Purdue University-Main Campus Comparative Literature Essay

Comparative Literature

We are pleased with your interest in our graduate program. Before you continue with the electronic application for admission, we wish to ensure that you are familiar with the minimum requirements for admission to graduate degree study in Comparative Literature.  It is important to recognize that although satisfaction of these basic requirements does not guarantee graduate admission, failure to satisfy these requirements may lead to automatic denial of admission.

Supporting Documents:Additional documents are required to support the application. Supporting documents should be uploaded to the online application or mailed directly to the graduate program to which you are applying, as directed below. Click the links below for details. Supporting documents include the following, unless specific instructions are noted in the requirements sections of this page:

Application Deadlines:  Applications and all supporting documentation must be received on or before the deadlines listed below.

 

FallSpringSummer
U.S. CitizenJanuary 10No EntryNo Entry
InternationalJanuary 10No EntryNo Entry

 

Spring admission only occurs in exceptional circumstances.

 

Current master's students wishing to move to a doctoral degree program in this same graduate program will not be required to submit a new application.

Master's Degree Program Basic Requirements

  • Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average: 
       3.0 or equivalent required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): 
       Required -- no minimum score has been set 

Additional International Applicant Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average:
       
    3.0 or equivalent required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
       
    Required -- no minimum score set 
  • TOEFL for Non-Native English Speakers: 
       Minimum Paper-Based Test (PBT) Score Required: 550
        Minimum Internet-Based Test (IBT) Overall Score Required: 77
        With the following minimum section requirements:
        Reading: 19
        Listening: 14
        Speaking: 18
        Writing: 18
  • IELTS (Academic Module):
        An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 6.5 or higher will be accepted. A score of 7.0
        in the speaking section is required if you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship in the English Department.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic Module):
        An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 58 or higher will be accepted    

Doctoral Degree Program Basic Requirements

  • Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average: 
       
    3.0 or equivalent required
  • Master's Degree Completion: 
       
    Required, with a grade point average of 3.0 or equivalent 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): 
       
    Required -- no minimum score set 

Additional International Applicant Requirements: 

  • Undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average: 
       
    3.0 or equivalent required 
  • Master's Degree Completion: 
       Required, with a grade point average of 3.0 or equivalent 
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE): 
       
    Required -- no minimum score set 
  • TOEFL for Non-Native English Speakers: 
        Minimum Paper-Based Test (PBT) Score Required: 550
        Minimum Computer-Based Test (CBT) Score Required: 213
        Minimum Internet-Based Test (IBT) Overall Score Required: 77
        With the following minimum section requirements:
        Reading: 19
        Listening: 14
        Speaking: 18
        Writing: 18
  • IELTS (Academic Module):
        An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 6.5 or higher will be accepted. A score of 7.0
        in the speaking section is required if you wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship in the English Department.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) (Academic Module):
        An alternative to the TOEFL, scores of 58 or higher will be accepted
  •    

If you do not meet the basic requirements described above, please do not submit an electronic application until you have contacted our graduate program staff.


Effective for those seeking Spring 2019 admission and beyond:

TOEFL for Non-Native English Speakers:

Minimum Internet-Based Test (IBT) Overall Score Required: 80 
With the following minimum section requirements: 
Reading: 19 
Listening: 14 
Speaking: 18 
Writing: 18

Minimum Paper-Delivered Test - no overall score reported
With the following minimum section requirements:
Reading: 19
Listening: 14
Writing: 18

IELTS (Academic Module):
Minimum overall score required: 6.5
With the following minimum section requirements:
Reading: 6.5
Listening: 6.0
Speaking: 6.0
Writing: 5.5

Pearson Test of English (PTE):
No longer accepted

Comparative Literature

Comparative Literature offers the opportunity to study literatures in two languages and gain a working knowledge of a third, while encountering a range of world literatures. The program is founded on three introductory courses, Introduction to Comparative Literature, World Literature: From the Beginning to 1700 A.D., and World Literature: 1700 to the Present. In addition to focusing on particular languages, students may work in areas such as Cultural Studies, Feminist Thought, Folklore, Literary Theory, Philosophy of Aesthetics, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Studies, Rhetoric, and Visual Culture. Career opportunities include Screenwriting, Journalism, and others that require working with multiple languages and cultures.

The purpose of the Comparative Literature Program is to foster cooperation between the Department of English and the School of Languages and Cultures. The program achieves this purpose by encouraging the study of literature, by promoting the study of a second or third foreign language, and by sponsoring courses and dissertations that cut across national boundaries. Comparative Literature recognizes that some fields - classics, medieval studies, Renaissance, post-colonial - are inherently comparative and seeks to facilitate the work of students and scholars in these fields. The program also recognizes the role of other disciplines-particularly history and philosophy, but also the social sciences and psychology in developing theoretical approaches to literature. While recognizing the value of cultural studies and linguistics, and encouraging investigations based in these disciplines, the program recognizes that other areas make these disciplines their priority. By contrast, Comparative Literature takes as its special mandate the teaching and comparing of world literature, not only as social documents but also as works of art whose full appreciation depends on the study of languages, an understanding of diversity and globalization, and an appreciation of various media.

By virtue of the Program's ability to draw on the curricular strengths of several academic departments, we have the flexibility and resources to accommodate individualized plans of study for qualified students. Each student has the opportunity to do graduate-level work in the original language in the following literatures: British, Chinese, French (both continental and francophone), German, Classical Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin (classical and medieval), Portuguese (Luso-Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (both Peninsular and Spanish/American), and American literature. In addition, the student may work in areas such as Cultural Studies, Feminist Thought, Folklore, Literary Theory, Philosophy of Aesthetics, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Studies, Rhetoric, and Visual Culture. In addition to the body of knowledge and methodology appropriate to each individual program of study, students acquire a familiarity with the history, methods, and bibliography of Comparative Literature through a core seminar (ENGL 660/FLL 630, required of all incoming students in their first semester) and with the corpus of critical approaches and literary theory. In coursework pertaining to their special areas, students are strongly encouraged to design their research papers along comparative lines.

For graduate students, Comparative Literature Program offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.  Students should apply directly to the program through the Graduate School.  With approximately ninety faculty members in two departments, of whom a dozen or so regularly participate in Comparative Literature, the graduate program allows cross-disciplinary studies in a variety of areas, including literature, visual aesthetics, women's studies, philosophy, Afro-American and Latino studies. A range of financial resources are available to fund graduate students. Our graduate students come from China, Egypt, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Spain, India, the United States, and many other countries. 

Charles Ross: Director, Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Angelica Duran: Director of Admissions, Professor of English and Comparative Literature

The Steering Committee of the Program in Comparative Literature consists of Charles Ross, Angelica Duran, Shaun Hughes, Beate Allert, Elena Coda and Daniel Hsieh.


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From 1593 to 2014: Restoring Sidney’s Arcadia

Charlie Ross

For two hundred years Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia (1590) was the most popular piece of original prose fiction written in English. Today, however, even Sidney scholars fail to master the intricacies of its many subplots and often skip the poems interspersed in the text.

Shakespeare scholars know that Sidney borrowed the Gloucester plot in King Lear,and students of English literature know that Arcadia prompted works by two of the first original female authors in English: the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania (1621) and Anna Weamys’ A Continuation of Sidney’s Arcadia (1651). But few bother to read Sidney’s difficult, highly patterned, and rhetorical English.

To remedy modern neglect of Sidney and his important heroic romance, Professor Charles Ross is working on a project to publish a text in modernized English that comes as close to the original as possible without losing clarity, and to create a coordinated, freely accessible, fully annotated edition of the original 1593 Arcadia. The open-access on-line edition will use modern spelling and advanced search features In addition, annotations will highlight Shakespeare’s borrowings and also the rhetorical “schemes” that structure Sidney’s original prose.

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