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Comparative Literature Master's Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses

Two types of M.A. degree are offered in Comparative Literature. Students who do not plan to proceed to the Ph.D. will normally choose the M.A. with thesis; the M.A. without thesis may be elected as a degree plan by students planning doctoral study.

Program of Study
A minimum of 33 credit hours is required in all cases, distributed as follows: for the M.A. with thesis, 6 thesis credits, 6 graduate credits in a major literature, 3 in a second literature studied in the original language and 12 graduate credits in comparative literature; for the M.A. without thesis, 6 graduate credits in a major literature, 6 in a second literature studied in the original language, and 15 graduate credits in comparative literature. One of the Comparative Literature courses must be 752 Theory and Practice of Comparative Literature; another must be a course that combines theoretical perspectives with practical criticism. Students planning to write a translation thesis must take Comparative Literature 751 Theory and Practice of Translation.

All candidates for the M.A. are required to take an examination that will include both written and oral portions. Candidates for the M.A. with thesis are examined for no more than four hours on their reading list and present a thesis defense of no more than two hours. Candidates for the M.A. without thesis take a written examination of no more than six hours and an oral examination of no more than two hours.

The thesis is intended to demonstrate ability to formulate and explore a specific literary problem. The student must present a brief prospectus to the advisory committee for approval. A thesis consisting of a translation preceded by a substantial critical introduction may be approved, subject to conditions similar to those applying to doctoral translation dissertations.