Best Graduate Programs in Comparative Literature - Updated 2020

What do you learn in a Comparative Literature Graduate Program?

A Master’s in Comparative Literature is an interdisciplinary degree, combining the studies of language, literature, and culture. Most students in comparative literature graduate programs know a second language, giving them a larger base through which to read and comprehend various works of fiction. Often, comparative literature is an international discipline, involving works of writers from all around the world. Most comparative literature programs analyze literature in connection to history, philosophy, politics, and linguistics, and study the intersection of literature with other media forms such as film, drama, visual arts, and music.

Graduates of a comparative literature program can go on to work as teachers, publishers, journalists, translators, or authors. Additionally, graduates may go on to pursue a PhD in comparative literature, or another related field.

There are 52 schools offering graduate degrees in Comparative Literature. Dartmouth College had highest number of international students receiving a Master's degree. Yale University had the most women graduates in this program.
Ranked as: #1 in Best National University
Tuition: $49,450
State: NJ
Acceptance: 5.48%
In some instances, relatively ancient and primarily oral languages that have survived into the modern world, such as Quechua, may qualify.

Graduate Guide to Study

The Comparative Literature offers the degree of doctor of philosophy in cooperation with the other departments of literature. 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 consideration of than one literature and of the theoretical presuppositions behind literary study as a whole. Typically lasting five years, the program prepares candidates for original scholarship in the field and for teaching in Comparative Literature, in separate departments of literature, and in the humanities. A detailed view of the doctoral program is located under Program Requirements.
Ranked as: #2 in Best National University
Tuition: $46,384
State: MA
Acceptance: 4.73%
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.

Comparative Literature

Romance Languages and Literatures The number of courses required for the PhD in Comparative Literature is 16, of which at least 8 must be graduate seminars.
Ranked as: #3 in Best National University
Tuition: $42,100
State: CT
Acceptance: 6.35%
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 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 of their specialization.

Comparative Literature Yale University

The Department of Comparative Literature also offers three Combined Ph.D. degrees with the Department of Classics, the Film Studies Program, and the Renaissance Studies Program. Additionally, students in Comparative Literature are eligible to pursue a supplemental M.Phil. Fellowship and degree in Medieval Studies.
Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
Tuition: $57,759
State: IL
Acceptance: 7.26%
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 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.

Comparative Literature

MAPH students can choose to focus all of their coursework in the Department or complement their research in Comparative Literature with classes in other subject areas, such as Cinema and Media Studies, Classics, Gender and Sexuality, Germanic Studies, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Romance Languages and Literatures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and South Asian Languages and Civilizations.
Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
Tuition: $46,216
State: NY
Acceptance: 5.91%
The major program at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society allows qualified students to study literature, culture, and society with reference to material from several national traditions, or in combination of literary study with comparative study in other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.

Comparative Literature and Society Columbia College

The university program Comparative literature is dedicated to the study of literature in an international and interdisciplinary context. They study literature and culture from various parts of the world to develop knowledge and critical understanding of how cultures differ from as well as connect and interact with one another through the medium of artistic expression. They study theoretical approaches traditional and contemporary, ancient and modern to literature and other media and examine the relationship of literature to other fields and disciplines in the arts and sciences.
Ranked as: #4 in Best National University
Tuition: $50,703
State: CA
Acceptance: 4.36%
The Comparative Literature offers courses in the history and theory of literature through comparative approaches. The department accepts candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. The department is a part of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages.

Comparative Literature

Ranked as: #8 in Best National University
Tuition: $34,882
State: PA
Acceptance: 8.41%
The Ph.D. Program in Comparative Literature covers the study of narrative, poetry, representation and cultural history.

Comparative Literature, PhD

Ranked as: #11 in Best National University
Tuition: $53,496
State: NH
Acceptance: 8.74%
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.

Comparative Literature Program

The Comparative Literature Master degree Program is a nine and a half month program which includes nine courses.
Ranked as: #13 in Best National University
Tuition: $54,120
State: IL
Acceptance: 8.47%
At Northwestern University, students pursue a broadly interdisciplinary course of study focusing on the comparative analysis of literary texts and other cultural artifacts. Students will deepen their knowledge of the history of literary and narrative forms across a broad range of national literatures, cultures and historical periods, as well as exploring the complex relationship of literary works to politics, philosophy and the visual arts.

Comparative & World Literature Programs

Ranked as: #14 in Best National University
Tuition: $52,400
State: MO
Acceptance: 15.03%
As a comparative literature major, applicant’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.

Comparative Literature Major

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