MA and PhD French Program Admissions

Current Pitt students:   Please note that the in the box to the right, the link for Exam and Reading List leads to the 2008 guidelines.  Please refer to the guidelines:


Students applying for admission to the graduate program are evaluated on the basis of previous academic performance, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and two writing samples. The admissions committee will look for evidence of promise as a graduate student in French Studies. Applicants often hold a BA or MA (or equivalent degree) in French or in a closely related area, but we have accepted applications from students with varied backgrounds. A test of English is required for international students (see below). GRE scores are required for American applicants. While our department does not require a specific score for admission, high scores will be advantageous in later applications for fellowships.

Applicants to the graduate program are considered for departmental funding as teaching assistants or for Arts and Sciences fellowships, unless otherwise stated on the application form. There is no separate application for such funding.

Items Required for Admission to the French Program

University of Pittsburgh

The following checklist includes the required information necessary for admission into the French program.

  • Application must be completed through Apply Yourself.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from the form available on line, or referees can submit recommendation letters online through Apply Yourself (recommended). Please be sure your referees submit their letters by the application deadline.
  • Un official transcripts of all post-secondary academic work, and official translations if these are not in English.
  • Official GRE scores (general exam only: the French subject exam is not necessary). (GRE scores not required for international students).
  • Official TOEFL exam results for international student applications. A minimum required score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading, and writing) or 7 on the Cambridge IELTT (with at least a 6.5 in each of its four sections) is necessary to process admission. This requirement is waived for applicants with an awarded degree from an American institution.
  • A personal statement (1-3 pages single-spaced) written in English outlining goals and reasons for pursuing graduate education in French. This is a very important part of the file, so applicants are urged to take great care to discuss their previous experience and future goals.
  • Two writing samples (one in English, one in French). The French sample should address questions concerning the literature and culture of France or the francophone world and should be 7-10 pages in length. Please note that the writing samples are considered very important documents in the application file. Consequently, applicants should make sure that they present their intellectual abilities in the best possible light.
  • A payment of $50.00 to the U. of Pittsburgh, either through a check or money order (drawn on a US bank) or by credit card through Apply-Yourself.

Completed applications must be received in our office no later than January 10 to be considered for admission in the next Fall Term. Late applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Applicants may be contacted for a bilingual oral interview with the Director of Graduate Studies.

Additional Supplementary Information for International Students

  • Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS).  At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation.  More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found HERE. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.
  • While GRE scores are not required of international students, the official record of your TOEFL examination (test must have been taken within two years of date of application) must be sent to the University of Pittsburgh French Department.

All supporting documentation should be sent to:

University of Pittsburgh
Assistant to the Directors of Graduate Studies
Department of French & Italian
1328 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260