The most common way of certifying proficiency in a foreign language is by receiving a grade of B or higher in a graduate-level literature course in which the assigned readings are in the foreign language.
- A course is considered “graduate-level” if it is listed in the current issue of the Graduate School Bulletin.
- In either case, the student must obtain the instructor’s signature on the certification form available from the Graduate Studies Office. Please note that successful completion of the 491/492 course sequence will in the case of most languages NOT be accepted as certification of reading proficiency
In exceptional cases only, students may fulfill the language requirement by passing an examination in the translation of literary texts in the foreign language, administered by the Comparative Literature department in consultation with faculty in other departments.
- Prior to submitting a formal request for this examination, students must receive the approval of the Chair of the Translation Studies Committee, who will determine whether they are eligible to take the exam, based on their preparation in the language.
- Students taking the exam should normally have native or near-native command of the language and extensive previous study of the literature in that language.
- (Completing the 491/492 sequence in German, French, or other languages will NOT adequately prepare students for this exam.
- One date will be scheduled for language exams each semester.
- Foreign language exams offered by other departments will not be accepted as certification of reading proficiency for students admitted after Fall 2001. See the detailed guidelines below.
Students whose native language is not English may request certification of English as one of their foreign languages. Prior to registration for classes, all new students at IUB whose native language is not English are required to take an English Language Proficiency Test administered by the Indiana University Center for English Language Training (CELT) in Memorial Hall, Room 319.
When students have passed this proficiency test, they may request permission to designate English as a foreign language by obtaining a form from the Comparative Literature Graduate Studies Office to complete and sign. This form will then go to the director of graduate studies and the Graduate School dean for their approval.
Upon approval of the director of graduate studies, doctoral students may be allowed to substitute intensive preparation (at least 27 credit hours) in a non-literary discipline for the third foreign language requirement. This substitution requires the support of the student’s advisory committee, and the request needs to include a detailed explanation of the importance of the non-literary discipline to the student’s research interests.
Bear in mind that a “non-literary discipline” is not the same thing as a “minor field.” In the latter case, the department certifying the Ph.D. minor sets the requirements and determines which courses may be used to fulfill them, whereas in the case of the “non-literary discipline,” it is the director of graduate studies in Comparative Literature, in consultation with the Graduate Studies Committee and faculty expertise in the field, who oversees the calculation of credit hours.