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The Master’s Final Examination

  1. A research paper (roughly 20 pages) that expands upon, improves and enriches work already begun in a seminar paper. The paper topic must be chosen and communicated to the exam committee by the last day of the student's third semester. The final version of the paper must be submitted to the committee by April 1 of the 4th semester.
  2. An oral exam to be taken by March 1 of the 4th semester based on (a) the student's ongoing work and plans for completing the aforementioned research paper and (b) a number of questions provided by the exam committee ahead of time involving the student’s work in the course of the two-years of the MA program. The exam will last approximately 60 minutes, half of which will be devoted to the student’s progress and plans on the research paper and the other will be devoted to presentation and discussion of the student’s answers to the questions related to previous coursework.

The student may choose to do both parts of the exam in French. Or the student may choose to do either of the parts (but not both) in English.

Additional details regarding exam procedure:

Before the Thanksgiving break of the student’s third semester, the MA candidate will submit a list of all courses and “texts” studied in the first 3 semesters of the MA program. He/She will assemble an exam committee consisting of 3 members of the French faculty (of which 1 designated chair).

Before the end of the 3rd semester, faculty members of the student’s committee will provide the student with several broad questions that address topics spanning two or more of the areas covered by the student’s previous courses.

The Master’s Committee

Each student will choose a Master’s Committee consisting of three members of the French graduate faculty, one of whom will serve as Chair.

The Master’s Committee is appointed by the Graduate School upon recommendation by the DGS. Students ask faculty members to serve on their Committees and name one as Chair (the committee Chair must be a Full or Associate Professor). Students then inform the DGS of their choices. The Master’s Committee is normally designated in the semester preceding the term when the student proposes to take the Master’s Final Examination. The Committee reviews the student’s course work, advises the candidate on preparation for the examination (which may include taking additional courses), and ultimately designs, administers, and evaluates the final written examination.The student must submit to the committee by early March a list of course works studied, since the committee bases its questions on this list.

Scheduling the Master’s Final Examination

Texts for Part I of the Master’s Final Examination will not be distributed to the candidate until the following criteria have been met:

  1. A cumulative 3.0 GPA on graduate course work taken at or transferred to the University of Kentucky.
  2. Completion of all work in courses in which the student has received an Incomplete.
  3. Fulfillment of the Second Foreign Language Requirement, concurrent enrollment in a course that will lead to completion of the requirement (may include the course 011 “for Reading Knowledge” in another language dept.), or a written agreement to enroll in such a course the very next semester. The requirement may also be met by work that offers a reading knowledge of another language done previously at other universities.
  4. Successful completion of a minimum of ten graduate-level courses in French, including FR 553 (Teaching of French). Other courses may satisfy this requirement with approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Chair of the Master’s Committee schedules the date of the Master’s Final Examination in consultation with the candidate and the other members of the Committee.

French Read​ing Proficiency Exam for Graduate Students

Graduate students wishing to complete the language requirement by taking the French reading proficiency exam should contact Jeorg Sauer ( or Jeffrey Peters ( to schedule the exam. Students are allowed to use a dictionary and have two hours to complete the exam with a B or better to satisfy the requirement.