How to Apply

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for guaranteed funding consideration for Fall 2024 is Sunday, January 7th, 2024.

Decisions will be made by mid February. We request a final decision from admitted students by April 15.

The Department of French & Italian encourages applications for both of our graduate programs (MA and PhD) in French. In order to apply, please read and follow our instructions carefully.


For those who apply for the MA program, a bachelor's degree is required, while a master's degree is required for those who apply to our PhD program.

We select students who meet the following criteria well:

  • Evidence of an intellectual commitment to the advanced study of literature and culture
  • Potential for excellent scholarship, research, and teaching
  • Proficiency in French—including an excellent command of the language in speaking and writing, for both teaching and academic work
  • Previous academic record—including previous research experience

Elements of the Application

  • University of Minnesota Graduate School application
    All prospective graduate students of the University must apply online. See the Graduate School admissions page for more information.
  • Personal Statement (required)
    This statement is one of the most important elements of your application. It should address:​
    • Your previous academic or intellectual work in French studies (or related fields)
    • Your current and anticipated research interests
    • If applicable, any teaching experience you may have
  • Diversity Statement (optional)
    Supporting the development of a diverse student body is central to the University of Minnesota's mission. This mission is enacted by the inclusion of academically excellent students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and/or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Please write a statement that identifies the distinctive characteristics and/or life experiences, such as successfully overcoming obstacles or hardships, that you would bring to your graduate program and how that could contribute to the education and enhanced perspective of fellow students at the University of Minnesota.
  • Writing sample (required)
    A recent sample of your academic writing (10–20 pages) is a crucial portion of your application and should demonstrate your potential for academic writing and critical thought. You may submit up to two samples; at least one must be in French, and they can be no more than 20 pages total. Exemplary samples are capstone projects, final papers for advanced seminars, or senior theses
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae (required)
    No more than 2-3 pages
  • Three letters of recommendation (required)
    Letters should speak to your previous academic work and potential for excellence in scholarly research, as well as your writing, teaching, and proficiency in French. They are usually from faculty members familiar with your intellectual work and promise. Letters must be submitted through the online application.
  • Demonstration of proficiency in French
    Your application should establish your command of French, in both the submitted writing sample and letters of recommendation. Additionally, after reviewing your application, non-native speakers of French may be contacted to set up an appointment to assess their command of the language.
  • Transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution you have attended. Please see the instructions for submitting transcripts.
  • Application fee (paid online in the application process)

International Applicants

In addition to the materials listed above, international applicants must send:

  • Certified copies of all academic records, including diplomas and records of grades or exam results. If the originals are in a language other than English or French, certified English translations must be provided. Please see the instructions for submitting transcripts for more information.
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • Application Fee Assistance
    Students with financial need may ask for assistance paying the application fee. Please contact our Graduate Programs Coordinator ( for further information.

For more information, visit the Graduate School's International Student Resources page.