Graduate Admissions

We welcome your application and hope you can join the Comp Lit community!

Admissions Criteria

PhD Applicants: Previous graduate scholarship record from MA program of 3.3 or better (based on a 4.0 system), and strong verbal, analytic and quantitative GRE scores

Master's Applicants: A grade-point average above 3.0 (based on a 4.0 system). GRE scores are not required for MA applicants who do not plan to continue on to the PhD, but they are required for any applicant who plans to pursue the PhD or who wishes to be considered for a teaching assistantship, Schomburg Fellowship or other university funding. 

Applicants should note that the undergraduate grade point average and GRE scores required for admission to the graduate programs may be higher than those set by the Graduate School at UB.

Application Deadlines

January 1: All PhD applicants and MA applicants wishing to receive financial aid consideration (including teaching assistantships, the Schomburg Fellowship and university financial aid)

June 1: All applications submitted after January 1 are reviewed on a rolling basis through June 1 preceding fall matriculation.

Please note: The UB Department of Comparative Literature will admit for spring enrollment.

Application Instructions

Students who wish to pursue a PhD or MA in Comparative Literature must submit an online application: 

Supplemental Materials

GRE scores will be waived through Fall 2022 admission

The following supporting materials must be included as part of the online application. Please read the instructions on the online application for further details. Your application will not be considered complete and will not be reviewed until you have submitted:  

  • GRE Scores. Request an official electronic score report from Educational Testing Service (ETS). Use Institution Code: 2925 and Department Code: 2902. While GRE scores are not required to apply for PhD admission, however some fellowships or other university funding may require GRE scores above 340.
  • Academic Transcripts. Upload scanned copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, including the English translation, if applicable. An official transcript and Proof of Degree, in English, certified will be required if you are admitted and choose to matriculate to a graduate program at the University at Buffalo.
  • Writing Sample. Please submit a writing sample, such as a term paper, research paper or report. Writing samples are generally 15-30 double-spaced pages 12 font, and should reflect your best work. Your application will NOT be considered without a writing sample. 
  • Personal Statement. Please submit a 400-750 word personal statement that outlines the questions, topics and/or methodologies that are of interest to you, your short- and long-term goals, and reasons why you are applying to the program. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss any particular strengths or weaknesses in your record.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Request letters from three current or former faculty. These letters must be submitted electronically. Further instructions are included in the online application. 

Instructions for International Applicants

UB requires international applicants to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. In addition to the above application materials, international applicants must also submit the following before the application can be reviewed: 

  • TOEFL Scores. No international application is processed without a TOEFL or other accepted English Proficiency Exam. Attach a photocopy of your results and request an official copy from ETS. Use  Institution Code: 2925 and  Department Code: 28. Official electronic scores will be automatically linked to your online application.
  • The TOEFL Essentials test is temporarily approved for the purposes of meeting English language proficiency requirements for admission to all UB degree programs up to and including spring semester 2024. The UB minimum score requirement for the TOEFL Essentials is 8.5.

Additional information required for international applicants:

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance in the form of teaching assistantships is available. On the application form, please note where indicated if you wish to be considered for financial assistance. Our funds are limited and are awarded on a competitive basis. Awards for September enrollment are usually made in the preceding month of February. 

An official GRE report from the testing agency is required to apply for financial aid. Verbal and quantitative scores must total at least 300 on the new version of the GRE or 1,000 on the old version of the GRE to receive consideration for financial aid. Please upload a certified copy of your scores to your application and request to have an official report from ETS sent directly to: Graduate Enrollment Management Services, The Graduate School, University at Buffalo, 402 Capen Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260.

Schomburg Fellowship

In order to be eligible for the Schomburg Fellowship, you need to be either a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above. 

If you would like to be considered for a Schomburg Fellowship, please upload a written statement to your online application (maximum of 500 words) describing how you will contribute to the diversity of the student body in your graduate or professional degree program, including by having overcome a disadvantage or other impediment to success in higher education.

Please note that such categorical circumstances may include academic, vocational, social, physical or economic impediments or disadvantaged status that students, as evidenced by their performance as undergraduates, have been able to overcome, or other characteristics that constitute categorical underrepresentation in their particular graduate program such as gender or racial/ethnic status.

Application Fees

The graduate application fee is $75 U.S. (payable online or by check or money order made payable to the University at Buffalo). After you formally submit your application, you will receive an email with additional instructions for submitting your payment. Currently, UB accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Undergraduate Admissions

Degree Requirements

The Undergraduate Major (45 credits; varies)

All Comparative Literature Majors are self-designed and must be approved by the College of Arts and Sciences Special Major Advisor, as well as by two faculty advisors from the COL Department. If you are interested in designing a Comparative Literature Special Major, please consult the COL Director of Undergraduate Studies.

The above information is provided as a guide only. Requirements may vary. Please see the Department Director of Undergraduate Studies, or your advisor for information tailored to your situation.

Applying to the Special Major

Information on how to apply for a Special Major:

University at Buffalo Undergraduate Admissions:

Contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Ewa Ziarek, Director of Undergraduate Studies

University Registration Guidelines