Comparative Literature M.A.

Use your Graduate Academic Bulletin

Students pursuing a graduate degree in Comparative Literature should use the University Graduate School Academic Bulletin.

Official requirements for our graduate degrees can be found by clicking on the Bulletin below:

2022-23: Comparative Literature University Graduate School Academic Bulletin

Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature

A master’s degree in Comparative Literature gives you depth of knowledge about the field. The M.A. may be completed on it’s own, or as a prelude to the Ph.D. It requires that you take a minimum of 30 credit hours of courses. Twenty of these credit hours must come from courses in Comparative Literature.

Note that although the Graduate School sets a limit of five years on completion of all M.A. degree requirements, the department requires students to complete the M.A. requirements within two years, with four years as the limit for extension.

Course requirements to M.A. coursework

Required courses include:

  • C501 Introduction to Contemporary Literary Studies
  • C502 Fields and Methods of Comparative Literature
  • One pre-modern literature survey course offered by the department, normally met by
  • taking C505, C521, C523, or C525
  • One modern period literature survey course offered by the department, normally met by taking C506, C529, C533, C535, C537 or C538)

Ten required credit hours remain. These may come from courses in Comparative Literature or other departments related to the your studies in literature.

M.A. students also complete a pro-seminar chosen from among graduate courses in the department that are not used to fulfill other requirements. With the consent of the instructor, any CMLT graduate course (except C501, C502 and C507) may meet this requirement.

The M.A. pro-seminar requirement is met by taking a graduate course in which you:

  • write a research paper that develops an original thesis or idea
  • orally defend a preliminary version of the paper
  • and, in the light of the questions raised at the oral discussion, submit to the instructor a revised version of the paper with the critical and scholarly apparatus appropriate to a publishable article

The requirement does not stipulate that the paper be read or otherwise presented in class, only that it be defended in class.

The course you take as a pro-seminar does not need to be conducted entirely as such. With permission from the instructor, you can carry out the required master’s program activities in a course other students are not taking as a pro-seminar. Forms to certify completion of a pro-seminar are available from the Graduate Studies office.