Master of Arts in French Studies (MAFS)

IAU College's MA in French Studies degree program is offered at its Aix-en-Provence, France campus.

Program Overview

The Master of Arts in French Studies (MAFS) at IAU College is a one-year program that offers students the unique opportunity to earn an American MA degree in a Fr­ench-speaking environment. Situated in Aix-en-Provence, France near the Mediterranean coast, IAU’s program unites mainland French with the Francophone countries of North Africa, ensuring that students are exposed to the rich diversity of the French language and culture. The MA in French Studies prepares students for a variety of public and private careers in the international sector and provides them with a foundation to continue their education at the doctoral level. Upon completion, graduates of the program will have the capability and tools to teach French in colleges and universities or they may pursue careers in business or government agencies.

Candidates for the MA in French Studies can choose to specialize in one of the following tracks:

  • French and International Studies (FIS): French language for use in international contexts in both the public and private sectors
  • The Francophone World (FW): Study concentrated on the French language as it is used in other French-speaking countries (North Africa, Central Africa, the Caribbean)
  • Contemporary French Literature (CFL): Traditional curriculum with a focus on more avant-garde literature
  • Teaching French as a Foreign Language (TFFL): practicum and analysis

Each of these tracks will provide opportunities for students to do coursework in related disciplines such as Art, International Relations, Political Science, History, or Sociology.


During this year-long program (summer term, two semesters plus January Term), candidates will take seven three-credit courses along with a Master’s Seminar and an intensive traveling seminar that unites both the language and cultural components of the program while affording students the opportunity to experience Francophone and Mediterranean studies on an multinational level. All students, regardless of their track, are required to take the Master’s Seminar, J-Term Traveling Seminar and Research Methodology course.

Semester 1 (13 credits): All candidates will enroll in four 500-level courses: the Master’s Seminar (4 credits), an internship (3 credits) related to the their chosen track, and two courses (6 credits) from the following fields, according to their selected track:

  • Linguistics
  • French Society and Political Structures
  • Second Language Acquisition and Usage
  • International Relations
  • North Africa and Colonial History
  • Francophone Literature

January Term Three-Week Graduate Seminar (3 credits): Candidates choose from the following options:

  • French and International Relations (FIR): American Diplomacy
  • The Francophone World (FW): Europe and the Islamic World
  • Contemporary French Literature (CFL): Great Cities
  • Teaching French as A Foreign Language (TFFL)

Semester 2 (13 credits): All candidates will enroll in four 500-level courses:  the Research Methodology for Thesis Preparation (4 credits) plus either an internship (3 credits) and two courses (6 credits) from the fields below OR no internship and three courses (9 credits) from the following fields, according to their selected track:

  • Linguistics
  • Discursive and Creative Writing in French
  • Second Language Acquisition and Usage
  • European History
  • Literature and Popular Culture

Summer (3 credits): Candidates enroll in one course centered on French language and culture.

Final Research Thesis (4 credits):  Students in their final semester will choose a subject and advisor for the Final Research Thesis Project. The candidate’s thesis will be supervised by their faculty advisor with additional oversight from the French department. Oral defense of the thesis will be conducted in front of the MA in French Studies committee at the end of the term.

Total = 36 credits


During the first two weeks of the second semester, candidates will determine a thesis topic that they will ultimately submit at the end of the term/year. The subject will be determined in collaboration with an advisor from the French department. Students must successfully defend their thesis to the MA in French Studies Committee in an oral presentation in order to obtain their degree.


IAU College faculty is comprised of experts in the field of French studies, linguistics, translation, literature, language acquisition, political science, art history and more. Both academics and professionals in their field, IAU faculty provide the MAFS the academic depth and the real-life experience necessary for a well-rounded French Studies education.

Muriel Cros
Assistant Dean and Director of French Studies, IAU College
Linguistics - Semiology of Poetry and Acquisition of Language / Discourse Analysis and Sociolinguistics
PhD, University of Provence, University of Montpellier
Sebastien Llorca
Professor of English at Aix-Marseille University
Political Science, Mediterranean Geopolitics and Environmental Studies
PhD, European University Institute
Sylvie Requemora-Gros
Director of Research, IAU College
Tenured Professor, Aix-Marseille University
Classic and Modern French and Francophone Literature
PhD, Agrégée de Lettres

Guillaume Durand

Assistant Dean in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, IAU College
Art History and Archaeology, Specialist of Medieval Art
PhD, Aix-Marseille Université

Noëlle Mathis
Researcher in Applied Linguistics
Socio-Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
PhD, Simon Frazer University, University of Avignon
Audrey Coussy
Professional Translator of English Novels
Translation and Literature for Youth
PhD, Sorbonne, Paris

Michel Lantelme
French Literature
PhD, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
David Walker
Dean of the Faculty of Art, University of Sheffield
PhD, University of Liverpool

Pascale Schaaf
Internship Coordinator, IAU College
MA, Aix-Marseille University
Estelle Roger-Fix
Language Coordinator, Centre d'Etudes Francaises, IAU College
MA/FLE, Université d’Aix–Marseille / Université de La Sorbonne Nouvelle
Philip Breeden
Former Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Paris
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

For program-related questions, please contact Dr. Muriel Cros, Assistant Dean, Centre d'Etudes Francaises.

For admissions questions, please contact IAU's U.S. Office of Admissions at or call 1-800-221-2051.