Which program do I apply to?  Apply to the MA program if you have a BA in French (or foreign equivalent). Applicants to the PhD program should have an MA (or foreign equivalent) in French or in a related field.

Get Application Information or start your Graduate Application

NOTE: All applications must be submitted via the online application system.  Mailed applications will not be accepted. 


The deadline for graduate applications to be considered for Fall admission is January 15.

Apply online and pay the application fee: Go to the admission webpage managed by the University and submit your application online. The admissions website of the Graduate School traditionally opens at the end of July.  Applications fees are $60 for domestic applicants and $80 for international applicants.


Statement of Purpose

Applicants must submit a two to three page description describing their aptitude and motivation for graduate studies in French, including their preparation for this field of study, their academic plans or research interests in their chosen area, and their career goals. Applicants should be specific as to why the University of Colorado, Boulder would be a good fit for them. For guidelines see Statement of Purpose.

Diversity Statement: Optional

The Department of French and Italian at CU Boulder is committed to diversity, equity, and justice initiatives that foster an inclusive community for students, faculty, and staff. Please describe how your educational, professional, and/or personal experiences prepare you to contribute to the emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion during your graduate career at the University of Colorado Boulder. In this statement, you can reflect on your research topic, professional service, community engagement, personal perspectives, outreach activities, and more. This essay should complement but not duplicate the content in the Statement of Purpose. Completing this statement is optional, and you do not need to disclose any aspect of your identity or personal experiences in this statement. The recommended maximum length of the statement is 500 words.


MA candidates should hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with a major in French. Applicants should have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 in all French courses.

PhD applicants: should hold an MA degree or equivalent in French or a related field. For review and decision purposes you are required to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript(s) in the online application. We require one copy of the scanned transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution that you attended. This includes community colleges, summer sessions and extension programs. While credits from one institution may appear on the transcript of a second institution, unofficial transcripts must be submitted from each institution, regardless of the length of attendance, and whether or not courses were completed. Failure to list and submit transcripts from ALL institutions previously attended is considered to be a violation of academic ethics and may result in the cancellation of your admission or dismissal from the University.

ONLY after you are recommended for admission will you need to provide official transcripts. Official transcripts from US institutions must be sent directly from the institution. Transcripts from US institutions sent to us by applicants will not be accepted. Notarized copies from foreign universities are accepted.

Recommendation Letters

Applicants must provide THREE letters of recommendations from former professors and advisors.

Writing Sample

All applicants are required to submit a 10-15 page writing sample written in French on any author or aspect of French literature and culture. The paper should include pertinent bibliography and a one page abstract written in English.


(International Students). All international applicants to our program whose native language is not English will need to score at least 75 on the Internet based version (550 on the paper exam or 213 on the computerized exam) of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) in order to be admitted.


You must exhibit good pronunciation in French as evidenced by an audio file submitted to the department. The applicant should read one or two very short selections of prose or poetry and a short autobiographical passage composed in French by the applicant her/himself. The online application will provide a place to upload an audio file.


The test scores are not mandatory for admission.

Application Status

Applicants will not receive correspondence regarding the progress of their application until the application fee and the appropriate application forms are received.


Should you have any questions or concerns about our graduate program, please do not hesitate to contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Michela Ardizzoni, michela.ardizzoni@colorado.edu. For questions about the application process, please contact FrenchGrad@colorado.edu. Please use English for all correspondence with our Graduate Program Assistant.