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Our Graduate Program

The Program in Comparative Literature allows students to earn an M.A. or a Ph.D., both of which offer enough flexibility to accommodate a range of interests in different literatures, cultures, theories and methodologies. Our faculty cover a wide range of literatures and cultures in a global context, and also do significant work in cinema studies, popular and/or visual culture, and critical theory. We are committed to placing as many of our students as possible at the best institutions, and regularly offer a proseminar and workshops on professionalization and the job search; former students have found positions in both national literature programs, comparative literature and other departments.

Our graduate students come from all over the world, fostering a close-knit and truly international atmosphere. They are funded through fellowships and teaching opportunities in both the comparative literature program, as well as teaching outside in national literature departments (support is, however, contingent on the student making timely progress towards the degree). In addition to taking courses offered by the program, our students are encouraged to work with other units across campus, including: the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive TheoryMedia and Cinema Studies, the Medieval Studies Program, the Gender and Women's Studies Program, the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, and the Initiative in Holocaust and Memory Studiesamong many others. Several of these programs also offer graduate certificates and minors.

The University of Illinois offers extensive support for graduate student research, through fellowships available to continuing students (the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, or IPRH, for example, offers six fellowships in support of graduate students in the humanities each year, or the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, which offers fellowships to Cornell's prestigious summer School of Criticism and Theory), as well as the second largest public university library in the world. Both the IPRH calendar of events and the Unit for Criticism calendar highlight the frequent conferences, panel discussions, reading groups, and other events of significant interest to graduate students in Comparative Literature.

All new graduate students are admitted to the Program at the M.A. level, regardless of previous undergraduate or graduate degrees. It is assumed that they will be going on to the Ph.D. upon the satisfactory completion of an M.A. in Comparative Literature from UIUC or of the M.A. equivalent examinations. Please see the Graduate Handbook for details.

If you would like to apply to the University of Illinois, it's easy to apply online, and the Graduate College has helpful information on the application process, as well as campus life and resources.  For admission information, please contact:

School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics (SLCL)
Graduate Student Services
3070 Foreign Languages Building
707 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana

or contact Student Services by email, or peruse their helpful Student Services website.

The deadline for applications is January 1.