The School of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures offers two Master’s of Arts programs in French, with one track in French literary and cultural studies (the MA in Romance Languages with an emphasis in French) and another track specializing in teaching French as a foreign language, the Master’s of Arts in Foreign Languages (MALT) program, administered by Dr. Dawn Heston.  In both tracks, students benefit from a variety of coursework with specialists in French cultural studies whose research and teaching focus on Francophone Africa & critical race studies; Haiti, Creole, & Caribbean studies; film; 19th-century cultural studies; gender studies; humans, cyborgs, & AI in the post-Anthropocene; and medieval Mediterranean studies.  All students take a variety of courses in cultural studies, literature, and linguistics that provide a thorough preparation for either additional academic pursuits at the PhD level, or for employment in a variety of managerial ad international posts. Students also receive pedagogical instruction and practice teaching in our program.

Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours at the graduate-level to earn their master's degree. All incoming SLLC graduate students will have the opportunity to get to know others in their cohort by taking a sequence of introductory courses together, including Intro to Grad Studies, Foreign Language Teaching Methodology and Introduction to Critical Analysis.  Students have the opportunity to partake in a vibrant Francophone community in Columbia, which is home to two French immersion preschools as well as several community and campus groups focused on nurturing connections among French speakers.   

Graduate Minors & Certificates

Students may also elect a minor field of study, which requires a minimum of 9 hours of course work completed in another department or other departments. Students interested in such minors should consult the section titled Plan of Study in the Graduate Catalog. These minor fields appear on students’ plan of study, but not on their transcript. Students electing minors must complete the requirements for the standard MA in French. Faculty in French have joint appointments and serve as affiliate faculty in many programs with graduate certificates and minors, including: Medieval & Renaissance Studies; Film Studies; Black Studies; & Women’s & Gender Studies.

Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: February 15

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in field of major
  • Masters applicants must have a bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum TOEFL scores (international applicants): 80
  • Minimum IELTS scores: 6.5
  • Minimum Duolingo scores: 115

Note: Applicants must also demonstrate adequate preparation in advanced language and literature courses. This will require their having completed at least four courses equivalent to a 4000-level course for MA applicants. If the faculty determines a deficiency in coursework, they will require that the student complete remedial course work in literature during the first year of enrollment. The director of graduate studies will inform students of these additional requirements at the time of their admission.

Required Application Materials

To be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies 

  • All required Graduate Studies documents (including TOEFL scores)
  • Official Transcript 
  • Brief (no more than 12 pages) writing sample in language of desired degree program uploaded to the online application
  • 500-word Personal Statement, uploaded to the online application
  • 3 letters of recommendation (submitted via the online application)
  • Résumé or CV


Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours at the graduate-level to earn their MA degree. At least 15 hours must be in courses at the 8000-level or above.  

For the MA with an emphasis in French, the total number of credit hours in special readings (7960), problems (8085) or thesis credits (8090) or any combination of both may not exceed twelve. The number of credit hours in special readings (7960) within the student’s major field may not exceed three per semester. Graduate Instructors with no pedagogical experience or those who have completed no graduate course in foreign language teaching methodology will be required to take FRENCH 7120 Foreign Language Teaching Methodology.  Non-native speakers may be interviewed by the course coordinator or Graduate Studies Director to assess proficiency. 

Choosing an Advisor

All graduate students in the department may choose, or the Director of Graduate Studies will assign them, an academic advisor at the start of their first semester of graduate study. Students must choose an academic advisor by the end of their first semester of graduate study.

Submitting Your Plan of Study to the Graduate School Office

MA candidates must submit a completed M-1 Plan of Study form to the Graduate School at least one semester before graduation.

Financial Support and Teaching Assistantships

Some incoming graduate students are offered paid positions as Teaching Assistants, with the initial one-year appointment renewable for a second academic year. As a form of financial support, the TA-ship is subject to guidelines established by the university: each student holding a TA-ship must be actively pursuing a graduate degree, must be in good standing, and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. 

Minimum salaries for 0.5 TA appointments are listed at the Graduate School  website. In addition to an insurance premium subsidy, TA-ships at .5 FTE (half-time) carry with them a tuition waiver, meaning that students do not pay tuition for courses leading to the MA. In addition, the TA-ship provides a monthly stipend during the regular academic year (September to May), which most students find is enough to cover their costs while living in Columbia. Finally, the department offers competitive grants for travel and research materials intended to support graduate students' professional development. 

Possible Fifth Semester of Support

In exceptional cases, students in good standing — with no grades of Incomplete and unproblematic teaching — may receive a fifth semester of support, at the discretion of the faculty and depending on budgetary and teaching needs. Students must submit all requests for a fifth semester of support in writing to the director of graduate studies. No student will receive more than five semesters of support.

Normal Teaching Load vs. Course Load

French Graduate Assistants teach either one 5 hour credit course or two 3 hour credit courses per semester. International students may never teach more than 2 courses per semester owing to visa restrictions. All MA candidates must be registered in a minimum of 6 hours of course work for each semester in which they hold an instructorship. Students may enroll in up to 6 hours per semester of 8090 (thesis credits) if they have completed all their course work and are preparing for their MA thesis.

Annual Review

Students are required to fill out an annual performance review via the University's MyVita webpage. 

Master’s Thesis

A minimum of 4 hours and a maximum of 6 hours of 8090 Research will be allowed for the thesis. Students are urged to obtain the Graduate School’s guidelines for thesis/dissertation writing as the thesis must conform to the Office of Graduate Studies' formatting and style specifications.

Thesis Committee

Once a student selects a faculty member to direct the thesis, two additional members of the doctoral faculty at the University of Missouri, one of whom may be from a department other than SLLC, must be named to the thesis committee, typically after consultation with the thesis director. 


Prof. Mary Jo Muratore
Director of Graduate Studies & Section Director of Graduate Studies in French


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