Dec 02, 2023  
Graduate Record 2022-2023 
Graduate Record 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Comparative Literature

Return to: Graduate School of Arts & Sciences: Departments/Programs  

Director of Comparative Literature
English Department
University of Virginia
134 Bryan Hall
P.O. Box 400121
Charlottesville VA 22904-4777

This certificate is intended for graduate students in the various language and literature departments who wish to gain some familiarity with comparative approaches to literature and culture. The Graduate Certificate in Comparative Literature provides an additional professional qualification and area of expertise that will be attractive to some students as they prepare to enter the job market. As well as providing scholarly training in the field of Comparative Literature, the Graduate Certificate serves as a forum for interpersonal contact and intellectual exchange between graduate students in different departments.

This graduate certificate is not an independent qualification but an area of specialization within existing programs. It can only be earned in conjunction with a degree program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students who withdraw from the University without completing a graduate degree are not eligible for the certificate. All course work for the certificate must be completed at the University; transfer credit will not be given for courses taken at other institutions.

Students interested in the graduate certificate should seek approval from the DGS in their home department and then consult with the Director of the Comparative Literature Program.


Competency in at least one language other than English, as demonstrated by the student’s undergraduate record or alternative assessment method (e.g., oral and/or written examination).


  1. CPLT 802 Comparative and Transnational Studies, 3 credits. A core course required of all students.
  2. Two additional graduate level courses with a comparative, interdisciplinary, and/or theoretical focus, 6 credits. One of these courses may come from the student’s home department; at least one course must come from a language and literature department other than the student’s own. This latter course will normally require the reading of texts in their original language. Students are required to consult with a faculty advisor before making their selections.
  3. Concluding written examination.  Students are required to write a 12-15 page essay that addresses questions of method, genre, period, theory, or related subjects, based on a pre-approved reading list of twenty texts, both primary and critical, embracing at least two national traditions. This essay will be assessed by two examiners.

Additional Information

For more information contact Paul Cantor, Director of Comparative Literature Program, PO Box 400121, Bryan Hall, 134, telephone:434-924-6653 or 924-7105, email: