Students in the Comparative Literature MA program at UB can expect to enter into a rigorous and robust graduate community composed of students from a variety of personal and academic backgrounds. Despite the relatively small-size of the program, students currently enrolled at UB engage in a variety historically-grounded and cutting-edge research programs.
The MA program prepares students for a wide-range of careers as well as for advanced graduate study and boasts a very strong placement record. Beyond their coursework obligations, MA students may also participate in the graduate community at UB, including the Just Theory Lecture Series and Theory@Buffalo, an academic journal housed within the Department of Comparative Literature at UB.
MA in Comparative Literature (30 credits)
9 Intensive (A) seminars
3 credits Masters Project Guidance (COL 598)
Master’s Project (approximately 50 – 100 pages)
Minimum of 30 credit hours
The above information is provided as a guide. Requirements may vary. Please see the Department Director of Graduate Studies, or your advisor for information tailored to your situation.
MA students must complete a minimum of nine intensive seminars and at least three credit hours of Masters Project Guidance (COL 598). Students are encouraged to enroll in at least two courses devoted to national literatures other than English with the reading conducted in the national language.
Applicants must show good reading knowledge of at least one foreign language upon admission, as demonstrated by advanced literary study at the undergraduate level or by language examinations furnished by the department.
After completion of the required coursework, normally at the end of two years, students will have a choice of either completing an MA thesis project or taking an oral comprehensive examination. The project will involve original research, employ scholarly apparatus, and be between 50 and 100 pages in length. The project must be read and approved by the director and one other faculty member.
The MA comprehensive exam has a similar format to the PhD qualifying examination, but the reading list is significantly shorter and the theoretical framework appropriately limited. For this oral examination, students may choose three predesignated areas of study — major author, genre, period, literary theory, or literary theme. The lists of works to be covered for each area must contain a minimum of fifteen books (compared to a minimum of twenty for the PhD oral exam). The areas of study and the three-person committee are chosen with the approval of the director of graduate studies, and the reading lists require the approval of both the individual committee members and the director of graduate studies. Students will be able to substitute the existing preliminary examination for the PhD for either the MA project or the MA comprehensive oral exam, but not vice versa. Neither the MA project nor the MA comprehensive exam can be substituted for the PhD preliminary examination.
The preferred deadline for MA applications is January 1