Due to funding restrictions we are currently limiting the number of international students we can admit. Please contact the Associate Chair, Graduate Studies prior to applying to discuss your interest in our programs. 

Application process

Please visit the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website to apply to the PhD in French Studies program online.
During the application process, you will be required to upload:

  • transcripts from all institutions attended
  • a plan of study
  • 3 references (they will be contacted to complete recommendation forms)
  • a writing sample (this can include a copy of a master's paper or project)
  • an up to date résumé

Applications must respect the following deadlines:

Fall Acceptance February 1
Winter Acceptance July 1

Admission requirements

Applications will be reviewed by the Department, the Faculty of Arts and by Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Successful applicants must have completed and received a minimum of 80% in an MA program in French Studies or a closely related field. The PhD program is comprised of three distinct research fields. Students may be admitted into one of the three fields.

  1. Digital archiving, editing, and publishing in a Francophone context
    This unique field includes the study of manuscript retrieval and editing, new media studies, the study of the impact of digital media on French and Francophone literatures and cultures, questions on the history of the book and the e-book, digital and multimedia teaching of French and Francophone literatures and cultures, and also the archiving of book illustrations and other cultural material such as letters, personal archives, and private texts.
  2. Early modern French literary studies and theory
    Early modern French literary studies and theory have long been a traditional strength of the Department of French Studies at the University of Waterloo. A cluster of internationally known scholars are working in innovative areas in the period ranging from the early Middle Ages to the end of the eighteenth century. These areas include among others the study and publishing of texts produced by women, research and archiving of travel literature and epistolary documents, and the examination of the importance of print culture in the creation a literary institution.
  3. Cultural Studies in a Francophone context
    This field focuses on cultural and literary studies in a Francophone context (France, Quebec, Francophone Ontario, Africa, the Caribbean), from the nineteenth century to the present. In addition to considering literature as the product of conditions in a particular place and time, the cultural studies field encourages interdisciplinarity through the critical study of cultural artefacts produced in a variety of media: literary texts, popular literature and cultures, theatre, film, music, painting, etc. This field draws upon diverse methodologies (semiotics, intermediality, feminist and queer theory, poststructuralist theory, post-colonial theory, ecocriticism, psychoanalytical theories and minority studies) to study a variety of cultural products.

The professors of the French Studies Department are specialized in various research areas.

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PhD degree requirements