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Columbia, MO 65211
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MA in Romance Languages with Emphasis in French

Degree Requirements

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.  The total number of credit hours in special readings (7960), problems (8085) or any combination of both may not exceed 12. 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 not completed a graduate course in foreign language teaching methodology, will be required to take FRENCH 7120, Foreign Language Teaching Methodology.

Non-native speakers will be required to complete an online proficiency assessment with the appropriate course coordinator before a decision on their admission status is finalized by the department.

Plan of Study

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

Funding Through Graduate Instructorships

MA candidates normally receive 4 semesters of financial support from the University while completing their degree. This support will customarily take the form of a graduate instructorship, though it may take the form of either a research or teaching assistantship.

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. Faculty will award a fifth semester of support according to the department’s need for instructors. 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

The teaching assignment for MA candidates holding instructorships is 2 courses per semester. International students may never teach more than 1 course the first semester and 2 courses per semester after that.  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 8080 (Readings) if they have completed all their course work and are preparing for their MA exams.

Annual Review

All teaching asssistants are required to complete an e-performance review during the spring semester. Teaching assistants will input the requested information in the HR site, then the course coordinator will review the teaching performance of the graduate student. Students will be allowed to then comment upon the coordinator's assessment, either in writing or in person or both.


The writing of a thesis is optional. 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 guidelines for thesis/dissertation writing as the thesis must conform to the Graduate School formatting and style specifications.

Thesis Committee

Students choosing to write a thesis must name a thesis committee consisting of no fewer than three members of the doctoral faculty at the University of Missouri, one of whom should be from a department other than the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Comprehensive Examination

Comprehensive Examination for the MA degree

All candidates for the Master of Arts degree must pass a 6-hour written examination based on the MA reading list. The examination is given twice a year, generally in late October and late March.

The French Master’s examination consists of six 1-hour parts covering literature of the Middle Ages/Renaissance, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and two of the following three periods in the contemporary period: twentieth century French Literature, twentieth century Francophone Literature, contemporary literary theory.

The Spanish examination consists of two 3-hour examinations. The first component covers Peninsular Spanish literature from the Middle Ages to the present and the second component covers Spanish American literature from the Colonial period to the present.

At least half the examination must be written in the candidate’s language of specialization.

Grading of the Comprehensive Exam

The MA examination is graded as follows: High Pass, Pass, and Fail. In order to receive a passing grade on any section of the examination, a student must receive passing grades from two thirds of the examining committee. To pass the entire examination, students must receive passing grades on all sections. With permission from the examining committee, students who fail part of the examination may retake only the failed section or sections of the examination. Two failures of the examination, in whole or in part, will terminate candidacy for the degree and result in dismissal from the program.

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Admission Criteria

Fall deadline: February 15
Spring deadline: October 15

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

Non-native English speakers must earn a minimum total score as well as subsection scores on one of the English proficiency tests listed below. English proficiency test scores are considered valid for two years beyond the test date.

Listening Speaking Writing Test Type                        Total     Reading

17          17           17         TOEFL                               80        17

6            6             6          IELTS Academic                  6.5       6

-            -              -           PTE                                    59       -

-            -              -          Cambridge C1 Advanced   180       -

-            -              -          Duolingo English Test*      105       -

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. At a minimum, three of these courses must be in literature. If the faculty determines a deficiency, 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 the Graduate School

  • All required Graduate School documents
  • Official Transcript 
  • 10-15 page writing sample in language of desired degree program, must be uploaded to the online application
  • 500-word Personal Statement, uploaded to the online application
  • 3 letters of recommendation (submitted through Apply Yourself or mailed to the Romance Languages Department, 143 Arts & Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211)
  • Résumé or CV

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.

Admission Contact Information

143 Arts and Science
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-5039

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