The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Comparative Literature combines the objectives of graduate study in foreign languages and literatures with an emphasis on the intercultural and international aspects of literature. The goal of the program is to provide graduate training in subjects common to more than one national literature. Research work in the program is directed toward the analysis of cultural, historical, literary, linguistic, ethical, and social concerns in literature, as approached through comparative methods of analysis informed by literary and cultural theory, as well as theories and practices from a variety of disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and others.
Because of the benefits of reading literature in the original language, the M.A. program requires students to have sufficient proficiency in at least one foreign language to take graduate literature seminars in that language.
The M.A. in Comparative Literature is of particular value for students who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in comparative literature or in a foreign language and literature, or who plan to teach literature at the K-12 or community college levels. Some upper-division courses in Comparative and World Literature or English (taken as part of the degree program electives) may apply to subject matter preparation for the Single Subject Teaching Credential in English (Comparative and World Literature Emphasis).