French MA Program

General Description of the Program

The French MA Program is part of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, offering advanced two-year training in French and Francophone Language, Literature, and Culture, as well as in linguistics and language teaching. Most MA students are funded through a teaching assistantship, which allows for a substantial tuition reduction and a monthly stipend. Graduate students have the possibility to apply for a summer assistantship at the study-abroad program in Reims, France. Students who have completed the MA program have been admitted to top Ph.D. programs across the United States. Others have gone on to teach in high school, work in government administration, or succeed in international companies.

The Graduate Advisor

Dr. Starra Priestaf
Office: FL 228

The French Faculty

Dr. Christopher Bains
Associate Professor of French

Office: FL 201A/250
BIBLIO-TECH: Créations Littéraires

Dr. Christopher Bains completed his doctoral studies at the Sorbonne in French and Comparative Literature. His dissertation, De l’esthétisme au modernisme, was published as a monograph with Honoré Champion. He teaches a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses including French cinema, literary theory, French civilization, nineteenth-century prose, short story, and conversation.

Dr. Carole Edwards
Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies
Graduate Recruiter and Convener
Director, Study Abroad in Reims Program (2010 - Present)

Office: FL 261

Carole Edwards received her doctorate from Purdue University in French with an emphasis on Francophone Studies. In 2008, she published a book on West Indian Francophone dramatists: Les Dramaturges antillaises: Cruauté, Créolité, Conscience féminine (L'Harmattan). Her current research interests also include Sub-Saharan writers and their interpretation of the notion of sacrifice; literary theory and the teaching of French and Francophone theater. As a teacher, she continues to abide by the learning-centered methodology. She utilizes a communicative approach in her classes, stressing interactive and student-. She believes that “an educator should foster an environment where teaching and scholarship centered instruction coexist to the benefit of students, faculty, and the community.”

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Edwards teaches French grammar; Commercial and Business French and literature survey classes.

At the graduate level, she teaches the following courses: French 5310 Medieval and Renaissance Literature and French 5311 From the Baroque to the Revolution.

Dr. Joseph E. Price
Assistant Professor of French and Applied Linguistics
Coordinator, Basic French Language

Office: FL 262
Personal Website:

Dr. Starra Priestaf
Assistant Professor of French
Interim Graduate Advisor
Faculty Advisor, The Texas Tech French Club

Office: FL 228

The following Texas Tech Professors teach courses which may be of interest to students studying French:

Dr. Erin Legacey
French History

Dr. James Brink
Early Modern Europe

Resources and Links

Research Resources


  • JSTOR: Excellent source of academic articles. Also on the TTU Library homepage. Search on campus without a login.
  • FirstSearch/WorldCat: Excellent resource for finding books in libraries worldwide. Also on the TTU Library homepage. Search on campus without a login. From the TTU Library website, you can order books on FirstSearch/WorldCat via Interlibrary Loan.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses: On the library homepage. Excellent resource for finding dissertations and theses.
  • Google Books: A great source to research and preview book (and sometimes read whole books).

Other Research Resources

Career Development & Recent Graduates

Graduates of our MA Program leave with solid training in French Literature, Culture, Film and Linguistics, skills useful to any career field. In addition, our graduate students are provided a valuable opportunity to gain experience in communicative language teaching and are provided with careful training and supervision to assure their success in the classroom. Our graduates’ training and experiences make them highly competitive candidates for jobs in government, business and education or for graduate study beyond the MA level. In recent years, many of the graduates of our MA Program have continued their education in French programs at highly-ranked universities, including:

  • Indiana University
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Purdue University
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of California – Davis

A partir d’ici, tout est possible.
From here, it’s (all) possible.


For more information on the MA program please contact the graduate advisor:

Dr. Starra Priestaf
Office: FL 228

To gain admission into the MA program in French requires a certain proficiency in French language and culture, usually acquired through taking courses toward the major in French. Students who have completed a major in other areas may be considered if they have the requisite competency in French and demonstrated motivation to work on the MA degree in French. Decisions on admitting students are made after taking into account a broad range of personal and academic experiences that the student brings to the program.

Admission to the program involves a two part application, first to the Graduate School of Texas Tech University, then to the French program. When completing the program application, domestic applicants should send the completed CMLL Graduate & GPTI/TA Application to Liz Hildebrand. The French program requires 3 letters of recommendation and a writing sample in French before review can begin. Texas Tech majors in LACU-French can provide the names of three professors willing to provide references in lieu of letters of recommendation.

Foreign Applications generally take longer to process. Foreign students are thus encouraged to apply as early as possible. Applicants must have a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based version) or 79 (internet-based) to gain admission to the Graduate School. The CMLL Graduate & GPTI/TA Application from foreign nationals should be submitted to Carla Burrus. Students applying from abroad will also have to secure a student visa from the nearest American embassy or consulate.

Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fee costs can be found on the Graduate School website.

Financial Support

Information on CMLL Graduate Student Financial Support can be found here.

The Program

The French MA Program at Texas Tech maintains a focus on literary studies and pedagogy while integrating a large scope of cultural material and a variety of theoretical frameworks. Courses are taught in the following areas: Medieval literature; 16th-, 17th-, 18th, 19th-, 20th- and 21st-Century literatures; French Civilization; Cinema; Literary Theory; Teaching Methods and Francophone literatures (African, Caribbean, Quebecois and French “Immigrant” literatures). It is a vibrant program that benefits from an experienced team of cross-disciplinary professors. Faculty members encourage intellectual inquiry and critical thinking through several collaborative endeavors.

The French Program at Texas Tech offers an intensive, hand-on, practical teaching Methods course to our Graduate Part-Time Instructors and Teaching Assistants, thus assuring solid, communicative-based instruction in our undergraduate courses. It assures that all new instructors in our department receive training and practice in effective teaching.

MA students in French receive thorough training and constant guided supervision in their own teaching of lower-level French courses, thus assuring a high quality of instruction and practice. All applicants to the MA are encouraged to apply for a teaching assistantship and funding, which is allocated on a competitive basis.

The graduate advisor formulates a degree plan with respect to the interests of the student and availability of French faculty. MA students have the possibility to do a master’s thesis in the following periods and areas: Medieval Studies, 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition, Francophone Literature, Literary Theory, and Cinema. Courses are listed on the TTU website and in the Texas Tech University Course Catalog.