(Above image: Mario Vargas Llosa. Faculty expert, Efrain Kristal)

Although the Department of Comparative Literature offers both the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, we admit only those students who plan to ultimately pursue a Ph.D. We do not offer a terminal M.A.


Standing at the forefront of innovative work in literary, theoretical, and cultural studies, comparative literature is one of the most exciting fields in the humanities. As a discipline it requires exceptional linguistic ability, theoretical knowledge, and high intellectual caliber. UCLA’s program offers students the opportunity to work with faculty members in any of the University’s language and literature departments as well as with the Department of Comparative Literature faculty.


UCLA’S Comparative Literature department, which is interdisciplinary and multilingual in scope, is committed to continuing its pioneering work in defining new literary paradigms and fostering new directions for exploration in literary studies, including such areas as:

  • The relationship between translation and transnationalism
  • Literary theory and emerging media
  • The future of national literatures in an era of globalization, gender and sexuality studies
  • East-West cultural encounters
  • Human rights and global censorship
  • Postcolonial and diaspora studies
  • Experimental approaches to literature and culture


Courses are designed to provide Ph.D. students with both a historical and theoretical understanding of literary and cultural forms, themes, and movements. For a complete list of offerings visit the Courses page.


All Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant after spending at least one year in the program. Teaching assistantships are not automatically offered to students but are awarded on the basis of merit.