Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society M.A.

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, 216 Pillsbury Drive SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-8099; fax: 612-625-4170)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2020
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
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.
Note: Students are not admitted to work toward the MA degree. In the event that a PhD student decides not to finish the PhD and is in good standing, that student may apply for a terminal MA. While most traditional humanistic disciplines tend to focus either on a given mode of discourse (e.g., art history, musicology) or a specific cultural context (e.g., American studies, European languages and literatures), this program engages broader topics—how discourse and cultural production both shape and are shaped by life in time, space, matter, and society. Drawing on a variety of theoretical positions, close attention is paid to various types of discourse, such as music, film, myth, ritual, architecture, landscape and urban design, painting, sculpture, and literature in elite, popular, folk, and mass culture, understanding these as both a site and an instrument of contestation and negotiation among social forces. More generally, the program seeks to re-associate intellectual and cultural history with social and political history, to set discourse of various sorts within a social context, and to consider specific social formations within the ongoing historical process. In all this, the program encourages work that is interdisciplinary (at times, even anti-disciplinary) as well as cross-cultural. The curriculum emphasizes seminars and directed research. The core requirement is a two-semester Basic Research Seminar (CSDS 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. 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
Students are not admitted to work toward the MA degree. In the event that a PhD student decides not to finish the PhD and is in good standing, that student may apply for a terminal MA.
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
Plan B: Plan B requires 18 to 24 major credits and 6 to 12 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project:One Plan B paper of approximately 40 pages is 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.
MA Plan B degree requirements: students are not admitted to work toward the MA degree. In the event that a PhD student decides not to finish the PhD and is in good standing, that student may apply for a terminal MA. Students are advised to check the program website indicated above for updated information.
Required Courses
Take the following courses for a total of 9 credits:
CSDS 8001 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CSDS 8002 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
CSDS 8901 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
Major Electives
Select major electives in consultation with the advisor.
Take 9 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSDS 5xxx
· CSDS 8xxx
Additional Coursework
Take at least 6 credits, in consultation with advisor, of courses within or outside CSDS.
CSDS 5xxx
CSDS 8xxx
Outside Coursework
Take at least 6 credits of related fields coursework, either outside of CSDS or as a formal minor (excluding comparative literature).
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· College of Liberal Arts

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