduct doctoral research in Paris, providing a formal year-long affiliation with the Collège de France and its research assets.
    • The France Chicago Center. This University of Chicago-based interdisciplinary organization fosters ties between University students and researchers and their colleagues in France. The FCC organizes and sponsors conferences and colloquia, provides pre-dissertation and dissertation fellowships (including the Collège de France Exchange Fellowship) as well as travel grants for students, funds visiting faculty members from France, and organizes numerous lectures. 
    • Visiting Professors. We regularly invite distinguished visiting professors in French and Francophone studies to the University of Chicago to teach graduate seminars. In recent years these have included Vincent Descombes (EHESS), Françoise Lavocat (Sorbonne Nouvelle), Sylvain Menant (Paris Sorbonne), Patrick Dandrey (Paris Sorbonne), Frank Lestringant (Paris Sorbonne), Marielle Macé (CNRS), Sophie Rabau (Sorbonne Nouvelle). 

    Research Resources

    • ARTFL Project. The University of Chicago is home to North America’s largest collection of digitized French resources and makes for a premier center for work in the digital humanities. A longstanding collaboration with the French National Center for Scientific Research, ARTFL offers a select number of research assistantships for students wishing to develop skills in the area of digital humanities.
    • Montaigne Studies. Published since 1988 at the University of Chicago, the journal publishes scholarly articles on Montaigne and his thought. Students who specialize in the Renaissance may gain important professional experience at the journal as Assistant Editors. 
    • The University of Chicago Library. One of the largest research libraries in North America, with 12.6 million volumes in print and electronic form, the Library holds a vast collection of French and Francophone printed materials, manuscripts, rare books, journal holdings, databases and microfilm sets, and provides extensive support for developing personal research skills.