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Graduate Studies Calendar 2011-2012 Program Descriptions French, Italian and Spanish FISL
French, Italian and Spanish - FISL
Contact Information Location: Craigie Hall, Room D310
Faculty number: 403.220.4001
Fax: 403.284.3634
E-mail address:
Web page URL:
1. Degrees and Specializations Offered

Master of Arts (MA), thesis and course-based routes, in French and Spanish.
Full-time and part-time studies are possible.
Areas: French Language Studies, French Literature from the Medieval to the Contemporary periods, French-Canadian Literature, Francophone Literatures and Film, Hispanic Language Studies and Literatures, Hispanic Cultures and Film, Comparative Literature, Literary Theory,  Second Language Learning and Teaching  (including computer-assisted language learning).

The Department also participates actively in interdisciplinary degree programs, such as Canadian Comparative Literature (with English) and Film.

2. Admission Requirements Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Applicants wishing to undertake a doctoral program on a special case basis should contact the Department.

Master of Arts
In addition to Faculties of Graduate Studies and Arts requirements, the Department requires students:

a) To demonstrate a sufficiently high level of oral and written competence in the French or Spanish language.
b) To have an adequate academic background in the discipline.
c) To submit an example of the applicant’s written work: a term paper, research paper or other writing, which the applicant considers representative of his or her best work. The paper must be in either French or Spanish, depending on the language of study.
d) A 250-word (minimum) statement of research interest including research topic and the reasons for wishing to pursue graduate work in this Department.
e)  Two reference letters.

3. Application Deadline

Deadlines for the submission of complete applications:

Special Case Doctor of Philosophy: February 1

Master of Arts: February 21 All programs: March 1 for September admission (with no scholarship application)

Applications received later than the deadline will be considered for admission and for departmental funding, but chances of financial support are greatly reduced.

4. Advanced Credit The applicant must make advanced credit requests as part of the admission process. Credit will not be granted for course work taken as part of another completed degree/diploma or for courses taken to bring the grade point average to a required level for admission.
5. Program/Course Requirements Master of Arts
Note: Normally no more than one half course of Directed Reading may be taken for credit.
In addition to Faculty of Arts requirements, the Department normally requires:

Master of Arts (thesis-based)
Six half-course equivalents (including French 605 or Spanish 601, depending on the language of study)

Master of Arts (course-based) 
Ten half-course equivalents (including French 605 or Spanish 601, depending on the language of study)

Applicants lacking the requisite background in language or literature may be admitted as qualifying students. In this case, extra course work is normally required. A qualifying oral examination based on set texts may be required before the students attain regular Master of Arts status. Courses taken as a qualifying student do not normally count as part of the student's course requirements.

6. Additional Requirements Master of Arts

a)  All students must attend an orientation session.
b)  Both options have a knowledge areas requirement that must be satisfied before or after admission. Upon admission students will be advised of any specific course or other work needed to fulfill this requirement.
c)  Before the end of their second year of study, MA Thesis students are required to make a departmental or external presentation relating to their research.
d)  Students in the thesis-based and course-based programs are also expected to demonstrate their participation in university-wide research activities by attending at least five departmental or external scholarly presentations every year in their programs. Information on the presentations and a one page critical summary for each one must be submitted with the Annual Progress Report.
7. Credit for Undergraduate Courses Master of Arts

Only in exceptional circumstances and where appropriate to a student’s program may graduate credit be received for courses numbered 500-599.  No more than two half courses can be at the 500 level.
8. Time Limit Master of Arts

Expected completion time for full-time students is two years for a thesis program and three years for a course-based program. Maximum completion time is four years for a thesis program and six years for a course-based program.
9. Supervisory Assignments Master of Arts

Newly admitted students begin their programs under the supervision of the departmental Graduate Director. Students are expected to choose a permanent supervisor by the end of the second regular academic session after first registration (April 30 for September registrants and December 15 for January registrants). Selection of a supervisor should be by mutual agreement between the student and the staff member concerned, approved by the Graduate Director.
10. Required Examinations

Master of Arts

Comprehensive examination (course-based)
The course-based program requires a comprehensive examination with a written and an oral component, taken after the completion of all course work and any other requirement such as the knowledge areas requirement. Students are required, as early as possible and, in any case, at least before registering for an eleventh semester to file the reading list on their chosen area of specialization with the Department’s Graduate Committee. The list should be drafted after consultation with the student’s supervisor and approved by that faculty member.

Final oral thesis examinations are open.

Special Case Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Comprehensive Examination
The Comprehensive Examination tests a PhD candidate’s knowledge of a field or fields related, but not identical to his/her research.  It consists of a take-home written portion and a two-hour oral portion of the examination.  This examination is a requirement of the Department of French, Italian and Spanish.
Candidacy Examination
The Candidacy Examination is designed to show the candidate’s ability to work in depth with a research question essential to the dissertation research.  The Department requires a written portion as well as an oral portion for the Candidacy Examination.
Questions on the dissertation proposal will not be included in the oral candidacy examination of special case doctoral degree students.

Final oral thesis examinations are open.

11. Research Proposal Requirements Master of Arts

Thesis students are required to submit a written thesis proposal fourteen months after initial registration (October 31 for September registrants and February 21 for January registrants). This proposal should be approximately 1200 words in length and be accompanied by an abstract and an appropriately detailed preliminary bibliography. It should be drafted after consultation with the student’s supervisor and have his/her preliminary approval. These documents will be circulated to the departmental Graduate Committee for approval. Abstracts of proposals may be reproduced for information purposes.
12. Special Registration Information None.
13. Financial Assistance Master of Arts

Funding is available to qualified thesis-based students in the form of scholarships awards and/or teaching assistantships. Master of Arts students can expect to receive funding for a maximum of 20 months. Doctoral students can expect to receive funding for a maximum of 44 months. Students applying for departmental funding for the following academic year must submit their applications to the Department by February 22. All students are strongly encouraged to seek external financial assistance throughout their program. For information on other funding opportunities, see the Awards and Financial Assistance section of this Calendar and the Faculty of Graduate Studies wbsite:
14. Other Information Master of Arts - Doctor of Philosophy

Prospective students are encouraged to consult either the Head of the Department or the Graduate Director.  Detailed information on our programs is also available at
15. Faculty Members/Research Interests Information about faculty members and their research interests may be found at