Degree Requirements

How To Select Your Graduate Advisors


Two faculty mentors typically advise each student throughout the year and provide feedback on all aspects of the student's work on the M.A. essay. As a rule, these mentors come from the areas aligned with the student's theoretical and practical interests as well as working languages. To identify potential mentors, we encourage the accepted and prospective students to consider faculty affiliated with the Program and also faculty in respective area studies departments and English. Occasionally, mentors may come from such departments and programs as Film & Media Studies or Philosophy. Identifying the potential mentors during the summer before the start of the program is strongly advisable. 

Required Courses

The Master's degree is a nine and a half month program which includes ten (10) courses.  The program begins in early September and ends mid June. 

COLT 100 Contemporary Literary Criticism and Theory (Fall)
COLT 101 Topics in Comparative Literature (Winter)
COLT 102 Tutorial, Intensive work with a faculty tutor on a comparative literature subject (Fall)
COLT 103 Graduate Seminar (Research and Methodology) (Winter)
COLT 105 Workshop in Critical Writing (Spring)

COLT 110: Supervised UG teaching in COLT 

COLT 700 Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (Fall)

4 upper-level literature courses, distributed across humanities curriculum, relevant to the student's M.A. research, and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. 


Required Projects

The M.A. Essay

Starting in the fall, the students begin their work toward the M. A. essay. It is a publishable academic-article-length piece of writing that is due in their third (spring) term and is based on the readings and theoretical explorations in the courses and the tutorial of the fall and winter terms. The students work in close collaboration with their mentors, the Director of Graduate Studies, and the instructor of COLT 105: "Workshop in Critical Writing".

The length of the essay is 7,500-9,000 words, and the formatting should correspond to the guidelines in the MLA Handbook. COLT 105 is designed explicitly to assist the students with the writing process, peer review, and oral presentation practice.

Required Projects

Teaching and Research Development

Students are expected to work for at one term as a teaching assistant (TA) in one of the lecture courses and enroll in COLT 110. Typically, the TA works for ten hours a week and is in charge of a discussion section, a share of grading, and soe office hours, although this may vary.  As many of our graduate students as possible are placed with introductory course COLT 001: Read the World in the fall term. Otherwise, placement is facilitated by the director of the Graduate Studies and may be available in humanities departments in other relevant units.

Additional professional development will be proviced in a series of informal workshops throughout the year.