The Master of French Studies (MFS) is a professional degree earned in the Professional French Masters Program (PFMP). The PFMP is separate from the graduate program in French and Francophone literature. It is an interdisciplinary program combining advanced graduate-level course work in French language and Francophone culture with concentration-area course work in one of six professional concentration areas: French and business, French and education, French and international education, French and European Union affairs, French and international development, and French and media/arts/cultural production. The PFMP prepares graduate students for careers in business, government, nonprofit organizations, media, advertising, and the arts. All PFMP students do a professional internship, in their field, in a French-speaking country, and present a professional portfolio at the end of their studies.

Fall Deadline April 20*
Spring Deadline November 1
Summer Deadline April 20
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Step 1: Graduate School Application

The following materials go to the Graduate School (Office of Graduate Admissions, 225 Bascom, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1380):

  1. Graduate School Application(online)
    On the online application, you will need to list 3 people who will write letters of recommendation for you. (Remember to check the "email request" box when listing recommenders on the application.) At least one of the letters should address your overall proficiency, creativity, and style of expression in the French language. These may be professors, instructors, supervisors, or anyone who is familiar with your work and may give us a sense of your readiness for our program. Since the Graduate School will contact your recommenders directly via email, be sure to contact each recommender at least a month prior to when the letter of recommendation is needed to let them know that they will be contacted directly by the Graduate School. Recommenders may send an email version of their recommendation directly to the department (mdeitz@wisc.eduor
  2. $75 Application Fee (waived for current and former TAPIF participants)
  3. For international students whose native language is not English: MELAB or TOEFL scores

Step 2: French Department Application Procedure

Submit the following items to the Department of French and Italian (ATTN: Graduate Admissions Coordinator, 618 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, UW–Madison, Madison, WI 53706):

  1. GRE Scores
    (not required for certificate program) institution code 1846 for UW–Madison
  2. Writing sample in French
    (a graded undergraduate term paper or equivalent)
  3. Complete official transcripts of all postsecondary study (TWO copies)
  4. Any letters of recommendation that recommenders prefer to send as a hard copy. (A signed nonconfidential recommendation form must accompany each letter that comes directly to us.)
  5. Résumé (CV)
  6. Completed Study Track Application Addendum
  7. Statement of purpose (1 page, in French).
    What is your chosen concentration area, and how do you expect it, and the PFMP in general, to position you for a more satisfying professional life? Include any relevant experience you have had working or studying in your chosen concentration area. Although you may use dictionaries and other resources, we trust that this statement will be written without assistance.
  8. An oral interview in French, either in person or by telephone. (In certain cases, the oral interview will be waived.)


Spring 2019 admission deadline: November 1, 2018.

Fall 2019 admission deadline: January 15, 2019 if applying to live at the French House or for early decision; April 20, 2019 for all others.

Contact Ritt Deitz, Director: (608) 262-4090 or

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Students working toward the MFS degree are enrolled in the Professional French Master's Program.  Professional French Master's Program students may apply for financial aid and are automatically considered for a number of small private scholarships.  They often work part-time, and professional internships sometimes come with small stipends. PFMP students are not eligible for teaching or research assistantships that cover tuition.  However, all PFMP students pay the same per-credit tuition.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No Yes

Mode of Instruction Definitions


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement Two-thirds of the degree coursework (20 of 30 total credits) must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements B or better in FRENCH 615.
Assessments and Examinations Internship, oral examination, and professional portfolio.
Language Requirements No additional language requirements.

Required COURSES

Course Requirements: Before enrolling in their professional internship, students must complete the following 24 credits of French-language, UW–Madison coursework:

FRENCH 615 Grammaire avancee3
FRENCH 616 Social Responsibility in Contemporary French-Language Professional Writing3
FRENCH 617 Contemporary Skill Set Literature in French3
FRENCH 618 Career Strategies for the French-Speaking World2
FRENCH 623 Communication orale en situations professionnelles3
FRENCH 642 Culture et sociétés dans le monde francophone3
FRENCH 793 Professional French Masters Program Internship 15
FRENCH 799 Independent Study (Individual Special Purposes Tutorial)3
FRENCH 799 Independent Study (Individual Internship Issues) 22
FRENCH 901 Seminar-Materials and Methods of Research3
Total Credits30

Named Options

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

A Graduate Program Handbook containing all of the program's policies and requirements is forthcoming from the program.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

Full-time academic track: Students may not count coursework from other institutions.

Summer Institute track: With program approval, MFS students in the Summer Institute are allowed to waive up to 10 credits of their required PFMP credits, to recognize graduate work done at colleges or universities other than UW–Madison, if those courses satisfy program requirements and are 6 taken after the student has begun PFMP coursework.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

No credits from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count toward the degree.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, University Special students enrolled in the capstone certificate "French Studies" may count up to 12 credits of coursework taken while they are capstone students toward the MFS degree. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

  1. Good standing (progressing according to standards; any funding guarantee remains in place).
  2. Probation (not progressing according to standards but permitted to enroll; loss of funding guarantee; specific plan with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status).
  3. Unsatisfactory progress (not progressing according to standards; not permitted to enroll, dismissal, leave of absence or change of advisor or program).


Students will work closely with the PFMP executive director.


13 credits

Time Constraints

Students who have allowed a session to "lapse" without enrolling during that session, and without approval to take a leave of absence, must reapply to the program if they desire to continue. See program for more details.

Leaves of absence are viable for one semester only.


PFMP and certificate students may not be simultaneously enrolled in other graduate programs, nor are they eligible for project assistantships, teaching assistantships, or other forms of graduate support that provide tuition remission. Full-time academic students are automatically eligible for PFMP internship travel funding in the form of a credit toward airline travel, and for selected private scholarships of roughly $1,000 each.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Speak, read, listen and write in French at a level sufficient to work successfully among native French speakers in the student's concentration area.
  2. Identify, select and retrieve primary and secondary sources in research projects, using techniques expected by professionals working in the student's concentration area.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the relationship between practices and perspectives in the cultures of the world's major French-speaking regions.
  4. Articulate, critique, and elaborate the major professional approaches and best practices in the student's concentration area.
  5. Demonstrate understanding of the student's concentration area in its historical and cultural context.
  6. Successfully apply major professional approaches and best practices to professional projects in a French-speaking organizational setting outside the United States, in the student's concentration area.
  7. Use the most appropriate methodologies for success when beginning or returning to work in the student's concentration area.

French Faculty and Academic Staff

Professors Bousquet and Debaisieux

PFMP Director Ritt Deitz; other faculty from across campus also teach in the program.

PFMP Assistant Director Mandi Schoville