Jul 23, 2024  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog 
2014-2015 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

English and Comparative Literature (M.A.)


An applicant for admission to the master’s program in English and comparative literature should have a considerable background in the study of literature. Applicants who are not native speakers of English or graduates of English and comparative literature at AUC will be required to demonstrate on the TOEFL with TWE that their command of English is adequate for study in the program.


A minimum of twenty-four graduate hours is required. Normally, eight courses are to be taken at the 5000 level. However, up to two of the eight courses might be taken at the 4000-level. All students admitted to the graduate program will be required to take ECLT 5106  “Greek Classics and Translation”, ECLT 5108  “The History of Literary Criticism”, ECLT 5109  “Modern Literary Criticism”, and ECLT 5255  “Research Methods in Literature”, unless they have taken these courses at the undergraduate level.  No more than two graduate-level courses may be transferred from another university.

With permission of the student’s adviser and the chair of the department, a student may take graduate coursework in another department provided that its content is directly concerned with the area of the student’s degree work. No more than two such courses will be accepted for credit toward the master’s degree.

Comprehensive Examination

All candidates for the master’s degree will be required to sit for a qualifying examination after completing six courses in the department. The exam will be both written and oral. The exam will cover a list of 30 books, to be submitted by the student one month in advance, and will be prepared in consultation with the adviser. The list must be approved by the student’s adviser and the department chair. Selection will be made from the major periods of Western literature and should include selections from poetry, drama, and prose. If the exam is failed,  it may be repeated once. The student will not be permitted to write a thesis until the exam is passed.


Before writing a thesis the student must demonstrate, in an examination, knowledge of either French or German. At the discretion of the department another European language may be substituted, should it be more pertinent to the student’s field of interest. The exam for both languages will take place in Spring and Fall of each year.


The department conceives of the thesis as a research paper at the recommended length of forty to sixty pages (10,000 to 15,000 words), double-spaced, standard font, which should demonstrate by its high quality the student’s ability to handle the techniques of research and to write critically and pointedly about a given subject. The topic must be chosen from subjects in the student’s area of concentration. It must be acceptable to the student’s thesis director in the light of his/her special qualification and his/her  judgment of the student’s capability, and the availability of the required library facilities.

A proposal must be submitted to, and approved by, the first and second readers as well as the department chair. This should be approximately one to two thousand words. A working bibliography should be included. There will be a final defense of the thesis and related topics.