Graduate Students Exams

To meet the needs of all graduate students, the Department of French and Francophone Studies proctors the MSFS Proficiency Exam for the School of Foreign Service and the Second Foreign Language Exam students in a Foreign Langauge graduate program.

MSFS Proficiency Exam

For more information about the MSFS Proficiency Exam, please click here

Second Foreign Language Exam for students in Foreign Language graduate programs

The purpose of this Reading Exam is to verify that the student is able to comprehend a scholarly article in the respective Foreign Language (French).

Once a FL graduate student is ready to take the Reading Exam, his/her DGS (Dept. A.) gets in touch with the designated professor/examiner in Department B and provides information about the student’s fields of interest in relatively broad terms (e.g, contemporary literary/cultural studies, Renaissance studies, SLA, etc.). There are also instances in which the FL graduate student gets in touch with the professor/examiner directly.
Within the following month, the designated professor/examiner in Dept. B locates a brief scholarly article in the student’s general field of interest (the article may deal with another national literature/culture as long as it is of a rather general nature). The length of the article and of the exam will depend on the particular language and will be determined by the examiner in consultation with the DGS.
The examiner schedules the exam in consultation with the graduate student and the DGS. The actual exam will be administered in the student’s home department (Dept. A) or in the department of the examiner/professor (Dept. B).
The exam consists of reading the article and writing a summary (500 words max.) OR answering questions based on the article in English.
In the latter case, the examiner will write four or five questions in English about the article. Some questions may ask for clarifications of important concepts or passages. Others may require synthesizing information and arguments from the article. Questions are to be answered in English (500 words max.).
Dictionaries are permitted
Criteria for passing the reading exam: level of comprehension necessary for academic work (e.g., dissertation research).
The examiner informs the students and his/her DGS of the outcome of the exam (usually within one week of receiving the exam).
If the results are not satisfactory, the examiner will make non-binding recommendations regarding additional language courses the student may audit before retaking the exam.

Please contact Professor Aaron Emmitte ( for more information.