The graduate program in comparative literature enables students to pursue literary studies across national, linguistic, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries. Areas of study include genres, periods, movements, East-West poetics, colonial and postcolonial literatures, and minority and marginalized literatures. In addition, students can explore such issues as literature and gender and the interaction of literature with other fields.
The program draws upon a distinguished and diverse faculty from several disciplines. It seeks to combine the rigor of a structured curriculum with flexibility to meet the needs of individual students. Each student arranges his or her program in consultation with the graduate director and an adviser. Students may take as many as 50 percent of their courses from other departments. The program participates in the Transliteratures program (q.u.).
Candidates for the M.A. degree must complete 30 credits of course work and pass two foreign language examinations. In addition, they must pass two written examinations, one on theory and a second on a genre studied within a century or a limited period.
Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must complete 48 credits of course work and 24 research credits. After they have completed 12 credits at Rutgers, students entering the program with an M.A. degree from another university may apply to transfer as many as 24 credits. They will need permission of the graduate director and the graduate dean, however, to complete the transfer. In addition, candidates must pass three foreign language examinations and the two written examinations mentioned above. There also are three oral examinations. One deals with a second genre studied over at least three centuries, a second covers a literary movement, and the third focuses on a topic related to the dissertation. The degree will be conferred after successful defense of the dissertation.
Applications requesting consideration for fellowship grants should be submitted before February 1. The Guide for Graduate Students in Comparative Literature is available in the program office.