The multidisciplinary, multimedia M.A. in Comparative Literature at The Graduate Center prepares you for a range of exciting professional opportunities — whether you decide to earn a doctoral degree or pursue a career in film, translation, education, media, or the arts.

Our affordable, flexible program meets the needs of busy professionals, with conveniently scheduled late afternoon and evening classes taught by world-class scholars.

We offer courses in comparative literature as well as coordinated courses in English, American, French, German, Italian, Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian, Slavic, Ancient Greek, and Latin literatures. Distinguished faculty will guide your study of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, Modern, or contemporary eras while grounding you in both literary history and literary theory. You will master and practice a range of critical approaches, from the established to the most cutting-edge.

While CL 79500, “Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism” is the only required course, you will also complete four comparative literature and three national literature courses that reflect your individual interests. You can further personalize your course of study with elective options from related disciplines, including the visual arts, music, theatre, film history, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy. You will broaden your intellectual horizons by diving deep into topics such as the history of translation, celebrity culture, sociolinguistics, opera, masculinity, and existentialism.

M.A. Degree Requirements (30 credits)

  • 16 credits in Comparative Literature;

  • 12 or more credits in individual national literatures;

  • 2 credits of MA Thesis Independent Study to be taken after the completion of a minimum of 24 credits.

  • The student must also prove proficiency in two languages either through coursework or by passing the requisite translation exams.

Students admitted as candidates for the M.A. who want to apply for the Ph.D. must finish all degree requirements for the M.A. before applying for admission as candidates for the Ph.D. An exception to this rule may be made in the case of exceptionally well‐qualified students, as judged by the Admissions and Awards Committee.

Financial Aid

Fellowships are not available to M.A. students. For more information on Financial Aid and loans, visit Fellowships and Financial Aid.