How to Apply

To apply to the graduate program in French and one of the three specializations we offer (French Studies, French Language Learning/SLATE, French Linguistics), please fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM provided by the Graduate College of the University of Illinois. 

In order to be considered for all forms of financial aid, including fellowship support, please apply by the priority deadline December 18, 2020. Applications submitted by February 28, 2021 will still be considered, however financial aid might be limited.

If you cannot complete the online application, please contact the Graduate Student Services of the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics (SLCL) at for assistance or write to Graduate Student Services, 3070 FLB, 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.

For your online application, you will need to provide scanned and/or PDF versions of the following documents by uploading them into the application form:

  • transcripts (and an English translation where applicable), certificates of degree and/or diplomas from all institutions of higher education that you have attended (junior college, college/university, or graduate school). Please note: upon admission, official final transcripts and certificates of degree and/or diplomas will be needed at time of arrival.
  • a statement of purpose (1-2 pages, in either English or French) detailing your field of interest (see below for more details)
  • and two (2) writing samples (minimum five pages each), in the form of 2 papers (such as a term paper or research paper) at least one of which must be written in French.

In addition, you will have to supply:

  • the contact information for three referees who will provide a letter of recommendation, preferably professors familiar with your work. Submission guidelines for these letters are explained in the online application form.
  • a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report is required if your native language is English or you have completed at least two academic years of full-time study or completed a graduate degree at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction. Please have ETS send your GRE scores to institution code #1836. Applicants who do not take the GRE test are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS instead: see below.

Your statement of purpose should explain the relation between your studies and/or work experience to date and your current interests in French, and your reasons for wanting to obtain a graduate degree in French from our department. 

Important: Each new student will be accepted for one of our three graduate specializations (French Studies, Language Learning/SLATE, or French Linguistics). In the online application, under “Other Field of Specialization,” you should therefore clearly indicate to which of the three graduate specializations you are applying.

In the online application form, under “Application Information,” please indicate the kind of financial support for which you would like to be considered. You may rank the options in order of importance, or you may indicate that you have no preference. In the Department of French and Italian, we generally do not admit more students than we can support with assistantships and/or fellowships.

In case you have any questions about the online application form and procedure, please do not hesitate to contact SLCL Graduate Student Services at

Please read carefully in order to be fully considered as an applicant:

For admission consideration, the University of Illinois requires that all applicants whose native language is not English submit a current TOEFL or IELTS score report. Please have ETS send your TOEFL score report to institution code #1836. Applicants who have already taken the IELTS should upload their score report forms directly to the online application.

This requirement may be waived if, within five years of the term of enrollment, you have completed at least two academic years of full-time study or completed a graduate degree in a country where English is the primary language of instruction (in such cases, you are required to take the GRE instead). Minimum score requirements for admission are 79 on the TOEFL iBT, 550 on the TOEFL PBT, or 6.5 total and 6 in all subsections of the IELTS. See the Graduate College's website for detailed information on English proficiency requirements for admission.

In order to be considered for a teaching assistantship, the University additionally requires that all applicants who are not native speakers of English provide evidence of a minimum of 24 on the oral section of the new TOEFL iBT or a minimum score of 8 on the oral section of the IELTS. See the Graduate College's website for detailed information on English proficiency requirements for teaching assistantships.

You should be aware that some of the tests mentioned above may be given infrequently and/or only in certain locales. You should therefore register for them as early as possible.