Graduate Program


The graduate program in Comparative Literature enables students to study several literatures in their original languages, in a theoretically and historically informed context, and from an interdisciplinary and multicultural perspective. Each student is able to design an individual program tailored to that student's unique interests and goals. Individually supervised instruction and specially designed qualifying exams permit students to pursue their interests in depth and with great flexibility.

The department offers both the PhD and a two-year, thesis-based MA program. PhD students study three literatures in the original languages and have the option of being examined on a special topic of their own choosing instead of their third literature. The MA program combines core courses on the theory and practice of comparison with broad opportunities for work in specific languages and literatures. Students will write a Masters thesis with the support of a thesis committee and a collaborative thesis-writing group.

Commitment to Diversity

The study of comparative literature explores the full historical and global range of transcultural literary phenomena. Comparative work revolves around diverse experiences, languages, and ways of thinking. Hence our graduate students come to Davis from around the world, and bring a host of different backgrounds, skills, and languages to their research and teaching. We especially welcome candidates with skills or interests that are not well-represented within mainstream higher education.

Our graduate students are supported by a large group of core and affiliated faculty in Comparative Literature. The program actively collaborates with faculty across the humanities at UC Davis. We are committed to an equitable and inclusive environment that sustains the educational and intellectual work of the department.

For more information on graduate diversity at UC Davis, please visit

A colorful banner for the graduate diversity program.

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