The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu

Applying to the Graduate Programs

Note: There are separate requirements for applying to the Translation Studies Track for the MA in Comparative Literature.

Language Preparation

Applicants for admission must demonstrate proficiency in English and in one language other than English; they must also demonstrate a working knowledge (intermediate level) of a third language.

Note: Applicants to the Masters program without adequate langauge preparation may need to pursue summer immersion programs in their target langauges and may require an additional semester or year to meet the degree requirements. 

Critical Essay

Applicants are required to submit, with the application, a substantial critical essay (15-25 pages) in literature or theory that demonstrates the candidate's ability to analyze texts. Essays written in a language other than English should be accompanied by an English translation done by the candidate. The critical essay required of applicants to the M.A. and Ph.D. programs in Comparative Literature should be sent directly to the program administrator Ms. Jean Fleming at


Graduate Record Examination and TOEFL; TA Examination

In accordance with Graduate School regulations, applicants are required to have taken the Graduate Record Examination within five years of the date of application. The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required of all non-native speakers of English who are not U.S. citizens. University regulations require that all non-native speakers of English who are not U.S. citizens pass, at level 1 or higher, the University of Massachusetts English Language Screening Program for Teaching Assistants before they assume teaching responsibilities.

Transfer Credits

Subject to the approval of the Graduate Studies Committee, MA candidates may transfer from other institutions up to six hours of graduate credit graded "B" or higher, and taken within three years before admission (see Graduate School Bulletin). Students are strongly encouraged to request transfer of credits within the first semester after admission.

Apply Online

The Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers an online application.