Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Comparative Literature Ph.D.

Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, 235 Nicholson Hall, 216 Pillsbury Dr SE, Minneapolis, MN (612-624-8099; fax: 612-625-4170).
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Length of program in credits: 71
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
Comparative literature is the oldest field of literary criticism, dating back to the seventeenth century. Among the wide range of studies currently conducted in comparative literature nationally and internationally, this program focuses on theories of literary criticism and its explanatory bases; indeed the program is seen as one of the principal initiators of such fields of study. This program is likewise engaged in pushing the bounds of critical inquiry in related domains of literary studies, directing much of its energies toward the intersection of literature with other media (in various constellations of word, sound, and image) and literatures of the global North with those of the global South, engaging problems ranging from narrative to postcolonial studies. The curriculum emphasizes seminars and directed research. The core requirement is a two-semester Basic Research Seminar (CL 8001-8002) that develops critical and analytic skills and introduces current theoretical perspectives with the study of historical problems. Each entering graduate student also enrolls in courses that focus on developing skills and experience in teaching and other professional domains. Apart from core courses, many courses are nonrecurring and closely relate to current faculty research. A major portion of coursework for degrees in Comparative Literature is cross-listed with the literature and language departments. Approval may also be given to take graduate courses in such areas as anthropology, art, architecture, history, music, philosophy, political theory, and sociology. In all cases, students should consult their advisors and the director of Graduate Studies concerning course selections.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The BS and/or MA degree in a humanities or a social science discipline, or other relevant field, is required for admission to the PhD.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
35 credits are required in the major.
12 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Language Requirement: Proficiency in two languages (other than English)
A minimum GPA of 3.50 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Coursework should include a minimum of 12 course credits at the 8xxx-level (excluding CL 8001 and CL 8002).
Required Courses
CL 8001 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CL 8002 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CL 8901 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
Comparative Literature Electives
With approval of the advisor and the director of Graduate Studies, up to 3 credits of the 15-credit requirement may be taken in the field of the minor or supporting program.
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CL 5xxx
· CL 8xxx
Additional Comparative Literature Courses or Courses in a Related Field
Take 11 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSDS 5xxx
· CSDS 8xxx
· CL 5xxx
· CL 8xxx
Outside the Major in a Supporting Program
Formal Minor Option
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
A formal minor in another graduate program, excluding Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society.
or Supporting Program Option
Take 12 or more credit(s) from the following:
Coursework outside of CSDS, CSCL, or CL courses in a coherent and complementary program to be approved by the advisor and the DGS. This option is for students who do not pursue a formal minor in another program.
Thesis Credits
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CL 8888 {Inactive} (1.0-24.0 cr)
More program views..
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· College of Liberal Arts

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