- Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature (M.A.)
- Dual Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature and Library Science (M.A./M.L.S.)
- Master of Arts for Teachers (M.A.T.)
THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
The requirement does not stipulate that the paper be read or otherwise presented in class, only that it be defended in class. A student need not take a course conducted entirely as a proseminar, but may, with the permission of the instructor, carry out the required activities in a course which other students are not taking as a proseminar. Forms to certify completion of a proseminar are available from the Graduate Studies Office.
A student should take no more than 35 hours of graduate course work (excluding C805 credit) without first completing the M.A. degree: if a student exceeds these credit hours before being admitted to the Ph.D. program, the Department will determine which credit hours beyond 35 (if any) will count toward the Ph.D. degree requirements. Although the Graduate School sets a limit of five years on completion of all M.A. degree requirements, the Department expects students to complete the M.A. requirements within two years.
Upon completion of the Master’s Degree requirements, students will have to petition to enter the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature. Students must submit a brief letter of application indicating their prospective program of study, along with a letter from their mentor or prospective research advisor supporting their admission. (Please contact the Graduate Studies Office for further details). Admission to the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature is by no means automatic, internal applications are evaluated on the same basis as external applications.
The Department’s foreign language requirements reflect the need for graduate students to achieve a level of reading knowledge suitable for literary analysis. Students entering the MA, MA/MLIS, and MAT programs are normally expected to have reading proficiency in at least one foreign language. (Proficiency implies the ability to read sophisticated literary texts with no assistance other than a dictionary). Students entering the doctoral program are normally expected to have reading proficiency in at least two foreign languages. Students in the MA and MA/MLIS programs will ultimately need to certify reading proficiency in two foreign languages in order to complete the requirements for their degrees. Students in the doctoral program will need to certify reading proficiency in three foreign languages in order to be eligible for the Ph.D. qualifying examinations.
Reading proficiency in a foreign language may be certified in the following ways:
The Department does not specify which foreign languages students should choose to fulfill their degree requirements; but it recognizes that language proficiency is essential to scholarly work in Comparative Literature. Students should capitalize on previous training to expedite progress toward their degrees, but they should also consider which languages are most apt to be important for the research areas they intend to pursue, not only in the master’s project, where they will be expected to quote literary texts in the original language, but also in doctoral study. Students should consult with their mentors and other faculty members early in their graduate career, in order to make an informed choice about which languages to pursue.
THE DUAL MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE COMPARATIVE LITERATURE DEPARTMENT AND THE SCHOOL OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE (M.A. /M.L.S.)
The interdisciplinary nature of graduate studies in Comparative Literature, including the demonstration of proficiency in foreign languages, provides students interested in pursuing a career in librarianship with a strong background. Students with dual master’s degrees in Comparative Literature and Library Science will be competitive for positions in academic libraries and for certain positions in public libraries. Language skills and a strong liberal arts background are two qualifications sought after by academic libraries.
The joint degree consists of a total of at least 50 credit hours--a minimum of thirty credit hours in Library and Information Science and a minimum of 20 credit hours in Comparative Literature. The student must be admitted by the Department and by both the Graduate School and the School of Library and Information Science.
Library Science Requirements:
- Completion of SLIS courses from the common core (15 credit hours).
- At least 15 credit hours of SLIS elective courses appropriate to the student’s background and interests, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
Comparative Literature Requirements:
At least 20 credit hours of course work in Comparative Literature, including C501, and one course on European literature in the pre-modern period (C505, C521, C523, or C525, a course taken as a Proseminar, and completion of a Master’s Project. Emphasis in course work may be on Western literatures, cross-cultural literary relations, or studies in literature and the arts (music, film, and the visual arts). Certification of reading proficiency in two foreign languages is required, but no credit for courses in foreign language study will count toward the required 20 hours. The dual degree must be completed within six years from the semester in which the student first enrolled in courses counting toward a dual degree. The student must complete the work in SLIS and the Department of Comparative Literature at the same time (i.e., not receive the degree in one before the other). A dual Master’s Degree student will have a file and an advisor in both departments. The student may apply for financial support from either department, or from both. Both departments must certify completion of the degree requirements.
THE MASTER OF ARTS FOR TEACHERS (M.A.T) DEGREE IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
Secondary school teachers or prospective teachers interested in qualifying to teach world literature or interdisciplinary humanities courses can obtain an M.A.T. degree in Comparative Literature by satisfying the following requirements:
- Certification of reading proficiency in at least one foreign language;
- B.A. degree in Comparative Literature or an individual literature (e.g., English, French, Spanish, etc.)
A total of 36 hours of course work with a minimum of 20 hours in Comparative Literature including C305 or C501. (Of these no more than six hours may be in approved courses on the 300 or 400 level that do not normally carry graduate credit.)
Emphasis in course work may be on any area of literary study including, cross-cultural literary relations, or literature and the arts (music, film, and the visual arts.)
M.A.T. candidates are encouraged to include in their course load some teaching-oriented courses offered by other graduate programs or the School of Education, as well as Comparative Literature C507 and C509. The choice of courses should be planned carefully in consultation with the departmental Graduate Advisor and the advising staff of the School of Education.
When other requirements are completed, the M.A.T. candidate takes a 90-minute written exam comparing two texts, based on an individual reading list. One text may be a work of art in a non-literary medium. If two literary texts are compared, one must be in a foreign language. The student must choose two readers for his or her examination. The student must consult with the Director of Graduate Studies for approval of the readers and reading list.