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Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature at Brown is a vigorous and comprehensive program in literature and culture.

Since the founding of the graduate program in 1964, comparative literature has evolved to include not only Western cultures, both ancient and modern, but also Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. The department, in cooperation with the various literature departments and programs, offers a wide array of courses in literature, literary theory, and cultural studies.

The faculty includes 30 members of professorial rank with appointments wholly or partly in the department. As members of a medium-sized department in a relatively small university, graduate students enjoy unusual opportunities for close contact in and outside of the classroom. Students receive close guidance, including job-search preparation. The program accommodates a wide range of individual emphases in literature and culture, periods, genres, history, criticism, and theory. We hold several colloquia, lectures, and forums each year.  

Completion Requirements
A.M.: Eight courses, two languages, and thesis; or eight courses, three languages, and Ph.D. preliminary examination. Ph.D.: Sixteen courses; three languages, one of which may be the candidate's native language; four semesters of teaching; preliminary examination; professional competence in a major literature and in two others; a comparative project in the third year; dissertation and defense.

Admission Information
Admission requirements: Writing sample required (10 pages maximum; we cannot read longer samples). Applicants must show high proficiency in two languages whose literatures are taught at Brown, and must also develop competence in a third language. Applicants are expected to have substantial undergraduate training in at least one national literature in addition to English.

GRE General: Required
GRE Subject: Recommended
Application deadline: December 15