All students accepted to the graduate program in French begin the degree during an initial summer of candidacy on the Vermont campus.

After successfully completing the summer MA program, a student is officially recognized as a candidate for the Master of Arts degree. Following the initial summer, students may choose to continue their studies in Vermont or Paris.

Course Requirements

Twelve units of credit, minimum grade in each course is B-. One unit equals three semester hours. More details for the MA in French and MA in Applied Languages in French.

Flexible Timeframe

Students have ten years to complete the MA degree. All credits toward a Middlebury MA (earned at Middlebury or as transfer credits) expire ten years after the study was completed. For example, courses taken during the summer of 2020 will no longer be valid toward a Middlebury degree as of August 2030.

Course Options

Two types of courses are offered in the graduate program: foundation courses which are designed to provide students with the linguistic, cultural and literary skills needed for further study, and content courses, which allow students to build upon this foundation to acquire broader, more sophisticated knowledge.

Course offerings vary by location. Please see Vermont courses and Paris courses.

Transfer Credit

After the initial summer, MA degree candidates may transfer up to three courses toward the degree. A transfer course must meet certain requirements and be approved in advance (before the course is taken) by the director and registrar. This option excludes the Applied Languages degree.


Students pursuing a degree over four summers may, with permission of the French School Director, write an independent research paper for one unit during the fourth summer (in Vermont only). Permission must be requested during the second summer.

Students spending the academic year in Paris must take a one-unit year-long research seminar in which they are introduced to the research methods of the discipline of their choice (civilization, literature, or pedagogy).

Students may choose to write a two-unit independent research thesis (in their area of specialization if they choose to specialize). Students who choose not to write a thesis will complete two additional credit units.


Students in the MA in Applied Languages in French will complete an academically directed internship (a minimum of 130 hours) in their area of specialization. The internship enhances and strengthens foreign language skills, deepens social immersion in a foreign culture, and students gain in-depth experience within a foreign work environment specific to the chosen field which may lead to future career opportunities.