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Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature

Graduate students in the Progam in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst select one of three programs of study: the MA in Comparative Literature, the PhD in Comparative Literature, or the MA in Translation. Across these different tracks, our students form an exceptionally diverse and supportive community: they take courses together, share teaching materials and strategies, and actively enhance one another’s research. Students have considerable freedom in designing their course of study; current students work on such broad-ranging fields as the relationships between translation and transnationalism; critical theory; media studies; the future of national literatures in the era of globalization; problems of representation; intersections among race, class, and gender; performance studies; literature and human rights; postcolonial and diaspora studies; music and word relations; and film studies.

The Program admits a small cohort of doctoral students and masters students each year. Applications are due by January 1, 2019. Admission is highly selective; applications are reviewed on an annual basis in early January and offers of admission go out in early spring. Applicants are expected to have a minimum score of 156 on the verbal section of the GRE, and a first degree in a related discipline. Students in the doctoral program receive five years of guaranteed funding through teaching assistantships (contingent on satisfactory progress and performance). Masters students are generally self-funded or recipients of Fulbright grants or other extrernal fellowships. The Program offers an exceptionally intimate and rigorous setting in which students work closely with core faculty while drawing on the considerable resources of the University and the Five College Consortium (Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College). 

Graduate students in the Progam in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst have an impressive record of achievement: they win research awards, earn distinguished teaching prizes, and secure tenure-track positions as well as non-academic jobs in translation and international diplomacy. They contribute actively to national and international conferences, and regularly organize their own international Graduate Student Conferences on our campus: the biennial Crossroads Conference and Translation Studies Conference attract Graduate students from around the world. Faculty work closely together with students as mentors through each stage of the graduate degree. For further information on the requirements for admission and the different degree programs offered within the Program, please contact Professor Kathryn Lachman, Graduate Program Director, at For information on the MA in Translation, please contact Professor Moira Inghilleri, Director of Translation and Interpreting Studies, at