Graduate Program in French and Francophone Studies

The Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies trains students to carry out path-breaking research on France and all regions of the French-speaking world, from Africa and its diaspora to the Mediterranean and Transpacific. Our program is unique due to the geographic span and the exceptional range of interdisciplinary approaches of our faculty, from ecocriticism, gender and sexuality, postcolonial studies, and critical race studies to translation, cultural studies, and the visual humanities. Upon completion of the program, students receive a Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture (French and Francophone Studies), with optional graduate certificates in Visual Studies, Digital Media and Culture, Gender Studies, and Translation Studies.

The Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies, offered through the Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture doctoral program (CSLC), is designed to take advantage of the remarkable range of our graduate faculty, with particular strengths in African and Caribbean culture and diasporic thought (Lydie Moudileno); literature and popular music in the Caribbean and postcolonial France (Edwin Hill); Francophone and postcolonial studies with a focus on North Africa and the Middle East (Olivia Harrison); Southeast Asian film and culture (Panivong Norindr); Renaissance literary culture and politics (Antónia Szabari); and the French Enlightenment (Natania Meeker).

Doctoral candidates in French and Francophone Studies work closely with students from affiliated CSLC tracks—including Comparative Media and Culture, Comparative Literature, and an array of national literary traditions—in a series of interdisciplinary seminars that aim to introduce a diverse graduate cohort to major developments in literary criticism, culture as an instrument of social formation, and relations among different media (including literature, film, video, and “new media”). The doctoral program brings together the most exciting approaches to literary scholarship, combining the trans-disciplinary energy of comparative studies with in-depth research in French and Francophone Studies as a unique field.

If you are interested in the Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies at USC, we invite you to explore the French and Italian and CSLC websites or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Edwin C. Hill ( We look forward to hearing from you!