The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) accepts both new and continuing PhD students to its Certificate program. Interested students must select ICLS on their application or within the first two years of their PhD program.
Please note that our Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society is not a stand-alone degree program. To be eligible for this certificate, one must be accepted into a PhD program in one of our Affiliated Departments at Columbia University.
New entering students apply directly to a participating degree program through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, clearly indicating their interest in Comparative Literature and Society on the indicated part of the GSAS Application Part 1. Note that only students accepted into their departmental PhD program will be reviewed and considered for ICLS. Applications are vetted by an ICLS Admissions Committee who look for languages and comparative and interdisciplinary research interests. Applicants who are not admitted to ICLS during the initial application process may apply again for admission to the Certificate during the first year of their program.
Continuing students should contact the ICLS DGS and copy the ICLS administrative office. Students will be required to fill out a Graduate Admissions Worksheet, provide a 1-2 page description of their research interests, and to confirm an ICLS-affiliated faculty member who has agreed to work with them. Applicants must be accepted to a PhD program in an affiliated department to be eligible for the ICLS Concentration or Certificate program.
All interested students must take the ICLS graduate introductory course, CPLS GR6100 (prior to Spring 2017, G4900): Introduction to Comparative Literature and Society, in the first year of graduate study, continuing students in the first year after admission. Social sciences, Architecture, and Law students have the option of taking it in the second year with the permission of the ICLS Director of Graduate Studies, if departmental requirements make it necessary. The main focus of PhD work may be either one or more linguistic and literary traditions or work in history, anthropology, art history or other affiliated Columbia departments and schools.
ICLS Director of Graduate Studies
Brent Hayes Edwards 609 Philosophy Hall Professor Edwards does not hold formal office hours during summer terms. Please email Kelly Lemons for assistance.