Departmental Honors in French

Departmental Honors in French offers exceptional students an opportunity to challenge themselves further through a combination of graduate level coursework, independent research, and a thesis. Honors is designed to offer students more flexibility, more independence, and a greater challenge to our majors while working in close contact with a faculty mentor.


Honors Requirements

Each spring, the Faculty recommend and vote to invite high ability French majors (usually juniors) to Departmental Honors. To qualify, student must maintain a GPA of a least 3.5 in French, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students receive a letter of invitation from the Chair and should meet with the Honors Advisor to design and plan their program.

Candidates for Departmental Honors must first take a 500-level course or a 600-level graduate seminar and earn a minimum grade of B+. Admission to graduate courses is subject to permission of the instructor. In order to take a graduate seminar at Miami, students must pick up an application from the Graduate School (102 Roudebush), which requires the signatures of the student's advisor, the Department Chair, and the instructor. The form must be submitted for approval to the Graduate School at least one week before classes begin. This course is typically taken in the Fall and may count toward the major in place of one 400-level seminar.

The second step is to take a three-hour independent research course (FRE 480) with a faculty mentor. By working one on one with an advisor, the candidate researches and writes a thesis, which represents an original research topic developed by the student in the context of this course. The thesis consists of a 25-30 page document with bibliography. Click here for Department guidelines for formatting the thesis.

The last requirement is an oral defense of the Honors thesis with the advisor and two other faculty members who serve as readers. Following the defense, students must submit a bound copy of the thesis to the department.

Students who earn Department Honors are relieved of having to write a thesis in the capstone and will instead write shorter papers as for a normal 400-level course.

Graduating seniors who successfully complete Departmental Honors are recognized at the departmental awards ceremony and at commencement and will have the notation "Departmental Honors in French" on their transcript.

Interested students should speak with the honors advisor, Dr. Claire Goldstein, for more information.


Recent Thesis Topics

Zoë Ciambro Hesp, La science et la société subjective: Les effets culturels de la phrénologie pendant la monarchie de juillet (Jonathan Strauss, Elisabeth Hodges, Guillaume, Paugam), 2010.

Janine Saliba, Medical Approaches to Cultural Differences: The Case of the Maghreb and France (Jonathan Strauss, James Creech, Mark McKinney), 2010.

Lauren M. Fleming, Faux Amis? Intercultural and Interpersonal Relations Between Americans and the French (Patricia Reynaud), 2009.

Sara E. Hathaway, Suspended in Space: A Critical Analysis of Paul Auster's City of Glass and Georges Perec's Espèces d'espaces (Elisabeth Hodges, Claire Goldstein, Anna Klosowska), 2009

Alexandra L. Newman, "Parce que t'es une fille!": La féminité dans Les années Spoutnik (Mark McKinney, Michel Pactat), 2009

Shelly Alpeter, L'écriture ou la vie. Une question d'autorité chez Jorge Semprun (Elisabeth Hodges, Jim Creech, Mark McKinney), 2007.

John M. D'Amico, Gustave Moreau and Timeless History (Jonathan Strauss, Elisabeth Hodges, Clive Getty), 2007.

Gina M. Stamm, Communicating the Unknown: Construction of Identity in André Breton's Nadja (Jonathan Strauss, Jim Creech, Sven-Erik Rose), 2007.

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