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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is housing available?
A. Columbia University Programs in Paris have contracted the services of an experienced agent who works with individual students to locate accommodations that are suited to their needs.  Under current arrangements, the fee is 10% of the total rent for the calendar year.

Q. Is there financial aid?
A. Applicants should contact Columbia’s Financial Aid Office to inquire about federal and private loans. A small number of merit-based partial fellowships are available to students who apply by the January deadline.

Q. Do I qualify for this program if I only want to earn my MA and not continue for my PhD?
A. Yes. Further academic pursuits are only one of many postgraduate options.

Q. How does this program differ from the MA in French Cultural Studies?
A. The focus of the MA in French Cultural Studies is the contemporary civilization of France and the Francophone world. The focus of the MA in History and Literature is narrower in the sense that it does privilege the study of texts. It is broader in the sense that it covers a wider range of historical periods (medieval, early modern, modern) and is not restricted to the French domain. We expect many students to have an interest in French history and literature, but we also welcome students who wish to work on materials in other modern European languages, Medieval and Renaissance Latin, Hebrew, or Arabic. The focus of the degree is on archival and philological training and on the relationship between history and literature from a theoretical and methodological point of view.

Q. In what neighborhood of Paris is the program located?
A.
Reid Hall, Columbia's campus in Paris, is located at 4 rue de Chevreuse in the sixth arrondissement (Metro: Vavin). The building is an eighteenth-century porcelain factory that housed various educational institutions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and was bequeathed to Columbia in 1964.

Q. What is the language of instruction? English, French, or both?
A. Both. Courses taught by Columbia faculty in residence at Reid Hall are normally taught in English. Courses at EHESS and ENS are taught in French. Written work, including work done at EHESS and ENS, is normally done in English.

Q. How good should my French be to study in this program?
A. Two years of college French or proficiency at the equivalent level are required (ability to read primary and secondary sources in French and to take part in class discussions conducted in French). Written work is normally done in English, including in courses taken at EHESS and ENS. Students who wish to improve their mastery of French may enroll in an optional French language course.

Q. What languages other than French can I study in the course of this program?
A. Thanks to a special agreement with ENS, students who wish to take an optional language course (intermediate or advanced) may do so at ENS. Available languages include all major European languages, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, and Japanese.

Q. Can you tell me more about your partner institutions, ENS and EHESS?
A. The Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), founded in 1794, is a highly selective undergraduate and graduate school that has trained most of France's top scholars in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. The École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) is a graduate school founded in 1947 by historians Lucien Febvre, Charles Morazé et Fernand Braudel. It has pioneered the use of comparative and historical methods in the social sciences.

Q. What are the tuition costs?
A. The estimated tuition cost for 2012-2013 is $42,584. It is expected to be slightly higher in 2013-2014. For more information, please see the Cost of Attendance page on the GSAS website.

Q. When will the candidates be notified?
A. Students who wish to be considered for partial fellowship and apply by the January deadline will be notified in late February. Others will be notified in May.

Q. How do I apply? Paper or online application?
A. All applications must be submitted online via the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences web application at Columbia University. See Apply to GSAS on the GSAS website. To read more about the application process, please see the Admissions Page.

Q. What kinds of careers do you expect graduates to continue with?
A. The program provides sound footing for applications to professional schools in law, international affairs, journalism, or medicine. Graduates may seek positions in the United States or Europe in the diplomatic service, business, finance and banking, journalism, publishing, editing and translating, art and cultural organizations, international NGOs, and academic administration. The degree is also a valuable credential for students seeking admission to a doctoral program in history or literature. For more information on career opportunities and services, please visit the Center for Career Education website.

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