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Students may pursue the study (and translation) of texts in Hebrew, Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Classical Chinese, Old Irish, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese as well as English. Through the various dimensions of these texts—whether oral, literary, or visual—the student may address questions of audience, authority, marginality, the difference between writing and print, the status of representation, etc.: the scope of individual inquiry remains open.

Our 100 and 200 level courses are open to everyone. Courses at the 300-500 levels are more specialized: Comparative Literature and Foreign Language majors have the opportunity to use the languages they are studying by reading the original texts. 300-400 level courses are open to all students with language proficiency. Comparative Literature majors must select 15 credits from these courses, along with upper-level courses in at least two other departments, with the guidance of their advisor. See the specific requirements for the MajorMinor, and Honors.


Graduate students pursuing the PhD, MA, or MA in Translation find abundant resources in Comparative Literature at UMass Amherst, as well as a good deal of freedom, since our approaches to the discipline continue to grow with evolving scholarship. Be sure to read about making progress to the degree as well as the specific requirements for each degree.

Translation & Interpreting Studies

The Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting Studies is a separate track of the M.A. in Comparative Literature. Students in the program will acquire expertise in practical techniques and strategies of translation as well as a rigorous understanding of the theoretical and cultural stakes of the field. See specific requirements here.