Master of Arts Program

Thesis-based MA Program in Comparative Literature

The thesis-based M.A. program in Comparative Literature prepares students for doctoral research or professional employment. Our graduate students are supported by a large group of core and affiliated faculty in Comparative Literature. Our faculty hold cross-appointments with the departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, French and Italian, German and Russian, Middle East/South Asian Languages, and Religious Studies. We welcome applications from students with a strong humanities background who wish to strengthen their expertise in comparative literature and criticism.

The 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.

Sample areas for thesis research

  • Classical Arabic literature
  • Classical and modern Persian literature
  • Pre-modern Indian literature
  • Chinese literature and film
  • Medieval and early modern French
  • Reception studies
  • European romanticism
  • Latin American literature
  • Jewish studies
  • Italian modernism
  • Modern Japanese literature and culture
  • Twentieth-Century American fiction
  • Contemporary Arabic poetry
  • Contemporary European poetry/poetics
  • Pre-modern, early modern, and modern drama
  • History of aesthetics
  • Political economy
  • Psychoanalysis and trauma theory
  • Religion and performance
  • Translation studies

Degree Program Checklist - M.A. Plan I (Thesis) - based on 2017 degree requirements

Admission requirements

Consideration for program admission requires evidence of the following:

  1. A strong undergraduate record in any humanities major
  2. Fluent reading, writing, and speaking knowledge in one language that is not the student’s native language
  3. A clear commitment to the study of a second language that is not the student’s native language

Please see Comparative Literature Graduate Admissions for deadlines and application requirements.