Welcome to Comparative Literature at UC Santa Barbara!

Our doctoral program offers graduates a uniquely open degree structure. Our students carry out research at the crossroads of disciplines and practice the methods and theories of Comparative Literature, taking courses in departments across campus and developing their professional skills and disciplinary knowledge through our innovative Field Exam system. We offer a graduate Emphasis in Translation Studies and our graduate students can also choose from six additional graduate emphases. Alumni from our graduate program have secured research positions, teaching appointments, and post-doctoral fellowships in humanities departments at Dartmouth, Harvard, Rutgers, CU Boulder, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt, Yale and many other outstanding colleges and universities around the country and world.

Our undergraduates benefit from the opportunity to work closely with faculty in their fields of study, explore the interactions of literary cultures across borders, and take courses in the literatures of the world on such topics such as "Global Humanities," "World Literature and Cognitive Science," "Children’s Literature," "Fantasy and the Fantastic," and "the Jewish Graphic Novel." We also offer an innovative Minor in Translation Studies.

Diversity Statement

The Comparative Literature program is proud to foster an inclusive and diverse environment for students and faculty alike, where scholars from a broad range of racial, ethnic, socio-economic, gender, disabled and neurodiverse groups can work together in a thriving scholarly community. Scholars from all different backgrounds and with all kinds of interests are encouraged and supported both intellectually and financially in their pursuit of scholarly excellence. Whether you are interested in Native American writers, anti-racist pedagogies, Disability Studies, Hispanic Students Outreach initiatives, Queer Studies or mentoring disadvantaged K-12 students, you will find a welcoming and supportive environment in our program.

This commitment to diversity is reflected in our efforts to recruit students with varied backgrounds and interests. Admission into the program is based on a combination of prior academic achievement, significant research interests, and evidence of the potential for success at the graduate level in spite of economic and social disadvantages.

University awards in support of these values include the multi-year Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship and the Doctoral Scholars Fellowship, which provide four- to five-year support packages that combine stipends of $24,000 for two years with two to three years of teaching assistantships and payment of fees, tuition and health insurance.



Marcel Strobel, Comparative Literature PhD student, wins Outstanding Teaching Assistant award. 

Celebrating excellence in translation, Suzanne Jill Levine has been honored with the PEN/Ralph Manheim Award. Her pioneering work spanning over five decades has redefined the landscape of Latin American literature in English, championing diverse voices and fostering creativity in the field.

Jordan Tudisco (PhD Candidate - Comparative Literature) awarded UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2024-25 at UC Berkeley!