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."

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 (F)

COLT 101 Topics in Literary Criticism and Theory(W)

COLT 102 Tutorial, Intensive work with a faculty tutor on a comparative literature subject (F)

COLT 103 Workshop in Critical Writing (S)

COLT 105 Graduate Seminar in research and methodology (W)

COLT 700 Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (F)

4 upper-level literature courses, distributed across language areas and approved by the graduate advisor


Required Projects

The M.A. Essay

In their third term on campus, students produce an article of professional standard with potential for publication based on the readings and theoretical explorations undertaken in the fall and winter terms. They work in close collaboration with their tutor, the Graduate Advisor, and the instructor of COLT 103.

Depending on the topic and the choice of target journal for the publication of the paper, its length will vary between 20-30 pages. Its format should correspond to the guidelines in the MLA Handbook. While the research and conceptualization should have been done in prior terms, COLT 103 "Workshop in Critical Writing" assists the students throughout the writing process.

In the workshop, students learn to produce outlines, critical introductions, abstracts, and critical evaluations of the manuscripts of others. In conjunction with COLT 103, students prepare a paper of publishable quality representing methodological training in comparative literary study.

Required Projects

Teaching and Research Development

Students are expected to work for at least two terms as a teaching or research assistant. Options include serving as: an “apprentice teacher” in a foreign language course (applicants attend training workshops and audition to be hired in the relevant department), a teaching assistant in a literature course, a research assistant working with an individual professor, and/or an intern in a relevant campus office (e.g. Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Rauner Special Collections Library). All appointments depend on the availability of matches appropriate to students’ interests and prior experience.