Comparative Literature

http://www.complit.illinois.edu/Welcome.html

Director of the Program: Lilya Kaganovsky
Director of Graduate Studies: Nancy Blake
3080 Foreign Languages Building
707 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-4987
Email: complit@illinois.edu 

Major: Comparative Literature
Degrees Offered: M.A., Ph.D.
Graduate Minors, Certificates, and Concentrations: Medieval Studies (available to all degrees); Criticism and Interpretive Theory (available to all degrees); Gender and Women's Studies (available to all degrees); Cinema Studies (available to all degrees). For a full list, please see the Director of Graduate Study.

Graduate Degree Programs

The Program in Comparative & World Literature offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy and is designed to provide a systematic study of subjects and problems common to several literatures. Its purpose is to enable students who have varied linguistic competence and preparation to explore the theory of literature and criticism; the interrelations of several literatures; the main currents, periods, and movements in literary history; the development of literary themes and types; and the relations between literature and the other arts.

Admission

A student entering the program should have an undergraduate major in Comparative Literature, English, the classics, or a foreign language. Majors in history and philosophy or other humanistic areas that present suitable linguistic and literary competence may also be granted admission by the Admissions Committee. All students are admitted at the MA level. Students entering with a recognized Masters degree from another university or from another department of this University have the option of taking the comparative literature and critical theory component and a literary component of this program's regular Master of Arts examination at the end of the first year as a qualifying test. For internal applicants to the Ph.D. curriculum, the Master of Arts will function as the qualifying test.

Applicants should apply online (www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/apply/), submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation and a writing sample.

Original transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate work completed should be sent to SLCL Graduate Student Services, 3070 Foreign Languages Bldg., 707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL  61801. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required and should be submitted to institution code 1836. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and must score at least 105 on the internet-based test (iBT); they must also pass the speaking sub-section of the iBT with a minimum score of 24 (see www.grad.illinois.edu/Admissions/instructions/04c). Applications are accepted for fall admission only. Application questions may be directed to SLCL Graduate Student Services at slclgradservices@illinois.edu

Graduate Teaching Experience

Although teaching is not a general Graduate College requirement, experience in teaching is considered an important part of the graduate experience in this program. Non-native English speakers must first pass a test of their oral English ability (see www.grad.illinois.edu/admissions/taengprof.htm).

Financial Aid

A limited number of University fellowships and teaching assistantships, in cooperation with other departments, are available.  

The Program aims to support as many graduate students as possible through teaching and other means, but support is always contingent on the student making timely progress to the degree. Such progress is measured by course load, taking exams on time, grades, and other factors. 

Master of Arts in Comparative Literature

The candidate must demonstrate a competency in at least two foreign languages as well as in English. Latin is required for students specializing in European and/or American literatures before 1800. Competence in the languages offered is measured either by the successful completion of one advanced course in the literature of each of the languages chosen or by passing an examination administered by the program in comparative literature with the assistance of an expert in the language concerned. This choice is intended to provide for languages that may not be taught in regular departments.

The candidate must complete a minimum of 32 gh of credit, including two courses in the theory of literature (CWL 501 and CWL 502), and two seminars in comparative literature selected from CWL 551, CWL 561, CWL 571, and CWL 581. At least 12 of the other 16 gh should be taken in two or three national literatures in a distribution approved by the adviser. The candidate must pass a written examination based on a reading list, which is designed to test knowledge of literary history as well as ability to interpret a literary or critical text.

CWL 501
CWL 502
Theory of Literature
and Methods of Comparative Lit
8
Select two of the following:8
Seminar Lit Movements
Seminar Genres - Forms
Seminar in Literary Relations
Seminar Lit Themes
One or two courses in the major literature4-8
At least one course in the minor literature4
One or two courses from the above categories. (A student may take one course in a non-literary field that will provide cultural and historical contexts for the study of the student's literatures.)4-8
Total Hours32

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap
The candidate must pass a written examination based on a reading list, which is designed to test knowledge of literary history as well as ability to interpret a literary or critical text.
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall:20
Minimum GPA:3.25
1

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.

Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature

A candidate for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must fulfill the general requirements of the Graduate College in addition to those specified for the master's degree. At least 12 additional gh of work, normally at the 500 level, should be taken in courses regularly offered by the literature departments; among these, courses cross listed with the program in comparative literature are especially recommended. The candidate is responsible for a knowledge of the history of the literature in one modern language. The student also selects a period of major interest and is responsible for a knowledge of two other literatures in this period, which are considered as minors. The periods may be the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Neoclassicism and the Enlightenment, or the modern (nineteenth and twentieth centuries). Some chronological variations in coordinating the minors will be allowed for students studying non-Western literatures. A preliminary examination, i.e. a four-part written examination based on the individual program, and an oral examination with emphasis on the thesis project must be passed. The candidate must present an acceptable thesis embracing several national literatures and pass a final oral examination on the thesis.

CWL 582Proseminar4
Select three of the following: 112
Seminar Lit Movements
Seminar Genres - Forms
Seminar in Literary Relations
Seminar Lit Themes
Two courses in the major literature8
One course in each of the minor literatures of specialization8
Language Requirement: Command of at least three languages besides English. Three of these four languages must coincide with the student's areas of specialization and with the dissertation field.
CWL 599Thesis Research (min/max applied toward degree)24-32
Total Hours64

Other Requirements2

Other requirements may overlap
Students must be enrolled in graduate seminars until the preliminary examinations are taken and passed.
Masters Degree Required for Admission to PhD?Yes
Qualifying Eaxam Required:No
Preliminary Exam Required:Yes
Final Exam/Dissertation Defense Required:Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required:Yes
Minimum GPA:3.25
1

One of these courses must be cross-cultural.

2

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook.