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Graduate Program Frequently Asked Questions

What is the application deadline?

The deadline for fall admission to the French Programs (including the PhD in Film Studies with a concentration in French) is January 15 each year and to the Italian Program is February 1 each year.

Am I required to take the GRE?

No. The GRE is not required for application to any degree (French or Italian) in this department. It is not taken into account in any admissions or funding decision made in French or in Italian. GREs do not accurately predict success in a graduate program. 

I am an international student.  Should I take the GRE?

No.  You must however take the TOEFL or the IELTS unless you have another degree from an American Institution.

How long are TOEFL scores valid?

Two years.

What are the minimum TOEFL and IELTS requirements?

We have a minimum for the TOEFL if you are required to take the test (90). Learn more about the admission process for international graduate students.

What should I submit as the required writing sample?

French MA and PhD: Two writing samples (one in English, one in French) are required. The French sample should address questions concerning the literature, film, or culture of France or the francophone world and should be 7-10 pages in length. The English writing sample can be about a more general topic but both samples should reflect your ability to analyze, interpret or reflect on some issue, text or theme. 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.

For the Italian MA: Two writing samples (one in English, one in Italian) such as a paper written for a course in college (it is preferred that the topics discussed be related to Italian literature and culture).

I am applying for a degree program. Do I need to apply for funding separately?

All applicants to the graduate program are considered for departmental funding as teaching assistants or for Arts and Sciences fellowships by checking the box under the Financial Aid section on the Apply Yourself application. There is no separate application for funding.

How much is the monthly stipend for TAs and TFs?

Contact for the most recent stipend information.

What is the QPA requirement to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship?

The University requires a 3.00 QPA or higher in the most recently earned degree for you to be eligible for Teaching Assistantship consideration.

Can I take graduate classes as a part-time student?

Yes, you can work towards a graduate degree part time but you would not be eligible for funding.

Can I apply for spring semester admission?

It is possible to apply to start the program in the spring semester. However, due to the structure of our programs, we prefer fall admission and you would not be eligible for funding.  

How long does the program take to complete?

Our MA programs usually take 2 years to complete and they have a four year statute of limitation.  The PhD program takes from 5-6 years to complete and has an eight year statute of limitation.

Can I study abroad while I am working on a degree?

MA and PhD candidates in French are eligible to spend extended periods (usually one year) abroad through a graduate student exchange that our department maintains with the Université de Paris-X (Nanterre).This programs permits students each year to work as lecteurs d’anglais and to take courses to improve skills or to conduct research while continuing to receive stipendiary support.

Do I need to provide English translations of my foreign transcripts?

Yes. To apply to the program you must provide original copies of your college level transcripts and diplomas as well as certified translations. You do not need to provide Credential Evaluations since those are done here at the University of Pittsburgh by the Office of International Studies.

How do I submit my application materials?

All students must apply and pay the application fee through the Apply Yourself website. Provided that letters of recommendation are sealed and signed, you have the choice of collecting the letters and sending them yourself, having them sent to us directly, or recommenders may submit the letters online. You may also submit the supplemental materials (statement of purpose, writing samples) with your online application through Grad Cas.

All materials not submitted online should be sent to:

Assistant to the Directors of Graduate Studies
Department of French and Italian
1328 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Can I visit the department?

Yes. Email our Directors of Graduate Studies, Prof. Chloe Hogg (French) and Prof. Lina Insana (Italian) and let us know when you will be in the Pittsburgh area. We can set up a schedule of meetings for you with department faculty and graduate students.

Does your department offer a PhD in Italian?

Not at this time. We do participate in the PhD in Critical European Cultural Studies.