French at Pitt


The Department of French and Italian offers a comprehensive graduate program in French and Francophone studies. We prepare students for research and teaching in an increasingly globalized and interdisciplinary profession.

French at Pitt: Who are we?

…We are a committed, dynamic faculty working across a diverse range of specializations, including cultural and political theory, medieval and early modern studies, Francophone studies, gender and queer studies, material culture, and film. Whether working toward the PhD, the PhD with MA en route, or our new PhD in Film Studies with a Concentration in French, graduate students benefit from our comprehensive coverage and individual faculty attention to craft their own intellectual, research, and professional profile.

…We are a vibrant group of graduate students engaged in innovative research and teaching.


Students in our graduate program are defining the cutting-edge of French and francophone studies with interdisciplinary research on topics from transgender saints and early modern emotions to Beur cinema, female dandies, and slam poetry. Our graduate students reach across the university to enrich their study of French and francophone culture, literature, and film with the pursuit of graduate certificates in Cultural Studies; Film Studies; Global Studies; Medieval/Renaissance Studies; West European Studies; and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

Fellowships and Study Abroad

Graduate students in the department benefit from competitive fellowship and summer research funding opportunities, including FLAS fellowships for the study of languages relevant to the Francophone world, such as Arabic. Students may spend a year abroad through graduate student exchanges that our department maintains with the Université de Paris-X (Nanterre). Various research fellowships also allow students to spend shorter periods abroad conducting research or language study.  


Our graduate students are inspired teachers who receive comprehensive, rigorous pedagogical training and ongoing teaching development, mentoring, and apprenticeship experiences. This means that they enter the job market with a broad range of teaching experience, from language courses to advanced-level courses in literature, culture, film, Business French, and conversation. Graduate students may also gain valuable study abroad experience while serving as the program assistant for the Pitt-in-Nantes summer program. Our faculty are committed to preparing graduate students for the future of education in French and francophone studies.

…We are successful, high-performing alums. Pitt grads are researching, teaching, publishing, and working at the highest levels of university administration in academic institutions throughout the United States and abroad. Of the PhDs who have graduated in the last ten years, 14 out of 16 found full-time academic jobs; nearly two-thirds of these jobs were tenure-track positions. The department’s strong focus on professionalization and mentoring prepares graduate students at every step of the program for finding a job in academia and beyond.

…And finally, we are Pittsburgh, with convenient, affordable living in a diverse and dynamic city that’s packed with history, culture, science and technology, the arts, and green urban living.

Thank you for your interest in our program. My colleagues and I invite you to explore what French at Pitt has to offer.

Giuseppina Mecchia
Director of Graduate Studies, French