Comparative Studies
Application Deadlines
Fall:February 15
Contact Information: 
3008 JFSB
Program Requirements: 

This degree allows for study of the humanities within a comparative context not normally found in single-discipline graduate programs—that is, through interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives that permit a flexibility and breadth of study, without sacrificing rigor. Graduate students thus learn to combine the synthesizing and analytical skills of various humanistic disciplines in order to develop interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to the materials of human culture. Accordingly, program courses expand knowledge in humanistic disciplines and provide intense opportunities to develop wide-ranging research and writing.

Requirements for Degree.

  • Credit hours (33): minimum 27 course work hours plus 6 thesis hours.
  • Required courses: CmpSt 610, 615; two courses from CmpSt 620R, 625R, 630R, 640R, 650R, 660R, 670R.
  • Electives: six courses in humanities, classics, comparative literature, art history, musicology, philosophy, history, film, or literature (up to 6 hours may be in upper-division undergraduate classes where equivalent graduate classes are not available). One or more of these may be comparative studies seminars, which, in addition to the two required, are chosen in consultation with the student’s academic advisor and are subject to approval of the department’s graduate council. No more than one directed readings course may be counted toward the MA degree in comparative studies.
  • Special field: proficiency in a second foreign language or in a discipline other than literature (e.g., art history, musicology, philosophy, film, history, etc.), demonstrated by course work or examination, as determined by the student’s graduate committee and the program’s graduate council.
  • Completion of a reading list, which is determined in consultation with a faculty advisor, subject to approval of the department’s graduate council.
  • Thesis.
  • Examination: final written examination on the reading list; thesis defense.
Admission Requirements: 

Required tests


Additional Requirements

A writing sample

Program Outcomes: 

Disciplinary Proficiency with Interdisciplinary Focus

Emphasize advanced training in one discipline within the humanistic tradition, (e.g. literature, art history, philosophy, music, dance, film, etc.), and demonstrate broad interdisciplinary knowledge of intellectual and artistic creativity.

Advanced Research and Scholarly Writing

Produce scholarly writing incorporating mastery of existing scholarship and analysis, revision, and oral presentation.

Additional Disciplinary Proficiency

Demonstrate additional disciplinary proficiency either in a second foreign language (a 300 level course with a significant literary component, but not the same course(s) used for the general language requirment) or advanced course work in a discipline other than literature (e.g., art history, history, philosophy, film, etc.). Graduate advisors must approve students' areas of emphasis.

Effective Critical and Analytical Thinking

Demonstrate critical and analytical thinking through reading, classroom discussion, writing, and oral presentation.