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Best Universities offering graduate programs in Comparative Literature

Master's degree in Comparative Literature is offered by 34 American universities. University of Pennsylvania had 7 international graduate students in its 34 program, which is one of the highest counts in the country. University of California-Irvine had the most women graduates in this program.

Princeton University logo
Ranked as:  #1 in Best National University
Tuition:  $56,470 per year
Total Cost:  $112,940 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New Jersey
Acceptance:  5.63%

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in comparative literature is offered by the Comparative Literature in cooperation with other departments. The program of study enables students with exceptional training in languages and literatures to profit from the increased awareness and understanding that may be derived from the considered view of than one literature and of the theoretical presuppositions behind literary study as a whole. The program prepares candidates for scholarship in the field and for teaching in comparative literature, separate departments of literature, and the humanities.

The curriculum in comparative literature has two major objectives: while training students in one literary tradition, it also requires them to be seriously interested in at least two other literatures as well as in the historical, critical and theoretical problems raised by the study of literature. The course of study over the four to six terms prior to the general examination reflects these objectives, and includes course work in comparative literature and in the student’s major and minor literatures. Students must take a minimum of 12 graduate-level courses, at least 10 of which must be for credit.

Major Literature. The program of study in the major literature aims at giving students a mastery sufficient to enable them to teach it in a national or a comparative context. The historical scope of work in the major literature is flexibly defined, but it may conform to the following patterns:.

Classical Literatures. The major in classics includes the study of both Greek and Roman literatures. For a detailed description of the curriculum, see the separate Schedule for the Classics Major in Comparative Literature.

Post-Classical Western Literatures. Students majoring in these literatures choose one from among the following periods: (1) Middle Ages to Renaissance, (2) Renaissance to Romanticism, and (3) Romanticism to the present.

East Asian Literatures. Students majoring in Chinese or Japanese may follow the prescribed curriculum for comparative literature students concentrating in one or both of these literatures. For the detailed curriculum, see the separate Schedule for Chinese or Japanese Majors in Comparative Literature.

Near Eastern Literatures. Students majoring in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish develop individual programs with the assistance of their advisers. These programs generally involve a version of one or topics of concentration or fields of study required by the Near Eastern Studies.

Additional Literatures. Students are expected to enrich their knowledge of their special fields through work in different languages and literatures. Some of this work is done in comparative literature courses, but at least one minor literature also must be studied in the pertinent department.

Comparative Literature. The program of study in comparative literature combines the students’ work in their major and minor literatures by focusing on a specific area in which these literatures can be fully explored. This area may be a limited segment of literary history (the late Middle Ages, the 16th century, Romanticism) or a particular aspect common to all three literatures (a genre such as lyric or the novel, or a phenomenon such as neoclassicism or the modern). It also may be a critical or a theoretical problem, involving analyses of modes of interpretation comparisons of genres and themes questions the relationship between different art forms (such as painting and poetry) problems in literary aesthetics or epistemology. In this way, comparative literature functions as the core of the curriculum, exposing students to a range of literary techniques and helping them to organize their work in their chosen literatures.

The general examination tests, as it reflects, the candidate’s course of study. Based on a reading list devised by the student and the student’s advisers, the written examination is divided into two parts. The first concerns the candidate’s major literature, and is comprehensive in nature. It is normally taken at the end of the fourth or fifth term. The second, in comparative literature, is usually taken at the end of the fifth or sixth term.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) degree is normally an incidental degree on the way to full Ph.D. candidacy and is earned after a student successfully completes the required number of courses plus both parts of the written examination. It may also be awarded to students who, for various reasons, leave the Ph.D. program, provided that these requirements have been met.

Practice teaching forms a significant part of graduate education in comparative literature. As a matter of departmental policy, therefore, all students, after their first year, are normally required to accumulate at least four classroom hours of teaching experience during their time at Princeton. ( Classroom hours refers to the number of hours per week, over the course of a semester, during which the student is in charge of the classroom as the primary instructor present.).

Under certain circumstances, candidates may be permitted to submit an original translation of a work of particular difficulty. A dissertation based on translation, however, must be preceded by a comprehensive introduction that examines in depth the comparative context of the translated work as well as the linguistic and theoretical problems arising from the translation itself.

Cadava, English Steven Chung, East Asian Studies Devin A. Fore, German Rubén Gallo, Spanish and Portuguese Simon E. Gikandi, English Anthony T. Grafton, History Brooke A. Holmes, Classics Jhumpa Lahiri, Creative Writing Thomas Y. Levin, German F. Nick Nesbitt, French and Italian Sara S. Poor, German Rachel L. Price, Spanish and Portuguese Efthymia Rentzou, French and Italian Michael A. Wachtel, Slavic Languages and Literatures Christy N. Wampole, French and Italian Max D. Weiss, Hostory and Near Eastern Studies.

Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

) An interdisciplinary seminar devoted to the study of aspects of the post-classical Greek literary and cultural tradition, including modern Greek literature, and its relation to classical literature and civilization.

COM 500 Comparative Literature Graduate Pedagogy SeminarDiscussion, exploration, and refinement of critical skills in teaching literature. Topics covered include: setting goals for the classroom, starting and facilitating discussion, and grading. Wider professional issues, such as developing a statement of teaching philosophy, the appropriate use of technology in the classroom, designing syllabi, using translations, and preparing a teaching dossier, will be discussed.

COM 513 Topics in Literature and Philosophy (also.

COM 521 Introduction to Comparative LiteratureThis course provides a general introduction to the theory and methods of comparative literature, with an emphasis on issues of interdisciplinarity. We consider the relationship of comparative literature to fields of study extending beyond the literary: aesthetics semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, and postcolonialism. The aim is to discover within and among these diverse and formidable fields some promising avenues for comparative literary research.

COM 530 Comparative Poetics of Passing: Race, Ethnicity, Sexuality (also.

) The expansion of race theory from the Americas into the global scene invites a cross-cultural approach to the fluidity of identity. This seminar investigates fiction and film from the African American, Jewish American, LGBTQ, and Israeli-Palestinian contexts to broadly explore how society constructs and deconstructs race, ethnicity, and gender. It focuses on representations of passing and reverse passing as well as doubled split identities for a wide-ranging, comparative discussion of the political and the psychological dynamics of identity and selfhood.

COM 536 Topics in Critical TheoryA course exploring some of the critical modes of inquiry at work in the practice and theory of different human activities, including: language, literature, philosophical reflection, aesthetic form, epistemology, historical and social formation. Topics may include: dialectical thought, concrete experience and abstraction, differential value, sensation and intellectual mediation temporal experience, graphic and architectural form line and figure historicity igins of language and society political and cultural theory. See current course listings for specific topic(s) when course is offered.

) Comparative studies in selected Latin and vernacular texts of the European Middle Ages, especially, but not exclusively, from the period 1250-1400. The seminar intends to provide an introduction to the methods of literary research in the medieval period.

) A study of selected major genres and modes of Renaissance literature, such as pastoral, satire, romance, picaresque, confession, lyric, epic, comedy, and tragedy. Attention is given to important cultural, social, and intellectual currents affecting their development, such as Christian Humanism, Reformation and Counter Reformation, mysticism, neo-Platonism, and skepticism. Representative works from various national literatures are chosen for close analysis.

) A study of 20th century writing in European languages relying to some degree on the principle of constraint or trict form'. Queneau, Calvino, Mathews, Perec, Roubaud and other members of Oulipo will constitute the central focus, but depending on students' linguistic competences works by e.g., Harig, Kharms, Nabokov, Cortazar may be included. Attention is focused on underlying principles as well as on practice and product.

COM 572 Introduction to Critical TheoryThrough a comparative focus on the concepts of dialectics and difference, we read some of the formative theoretical, critical and philosophical works which continue to ground interdisciplinary critical theory today. Focal works by Lukacs, Freud, Heidegger, Adorno, Derrida, de Man, Arendt, and Benjamin are included among the texts we read.

COM 581 Topics in Non-Western and General Literature (also.

) By examining one or literatures of the Near East or East Asia, and by referring to Western examples as well, the course raises literary issues that cannot be aired through the study of Western literature alone. Emphasis in any given year falls on Arabic, Persian, Chinese, or Japanese literature viewed in a comparative context.

) Selected topics and problems in modern literature, culture, and criticism.

FRE 526 Seminar in 19th and 20th-Century French Literature (also.

) Treatment of either the works of an individual writer or a broad topic, such as the impact on literature of other forms of intellectual or artistic activity, including philosophy, the visual arts, history, and psychology.

GER 515 Studies in 19th-Century Literature and Culture (also.

) Analysis of works of one of Russia most important contemporary writers. Focus on major novels, including Pushkin House, the first Russian postmodernist novel.

SPA 548 Seminar in Modern Spanish-American Literature (also.

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Comparative Literature - Program details

Princeton University admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  733
  • Teaching assistantships:  655
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Harvard University logo
Ranked as:  #2 in Best National University
Tuition:  $50,654 per year
Total Cost:  $101,308 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Massachusetts
Acceptance:  5.01%

The Department of Comparative Literature offers Comparative Literature as a secondary field in GSAS to enrich the education of PhD students in other departments who seek to do research and teach across the institutional boundaries of national languages and literatures. The secondary field in Comparative Literature prepares them to do so by introducing them to basic issues in the field.

Although the department recognizes that literatures in a single language constitute a coherent tradition, Comparative Literature seeks to develop an awareness of how literary works move across language borders, both in the original language and in translation. The department calls attention to theoretical issues shared not only across the boundaries of languages but also across very different traditions.

An ability to work in literatures in at least three languages. Normally this will be demonstrated by coursework in which at least some of the primary readings are in the language. In certain circumstances (for example, if one of the languages is the student’s native language) the DGS may waive the requirement that competence in a language be demonstrated by coursework. If English is used as one of the languages, the other two languages should show some breadth that is, they may not be closely allied, either linguistically or by academic convention (e.g., Spanish and Portuguese, Urdu and Hindi, classical and modern Chinese, or Greek and Latin). The judgment regarding what can legitimately count for the set of three languages will be at the discretion of the DGS.

1) Four courses, one of which must be the Comparative Literature Proseminar and two of which must be other Comparative Literature seminars at the 200 level. The remaining course requirements will be met by either 200-level seminars in Comparative Literature or 100-level Literature courses, which normally count for graduate credit in Comparative Literature.

2) Successful completion of a Second-Year Paper of 25-30 pages on a comparative topic, as required for students in Comparative Literature. Students doing a secondary field in Comparative Literature do not need to submit the Second-Year Paper by the first week of the G3 year, but they are encouraged to submit this paper as soon thereafter as possible.

Contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Verena Conley with any further questions.

Further information regarding courses and programs of study in comparative literature may be found on our website.

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Comparative Literature - Program details

GRE score required at Harvard University master's degree programs in Comparative Literature
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  864
  • Teaching assistantships:  1388
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details
Yale University logo
Ranked as:  #3 in Best National University
Tuition:  $44,500 per year
Total Cost:  $89,000 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Connecticut
Acceptance:  6.53%

The Department of Comparative Literature introduces students to the study and understanding of literature beyond linguistic or national boundaries; the theory, interpretation, and criticism of literature; and its interactions with adjacent fields like visual and material culture, linguistics, film, psychology, law, and philosophy. The comparative perspective invites the exploration of such transnational phenomena as literary or cultural periods and trends (Renaissance, Romanticism, Modernism, postcolonialism) or genres and modes of discourse. Students may specialize in any cultures or languages, to the extent that they are sufficiently covered at Yale. The Ph.D. degree qualifies candidates to teach comparative literature as well as the national literature(s) of their specialization.

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Comparative Literature Yale University - Program details

Yale University admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
  • GRE Required:  Yes
  • Research assistantships:  1565
  • Teaching assistantships:  1598
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69 universities offer the Masters’s program in Comparative Literature. Which one best suits your need? We will help make you a decision.

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University of Chicago logo
Ranked as:  #4 in Best National University
Tuition:  $61,548 per year
Total Cost:  $123,096 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Illinois
Acceptance:  7.31%

The first year of the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature consists of eight graduate-level courses, all of which must be taken for a quality letter grade (not pass/fail). Students are expected to take a minimum of six courses in their field of study in years One & Two with room for language study built in. The two-quarter foundational sequence Comparative Literature 501 and 502 is required for ALL first years and transfer students, including those with a previous MA.

An Outline of the Ph.D. Requirements in Comparative Literature.

Year One: Eight graduate-level courses, including CMLT 501xx and 502xx demonstrated competence in two foreign languages one substantial paper.Years Two and Three: Eight graduate courses Track Declaration in fall of second year two substantial papers in second year al examination passed by end of third year.Year Four: Approval for dissertation proposal by end of year.Years Five and Six: Dissertation colloquium at halfway point completion of dissertation, culminating in dissertation defense and award of degree.

The first year of the Ph.D. program consists of eight graduate-level courses, all of which must be taken for a letter grade. Students are expected to take six of their eight courses in the first two quarters of the program. The two-quarter foundational sequence Comparative Literature 501xx (Autumn) and 502xx (Winter) is required for ALL first years and transfer students, including those with a previous MA.

The remaining six courses are normally divided among two literatures, although a student may, with department permission, place greater emphasis on one literature or on some special interest (see details in the Track Statement section below for dividing courses). In order to obtain their MA degree, students must also demonstrate competence (high proficiency in a graduate literature course using the form provided in the related section or high pass in a University translation examination) in two foreign languages, one of which must be either French or German.

Students will be eligible for the M.A. degree upon successful completion of the first-year requirements, which include submitting two seminar papers for departmental review by the end of the first week of May: one seminar paper written for either quarter of the two-quarter required seminar sequence and one that demonstrates use of a foreign language. Near the end of the first year, the department will review students' records to assess whether students have made satisfactory progress and to provide guidance regarding their future course of graduate study.

In their second and third years of Ph.D. study, students are required to take a total of eight graduate level courses. Of these eight courses, at least six must be completed in the second year. No than one of the eight required courses after year one may be taken for a pass fail grade.

Students who enter the program with an M.A. degree from another university that has been judged suitable preparation for Comparative Literature study at the University of Chicago will still be required to take Comparative Literature 501xx and 502xx. Otherwise, they receive credit for one year’s work corresponding to the MA and are therefore required to take eight graduate courses in addition to the two core courses, normally six in their first year and two in the second, corresponding to the normal requirements for second and third year PhDs.

High proficiency in French or German (demonstrated by passing a graduate literature course in the language or a high pass (P ) on the Graduate Reading Exam).

High proficiency in a second language other than English (demonstrated by passing a graduate literature course in the language or a high pass (P ) on the Graduate Reading Exam).

Students should also be working towards native fluency in the language of their major literature by applying to studying abroad, once they have exhausted University offerings first. Funding for language study depends on the language and on the student’s immigration status for information, please review the websites of the Division and UChicagoGrad. In addition, students should prepare for job applications well in advance by taking the necessary qualifications to teach the language (see Teaching Requirements).

All graduate students who wish to fulfill the language requirement through graduate course work must submit the CMLT department form to be filled out by the instructor after the course work has been completed. The form will evaluate the student general knowledge of the language with emphasis on reading.

Students are reminded that competition for academic jobs requires that comparatists compete with native speakers and other national literature specialists an must therefore demonstrate equivalent oral and written skills and expertise in their primary language and literature.

After course work, all students must pass the oral examination before they can be admitted as candidates for the doctoral degree. Students should begin planning for this exam at the start of the third year or, so that they can take the exam by the end of spring in that third year, as the Division prefers. Students entering with a previous MA are encouraged to begin this planning earlier, once they complete required graduate coursework in the second year.

Unlike the dissertation, which requires deep and focused research on a single project, the oral exam is designed to help students demonstrate broad competence in two national literatures or in literature and another professionally recognized discipline. Developing and demonstrating this competence helps to lay the intellectual groundwork for dissertation research but is also essential preparation for life after the dissertation, in other words for academic or other intellectual employment. Thus, while some secondary critical material should be included, the lists should contain predominantly primary material (ie, works of literature in the National Literature Oral). Students should provide their exam committee with a copy of the CMLT Oral Exam Report Form, should be submitted to the department administrator at the conclusion of the exam.

Track I: British and German LiteratureTrack I: British literature (major) and Epic Romance in English, French and Italian (minor)Track I: Anglophone and LusophoneTrack I: French and EnglishTrack I: Hindi and MandarinTrack I: Russian and German.

Track IITrack II: Literature and HistoryTrack II: Literature and Philosophy (French and English)Track II: Literature and Philosophy (Chinese and Western)Track II: Literature and Sciences of the MindTrack II: Literature and Biblical Studies.

Track I requires The National Literature Oral. This is a two-hour oral examination based on no fewer than 60 titles in one major literature and no fewer than 30 titles in the minor literature. The list for the major literature will address all periods and genres so as to prepare the candidate for a wide range of teaching opportunities. The list for the minor literature will treat major texts of a limited period or specific genre to be approved by the examiners.

In consultation with the examiners, the student may either prepare 2 topics related to the major literature list and 1 topic related to the minor literature list or prepare 3 topics that address the works on both lists.

Track II requires The Field Oral. This is a two-hour oral examination on a representative list of approximately 70-90 titles in a given comparative field, such as literature and philosophy, literature and art history, literature and film, literature and history, literature and music, literature and sociology, literature and religion, literature and science. In order that candidates can find appropriate examiners to help them prepare for field expertise as it is generally understood by professionals, the second discipline should be represented by a distinct department or PhD granting unit in the University. Subfields like postcolonial studies or drama, which are normally embedded in literature departments are therefore not eligible for the field oral.

Of the other two, for Track I: one examiner should cover the minor list, while two share the responsibility for the major, but the Comparative Literature member may also elect to ask questions both lists. For Track II: one member should be a specialist in the other discipline represented in the exam, and the other would normally be a literature specialist, ideally but not necessarily with interest in the other discipline.

Track I National Literatures requires a major focus upon one national literature (the major) with a secondary focus upon one or second national literature, usually in a specified historical period or genre (the minor). Track 1 students must take at least 3 graduate courses in their major national literature. Because students are likely to for jobs in national language departments as well as in Comparative Literature, these courses must be taken for full grade credit in those national literature departments.

Track II Literature and Another Discipline focuses on the critical relationship between literature and a non-literary discipline such as philosophy, history, art history, or music. In order to fulfill the requirement, this discipline must be authorized by a recognized department or PhD granting committee in the University of Chicago. Sub-disciplines within literary study, such as post-colonial studies, area studies (e.g. Mediterranean) or period (e.g. Renaissance) are not separate disciplines and are therefore not options for a second track).

Track II students must take at least 3 graduate courses in the department that they choose other than literature. Students should consult with their advisors and with the DGS to ensure that they take courses appropriate for their chosen fields of specialization.

Students are also required to write a minimum of one substantial paper in year one, and two substantial papers in the second year, for a total of three substantial papers submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Department Administrator. Substantial papers should be 20-25 pages, not including bibliography with standard formatting and 12-point font. Copies of these papers must be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies with the evaluation form. These papers are an important part of the annual review. Each substantial paper must met the following criteri .

Students writing for courses that may require or encourage submission in other languages must therefore provide a translation in addition to the original submission.

In the first three years of the program while students are involved in coursework, all students will meet with the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) prior to each quarter usually in week eight or nine to discuss and receive approval for course registration.

After passing their oral exams, students must promptly begin working on a dissertation proposal under the guidance of their dissertation committee. Before adding one or members to the required two, students must explain to the dissertation director why their project requires a third reader, and should weigh the need, such as language or theoretical expertise not already represented by the original members, against the cost. Adding members tends to slow down feedback, revision, and thus also time to degree so should be undertaken only after careful consideration.

All students must pass their proposal hearing and submit an approved dissertation proposal to the department within three quarters of passing their oral fields examinations failure to do so may be grounds for removal from the doctoral program. Students who do not pass their proposal hearing by spring of their fifth year will be withdrawn, per Divisional policy.

Students who get stuck at any stage with a chapter should explore the help offered by the staff at Graduate Student Affairs.

It is not acceptable to wait until May when the Annual Academic Progress Report is due to get back in touch with, or turn in a chapter to, one’s dissertation committee. Failure to meet the end-of-March deadline may jeopardize continuation in the doctoral program.

Doctoral candidates should normally expect their readers, including those on leave, to return dissertation chapters with written comments within a month of receiving them, barring exceptional circumstances. If any member of the dissertation committee does not provide feedback to a completed chapter within the standard month, without adequate explanation, the candidate should discuss the matter with the dissertation director. If the dissertation director cannot resolve serious problems regarding timely feedback after the candidate requests help, the candidate should if necessary contact the Director of Graduate Studies.

In addition to sharing chapters with their dissertation committee, doctoral candidates’ writing and professional development depend on presenting work to others. Lists of workshops can be found on the website of the Council on Advanced Studies.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to provide a working laptop with the Skype or other software required, if the candidate cannot provide a working laptop, they may request use of the departmental laptop from the Departmental Administrator at the time of scheduling the colloquium.

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Comparative Literature - Program details

University of Chicago admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
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Columbia University in the City of New York logo
Ranked as:  #4 in Best National University
Tuition:  $51,194 per year
Total Cost:  $102,388 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  6.66%

The Department of English and Comparative Literature has played a significant role in the history of literary study in the United States and abroad since its inception. With a large faculty of renowned scholars and dedicated teachers, the department offers a wide range of courses in traditional and emerging fields of literary and cultural study.

Students should not apply to the free-standing program if they wish to advance beyond the MA in the English and Comparative Literature department at Columbia: the free-standing program is terminal.

In the MA year students take eight courses, which must include the Master’s Seminar and the Colloquium in Theory and Method. MA students must also complete the Master’s Essay and demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. No advanced standing will be granted toward the MA for graduate work completed at other institutions.

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English and Comparative Literature, MA - GSAS - Program details

Columbia University in the City of New York admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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University of Pennsylvania logo
Ranked as:  #8 in Best National University
Tuition:  $41,760 per year
Total Cost:  $83,520 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Pennsylvania
Acceptance:  8.98%

The Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature covers the study of narrative, poetry, representation and cultural history. The Program enables students to engage rigorously with critical theory.

We provide a structured and challenging program in which graduate students can combine the careful study of a particular literary tradition with interests in other languages and disciplinary approaches. The broad interests that our students bring to their projects include the history of philosophy, film and media studies, technology and the history of science, and area studies. Students work in varied historical periods, from antiquity and the Middle Ages to the postmodern, and in diverse language fields.

Comparative Literature at Penn has a dynamic intellectual community. Our signature event is our public colloquium series, Theorizing, which is organized primarily by the graduate students.

View the University’s Academic Requirements for PhD Degrees.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2019 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.

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Comparative Literature, PhD - Program details

GRE score required at University of Pennsylvania master's degree programs in Comparative Literature
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Find scholarships and financial aid for Comparative Literature graduate programs

$500 $20000
Dartmouth College logo
Ranked as:  #11 in Best National University
Tuition:  $58,120 per year
Total Cost:  $116,240 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New Hampshire
Acceptance:  9.22%

For over twenty years, Dartmouth Comparative Literature Program has attracted some of the best to the comparative study of literature and culture. Dartmouth is thus uniquely placed to train M.A. candidates in foreign languages, literary theory, and practical scholarship.

The aim of Dartmouth one-year Masters Program is to provide the tools necessary for Ph.D. study or for careers in teaching and international studies. The curriculum stresses intensive language study, broad-based theory and methodology courses, research tools, directed independent work, and pedagogical training. It is designed to consolidate and deepen students' research experience and to provide the necessary background for advanced scholarly work.

Irene Kacandes is the MA Graduate Advisor for 2018 19.

Antonio Gomez will be the MA Graduate Advisor for 2019 20.

Yulia Komska will be the MA Graduate Advisor for 2020 21.

For information for the COLT Master in Arts click here.

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MA in Comparative Literature - Program details

Dartmouth College admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
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logo
Ranked as:  #14 in Best National University
Tuition:  $56,562 per year
Total Cost:  $113,124 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Missouri
Acceptance:  16.02%

As a comparative literature major, you’ll study the human condition as depicted in literary works from many different traditions. The international and comparative range provides majors with a broad, critical understanding of what literature is and does. Since knowing the language is essential to understanding a given literature and culture, all majors study a second language and literature at an advanced level.

From the gothic literature of the 19th Century to the pulp magazines of the 1930s to contemporary explorations of horror and the fantastic, the Weird has held sway over popular imaginations around the world. In this course, we will explore and examine how writers from Europe, the US, Asia and Latin America have imagined the weird as they engaged in a global conversation horror, the strange and the uncanny.

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Comparative Literature Major - Program details

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Cornell University logo
Ranked as:  #15 in Best National University
Tuition:  $30,042 per year
Total Cost:  $60,084 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  New York
Acceptance:  10.71%
The graduate program in Comparative Literature emphasizes flexibility and creativity. Our students tend to thrive under Cornell's graduate field system. As early as possible students choose a three-member special committee (whose membership can--and often does-- change as interests and approaches evolve). Only the committee chair must be a member of the Graduate Field in Comparative Literature. The other two members may be chosen from any other Fields at Cornell. Some students do end up with a committee of members from Comparative Literature, English or one of the national literature departments, but our students have ranged as far as Architecture and Experimental Biology in selecting mentors. The committee is endowed with significant autonomy in guiding the student through coursework, exams, teaching, dissertation and beyond. The program imposes no required courses, thus allowing the student maximal latitude in composing a program of study. We understand "comparison" in a very generous sense and we encourage work that is theoretical, anthropological, critical, or historical as well as grounded in the study of particular cultural or linguistic traditions and in different media. Normally students to have the ability to do advanced work in at least two languages as well as having reading knowledge of a third language. Recently, students and faculty have worked reading literature with trauma theory, cognitive science, environmental humanities, new media studies, and many more. We maintain close collaboration with other fields and programs at Cornell including Anthropology, Philosophy, Art History, Performing and Media Arts, Religious Studies, The Law School, Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Asian American Studies, Africana Studies.
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Comparative Literature Cornell Arts Sciences - Program details

Cornell University admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
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Brown University logo
Ranked as:  #16 in Best National University
Tuition:  $60,363 per year
Total Cost:  $120,726 * This tuition data is based on IPEDS. For the latest tuition amount, refer to the respective college websites.
State:  Rhode Island
Acceptance:  7.67%

Comparative Literature at Brown is a vigorous and comprehensive program in literature and culture. Since the founding of the graduate program in 1964, comparative literature has evolved to include not only Western cultures, both ancient and modern, but also Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic. The department, in cooperation with the various literature departments and programs, offers a wide array of courses in literature, literary theory, and cultural studies.

The faculty includes over twenty-five members of professorial rank with appointments wholly or partly in the department. As members of a medium-sized department in a relatively small university, graduate students enjoy unusual opportunities for close contact in and outside of the classroom. Students receive close guidance, including job–search preparation. The program accommodates a wide range of individual emphases in literature and culture, periods, genres, history, criticism, and theory. We hold several colloquia, lectures, and forums each year.

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Comparative Literature, Ph.D. - Program details

Brown University admission requirements for graduate programs in Foreign Languages, Cultures, Literature and Linguistics
  • GRE Required:  Register to view the details
  • Research assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Teaching assistantships:  Register to view the details
  • Financial Aid: Register to view the details

What is the GRE score required for admission to Master’s degree in Comparative Literature?

Gre score requirements differ from school to school. Most colleges do not publish the cutoff scores. For example 69 offer Graduate programs in Comparative Literature. 10 - Gre score required for admissions are.

Gre score requirements for Master’s program in Comparative Literature

Quite a few accredited universities have waived off the GRE score requirements for admissions to Masters programs. Speaking, writing, and reading knowledge are required.

Students are required to take a minimum of 12 graduate-level courses, at least 10 of which must be for credit. COM 521, Introduction to Comparative Literature, is required of all first year students in their first semester.

All graduate students in the department are required to undertake at least 4 classroom hours of teaching while at Princeton.

It is required that at least one member of the Generals Committee belongs to the Department of Comparative Literature.

This permits sufficient time for changes if required by the committee members.

Statement of Purpose: The Statement of Purpose should give the admissions committee a clear sense of their individual interests and strengths.

Applicant should plan to take the GRE as early as possible and it should not be taken later than October in order to ensure arrival of scores as part of the application. The Harvard University does not require a GRE subject test.

The Harvard University does not ask for GPA but their overall grades do play an important role in the application process.

A personal statement of approximately 1,000 words.

Please comment on their linguistic training in their personal statement.

Please do not submit more than four recommendation letters; personal recommendation letters are strongly discouraged.

The GRE Subject Test in Literature is recommended but not required; although scoring well on the Subject Test may help their application, not taking the Subject Test will not adversely affect their application. The University of Pennsylvania does not have a minimum GRE score requirement, nor do the university publicize the average GRE scores of past admittees.

In order to apply for a fee waiver, the applicant should enclose a brief letter stating the reason for the request. This letter should be sent with their Application for Admission.

PhD Applicants: Previous graduate scholarship record from MA program of 3.3 or better , and strong verbal, analytic and quantitative GRE scores

GRE scores are not required for MA applicants who do not plan to continue on to the PhD, but they are required for any applicant who plans to pursue the PhD or who wishes to be considered for a teaching assistantship, Schomburg Fellowship or other university funding.

An official transcript and Proof of Degree, in English, certified will be required if applicant are admitted and choose to matriculate to a graduate program at the University at Buffalo.

Please submit a 400-750 word personal statement that outlines the questions, topics and/or methodologies that are of interest to applicant, their short- and long-term goals, and reasons why applicant are applying to the program.

An official GRE report from the testing agency is required to apply for financial aid. Verbal and quantitative scores must total at least 300 on the new version of the GRE or 1,000 on the old version of the GRE to receive consideration for financial aid.

Application deadline is December 15.

GRE genral test scores are not required.

Writing Sample: Required (10 double-spaced pages maximum; we cannot read longer samples)

No GRE schools for Masters in Comparative Literature

Is it worth getting a master's degree in Comparative Literature?

Before you invest 2-3 years of your life and anywhere between $40,000 - $110,00 of your hard earned money, students do ask as to what is the return on investment on the Master’s degree.here are some of the statistics from bls.gov.

Career Outlook

Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for postsecondary teachers was $80,560 in May 2020. Number of Jobs in 2020 was 1,276,900.

Career Opportunities with master’s degree in Comparative Literature


Job Title 2020 median Pay Education Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary $80,560 1,276,900 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.
Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary $80,560 1,276,900 Overall employment of postsecondary teachers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. About 139,600 openings for postsecondary teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects beyond the high school level.
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education $62,870 Bachelor's degree 998,800 Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 77,400 openings for high school teachers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. High school teachers teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.

How can I compare the Comparative Literature Graduate Programs?

Compare the GRE score requirements, admission details, credit requirements and tuition for the Master's Program, from 69 universities offering Graduate School Programs in Comparative Literature. Compare Graduate School Programs in Comparative Literature

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