Course Requirements

Courses are selected with the guidance of the ICLS Director of Graduate Studies with a view toward the fields the student proposes to present at the M.Phil. qualifying examination as appropriate for the home Ph.D. program. Courses may be both in comparative topics, as offered by the various participating Ph.D. programs, and in the literature of a particular culture, if they are consistent with the student’s program.

Points of Credit

20-24 points (minimum six courses), of which 12 points must be taken for a letter grade (not R credit). Courses must include:

  • The graduate course CPLS GR6100 (prior to 2016, G4900): Introduction to Comparative Literature and Society for a letter grade. Due to the unique curriculum at the Institute, exemptions from this course will not be granted.
  • Two courses chosen in consultation with the ICLS Director of Graduate Studies to emphasize comparative topics. If these courses are not ICLS seminars (with the CPLS course designator), they must be approved by the DGS. One of these seminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Two courses focusing on work in a language that is not the primary subject of the dissertation research, reading texts in their original language (even in courses where class discussion is held in English). If the course readings are in English translation, ICLS students must make arrangements with the instructor to read the majority in the original language. A copy of the instructor’s agreement to this arrangement should be sent by email to the ICLS Program Coordinator and DGS to be on file. One of these seminars must be taken for a letter grade.
  • One seminar (CPLS course designator, CLxx can be substituted with DGS approval) on literature and/or literary theory.

Language Requirements

Language requirements vary in each student’s program, but in general a Ph.D. candidate is expected to:

  • Read at least one language other than his or her native tongue to the standard of an undergraduate major before the candidate is admitted to the program,
  • and to acquire, in the case of the language and literature departments, the same ability in at least two more languages before taking the qualifying examination. As the alternative to the second additional required language, students may present a sequence of three courses emphasizing method and theory in another discipline.

Language proficiency examinations are arranged through the student’s home department; copies of test results should be sent to the ICLS office. It is assumed by ICLS that works in the student’s area of specialization are read in the original.