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Graduate Studies

The graduate programs provide qualified students with a framework for studying a broad range of literatures, for exploring literature and other arts, and for pursuing translation studies or other forms of interdisciplinary inquiry. To enter one of the degree programs, students must be able to do graduate-level work in one or more foreign languages. In courses in comparative literature, they make substantial use of the foreign languages they command. In addition to the body of knowledge and methodology appropriate to their individual programs of study, students are expected to acquire a considerable familiarity with world literature and with literary theory and criticism.

Students work closely with the departmental director of graduate studies and the directors of specific programs (Translation Studies or PLC) to formulate a curriculum that meets their needs and maintains the standards of the discipline. While the normal pattern of requirements for the MA and PhD degrees is described below, students may have certain courses waived because of their previous training or professional goals.

All applicants must submit a writing sample as well as scores for the verbal, quantitative and analytical Graduate Record Examination aptitude test.

International students whose native language is not English, and have not received a degree in the United States, are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. The minimum TOEFL score for admission to the Department of Comparative Literature is 80.

Click here for a more detailed description of the MA program. Information about the doctoral programs can be found here.

The department supports students who wish to apply for external funding.  See the campus office of External Scholarships, Fellowships and Awards.

For more information or inquiries, please contact the director of graduate studies, Prof. Jeroen Gerrits ( (607) 777-6528.

Current Graduate Students

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Last Updated: 1/20/17