Ph.D. students are guaranteed five years of support, two of which are in the form of fellowships. Students are admitted to the program on a 12-month fellowship (tuition and stipend). In subsequent years they typically receive a Graduate Assistantship (generally requiring teaching) or other means of support; all pay tuition and stipend. A second nine-month fellowship (with no teaching required) is normally taken in year four or five to support work on the dissertation. During the five years of funding, students have their health insurance subsidized at 100%. All financial aid is contingent upon the student remaining in good standing.
Students may apply for a variety of research and travel grants offered through French and other departments and programs such as the French Interdisciplinary Group, which, in addition to sponsoring speakers and other events, provides support for graduate student research. As they advance in their studies, Ph.D. students are encouraged to apply for a number of competitive university fellowships offering full support for research and writing.
For more information on financial aid for graduate students at Northwestern, see the Student Financial Services website.
Teaching is an essential element of the education and training experience of Ph.D. students at Northwestern. The Graduate School requires that all Ph.D. students serve in some instructional capacity for at least one academic quarter during their graduate education at Northwestern. This teaching requirement is unique to American higher education, and is an integral aspect of professional development. Students are expected to do comparable teaching work to others students within their program. The Graduate School strives to ensure teaching demands are as similar as possible across academic programs.
Over the course of their studies, graduate students in French and Francophone Studies are offered the opportunity to teach or assistant-teach language, culture, and/or literature courses. Students receive expert training in language pedagogy and have access to a Multi Media Learning Center (MMLC) equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Responsible for language training are Patricia Scarampi and Thao Nguyen.
The typical teaching assignment begins fall quarter of the student’s second year and extends through spring quarter of their 4th year, excluding summers.