Degree Requirements

Master of Arts

The MA requires a minimum of 40 units of graduate-level course work in either (a) three national literatures, or, (b) two national literatures and one related discipline chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor. The 40 units of graduate-level course work must include the 4 unit Proseminar in Comparative Literature (CL210), a minimum of 8 graduate units in each of two national literatures, 4 graduate units in the student’s third national literature or the related discipline, and 8 units of graduate Comparative Literature courses. A maximum of 4 units of 596 course work may be counted toward the master’s degree. By the end of the second year of study, students must pass a written qualifying field examination or successfully complete a thesis in a national literature other than the literature of their native language. Students are invited to join the Ph.D. program by the Graduate Studies Committee. The invitation is based upon the student’s outstanding performance in graduate course work, on the first qualifying examination, and upon the recommendations of the student’s exam committee and other faculty with whom the student has worked.

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD in comparative literature requires the study of three fields consisting of either (a) three national literatures, or, (b) two national literatures and one related discipline. One of the literatures may be English. The other(s) must be studied in the original language. Two fields are considered major and the third minor. The selection of fields must be approved by the graduate advisor.

For students entering the program with a BA, a minimum of 60 units of graduate-level course work, including courses taken at the MA level, is required. A minimum of 12 units of graduate-level course work must be completed in each of the student’s three fields, plus at least 12 additional units of graduate-level course work from the offerings in the Comparative Literature Program, with the remaining 12 units to be distributed among the student’s fields in consultation with the graduate advisor. The field exam written at the MA level serves as the first field exam for the PhD. The other two qualifying field examinations and the remaining 24 units of course work should be completed by the end of the fourth year of study. Students may retake each field exam one time.

Students entering the program with an MA in comparative literature or a closely related field need a minimum of 24 units of additional graduate-level course work to be distributed in consultation with the graduate advisor. For students entering the program in 2009-10 and later, these 24 units must include 4 units in each of two national literatures, 4 units in the student’s third national literature or related discipline, and 4 units in graduate Comparative Literature courses. Additional course work may be required to make up for deficiencies. Students must pass three field exams in three national literatures or two national literatures and a related field. The first field examination should be taken in the first quarter of their second year at UCSB.

Upon completion of the three field exams students prepare an oral exam, administered by the dissertation committee, in which they present a dissertation prospectus on the proposed dissertation topic. Students who pass this examination and demonstrate proficiency in a second foreign language will be advanced to candidacy. The final requirement is the successful completion of a doctoral dissertation including an oral defense.

For all the requirements, check the sheets in the download area below. Requirements have not changed since 2013-14.