The interdisciplinary Ph.D. French SLATE program combines advanced French studies with a research focus on some aspect of second language learning/ teaching. This concentration has the combined support of faculty members in a wide range of disciplines related to second language learning and teaching, enabling the candidate to draw on resources in various departments in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Education.


This interdisciplinary French SLATE concentration is available to qualified candidates as one of the options in the Ph.D. program in French. To qualify for admission a candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • an M.A. or M.A.T. degree in French
  • a minimum 3.5/5 or equivalent average in previous graduate work
  • at least one year of experience in teaching French as a second/foreign language
  • approval by the Ph.D. Admissions Committee acting on recommendations of an M.A. Examination Committee and evaluation of written work submitted by the candidate, and the candidate's academic record. Candidates applying with a Master's degree earned elsewhere must submit examples of past research, and, upon admission, will be expected to fulfill in the course of their program any requirements needed to have the equivalent of an M.A. in French at the University of Illinois.

Upon admission to the Department of French Ph.D. Program, a student in the French SLATE option will select, with the approval of an advisor, courses that meet the requirements for the Ph.D. in French. Courses should carry at least 3 hours of credit, with the exception of Linguistics 400, which is presently offered for 2 hours. Any other exceptions must be approved by the student's advisor.

Candidates interested in obtaining a SLATE Certificate in addition to the Ph.D. in French should review the requirements for the certificate as they choose their coursework. Click here for the SLATE Program website.

Preliminary examination

As soon as possible after admission to Stage 2, the student will choose an advisor who will serve as the chairperson of the doctoral committee. The committee will consist of the chairperson and at least three other professors, two of whom may be from a different department. (The chairperson must be a member of the French department; however, the dissertation director may be a member of another department.) At least three voting members of the committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty. The entire committee must be authorized by the Graduate College.

The preliminary examination for this option will consist of the following:

  • The submission of a written document comprised of the following components:
    • a description of the proposed thesis, including a rationale for the study, a delineation of the research questions and hypotheses, and definitions of terms
    • a review and synthesis of the relevant research literature
    • a detailed design and plan of analysis for the study, including instrumentation and statistical and/or qualitative analyses to be used, as appropriate.
  • An oral examination based upon, but not limited to, the written document.

The preliminary examination should normally be taken during the semester following that in which the student finishes coursework. If the preliminary examination is not scheduled in a timely manner, preference will not be given for continuing financial aid. Candidates may enroll in 4 hours of French 599 for the semester in which they take their preliminary examination. After the preliminary examination it is recommended that candidates enroll in the maximum number of hours of 599 allowed in each semester until the required number is reached.


The thesis defense committee should normally be the same as the committee for the preliminary examination. If a change in the committee is necessary it must be approved by the Graduate College.

Application forms and all information regarding admission should be requested from the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of French and Italian, 2090 Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews, Urbana, IL 61801.