RALPH ALBANESE, JR., PhD
FERNANDO BURGOS, PhD
Coordinator of Graduate Studies
DENIS GRELE, PhD
French Section Coordinator
Room 375, Winfield Dunn Building
(901) 678- 2506
I. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers a program leading to the
Master of Arts degree in Romance Languages with concentration in either French or
Spanish. Program objectives: The MA program prepares students in the areas of literature,
culture, education, grammar, and linguistics and is oriented toward the preparation
of students who may be interested in teaching in public and private elementary and
secondary education, teaching as a part-time or full-time instructor at the college
level, pursuing a PhD in the field of concentration often at highly-ranked universities,
or enhancing the student's skills for a career in law or business as well as in government
All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School
(see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) as well as the program requirements of the degree being pursued.
II. MA Degree Program
A student entering the program will be assigned a major advisor, usually the respective
graduate coordinator for French or Spanish. This advisor is to be consulted in all
matters concerning the student’s program of study. It is the student’s responsibility
to familiarize himself/herself with the detailed online description of the program
concerning requirements, policies, and procedures including--but not limited to--the
reading list, coursework requirements, course descriptions, comprehensive examination
procedures, reading knowledge of a second language, independent studies, language
proficiency, grade point average requirements, time limitation, academic misconduct
policies, and other issues. It is also the student's responsibility to consult with
his/her respective graduate coordinator and/or the chair for further clarification.
Teaching Assistantships carry a stipend and cover the cost of tuition for the entire
program. The Department also offers Research Assistantships which carry a stipend
and half-tuition scholarship per academic semester. Both awards are offered on a competitive
basis. Part-time students or students who have a full-time job or any other activities
that may interfere with their academic responsibilities are not eligible. Students interested in obtaining a teaching or research assistantship must be officially
admitted into the MA program in Romance Languages first and should submit a letter of intent, addressed to the Chairman, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures with
a copy to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. Applicants are encouraged to visit
the department web site at http://fl.memphis.edu/Graduate.htm for a detailed description of the program and information about the stipend amount
for teaching and research assistantships.
A. Program Prerequisites
- The applicant must provide an official transcript showing that a bachelor's degree
was awarded by an accredited college or university. Official transcripts should be
sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
- A minimum of a 3.0 quality point average on a scale of 4.0 is highly desirable. Students
with less than a 3.0 quality point average may be admitted with the approval of the
Department Chair and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
- A minimum of 24 upper-division semester hours or the equivalent in French or Spanish.
Examples of an equivalent preparation in French or Spanish include having native or
near-native proficiency, university studies in a French/Spanish-speaking country,
- A reasonable proficiency in the language of concentration, to be determined by the
Department prior to admission. An oral interview in French or Spanish is required.
The applicant must contact the respective coordinator in French or Spanish early in
the admission process to make arrangements for the interview.
- A writing sample in French or Spanish depending on the concentration chosen must be
submitted to the respective coordinator of French or Spanish. This documentation is
intended to demonstrate the student's adequate command of writing skills in his/her
field of concentration.
- A letter of intent explaining the applicant's motivation and objectives in pursuing
a graduate degree in French or Spanish.
- Two letters of recommendation from professors who have taught the applicant.
- A 3.0 GPA for upper-division courses in the field. A GPA below 3.0 requires the approval
of the Department Chair and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
- A verbal and quantitative GRE score acceptable to the Department.
- International students, i.e. applicants whose highest degree is from a foreign university,
must have their credentials evaluated. The university will accept evaluations done
by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation
Services web site http://www.naces.org. The course-by course report is required.International students must therefore:
- score a minimum of 79-80 on the web-based TOEFL;
- convert their educational credentials–grades and diploma—into their US equivalents
with an appropriate agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation
- Ask the same agency to submit the official transcript and diploma along with their
respective conversion and translation to Graduate Admissions, University of Memphis.
B. Program Requirements
- A total of thirty-three (33) semester hours.
- The possibility of collateral hours — i. e. coursework in another discipline or department
which is related to the field of concentration—are handled differently in French and
Spanish. Students interested in taking collateral hours will need to consult with
the respective coordinator in French and Spanish to see if these hours are available
in their concentration and if they are eligible.At least 23 hours must be taken in
7000-level courses (eight  courses in all).
- Satisfactory completion of minimum standards for eligibility to take the comprehensive
exams. Students in the program must seek advice from the respective coordinator in
French and Spanish to determine that the coursework they carry fulfills these minimum
- A reading knowledge of a foreign language other than that of the concentration. This
may be demonstrated in the following ways:
- achieving the forty-fifth (45th) percentile on the Graduate School Foreign Language
- achieving a grade of B ("3.0") or better in a fourth-semester language course (e.g.
FREN/GERM/SPAN 2020 or equivalent),
- achieving a grade of B ( "3.0") or better in a graduate reading course (FREN/ GERM
5701 or equivalent), or
- another option approved by the coordinator of graduate studies.
- A comprehensive written and oral examination after completion of 33 hours and fulfillment
of the reading knowledge requirement. These examinations will be conducted in the
language of the concentration. For a full description of the comprehensive examination
procedures, please visit the department website at http://www.memphis.edu/fl