The French Department’s doctoral program reflects the interdisciplinary priorities that have long defined the pursuit of knowledge here at Berkeley. We are thus committed not only to providing students strong coverage of the field of French and Francophone literature and culture, but also to doing so through the critical application of innovative methodologies, and by continually bringing French studies into productive dialogue with developments in parallel disciplines. Our faculty’s interests are both historically and methodologically diverse; their strengths are complemented by a variety of programs, centers, working groups, and so on that regularly bring scholars of the humanities together across campus. And the atmosphere, relaxed and non-hierarchical, lends itself to free and passionate inquiry. We invite you to explore our offerings.
The PhD program in French has been formulated to allow students maximum flexibility to pursue their scholarly interests while guaranteeing the acquisition of broad competence in the discipline of French and Francophone literature and culture. Students are both expected to acquire expertise in the works of all periods and given the freedom to develop interdisciplinary and specialized perspectives.
Students may consider the option of pursuing a designated emphasis (DE). Popular DEs for students in French include Critical Theory; Film Studies; Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Renaissance and Early Modern Studies; European Studies; and New Media. Students pursuing a Designated Emphasis take certain prescribed courses within these disciplines, and write a dissertation that partially encompasses the chosen field of study. In addition to providing students an institutional mechanism for incorporating this sort of work into the PhD program, the designated emphasis assures prospective employers that you have demonstrated expertise in these fields, and it will appear on your final degree. The Program in Medieval Studies also offers a joint degree in French and Medieval Studies.
Source: Berkeley Academic Guide