In our doctoral program in comparative literature students have considerable freedom in designing their course of study. They work across disciplinary boundaries as they explore such broad-ranging issues as problems of representation; the intersections among race, class, and gender; performance studies; literature and human rights; postcolonial and diaspora studies; and film studies.

Doctoral students focus on three literatures or fields of concentration. Work in the primary literature or field requires broad historical coverage from the premodern period to the contemporary era, with emphasis either on a genre or on a major period, and a thorough reading knowledge of the language. Work in the second and third literatures requires coverage of the period or genre related to the field of emphasis in the first literature. Students must demonstrate advanced proficiency in their reading knowledge of the second language of concentration, and intermediate competence in the third.

Graduate students in comparative literature may complement their credentials by earning additional certificates in such areas as Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino studies, feminist studies, and film studies.