We appreciate your interest in graduate studies in the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature. The Department admits students for the Fall Quarter only and does not allow deferred admission. The deadline for receipt of the complete application package is December 1*. Results can be expected in March. Late applications for the Fall quarter will be reviewed when received, but chances for admission are slight. The typical class size of entering graduate students per year is four to six. We make admissions offers to 8 applicants per year, from an applicant pool of approximately 70.



A bachelor’s degree in literature, ancient or modern, is a prerequisite for admission to the Ph.D. graduate program in Comparative Literature. Applicants whose B.A. program lacks a literature major are required to demonstrate the equivalent knowledge and comprehension of one literature before being considered a graduate student in good standing. Applicants are expected to have at least a 3.5 grade-point average in upper division literature courses. Literary proficiency in one foreign language and at least an elementary knowledge of a second one are expected. For students entering with an M.A. degree, the graduate advisor may agree to waive some of the normal course requirements.


You must apply electronically for graduate admission and financial aid. You will find the online application on the Graduate Division webpage.


If you started an application prior to November 13, but did not submit it 
Regrettably, it has not been possible to transfer the information you provided before November 13 into our new graduate application system. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. You will need to begin a new application. Please click the following link and then select “Start New Application.”

Return and Start New Application

If you started a new application after November 16 
You may use the same link to continue working on it.

Return and Continue Your Application

If you submitted your application prior to November 13 
When you log in, you will not be able to see all of your information, but you will be able to see the status of your Letter of Recommendation requests. Please be assured, we have received your application.

Thank you very much. We appreciate your patience during this transition and look forward to reviewing your submission.

Applicants are asked to upload the following items in the online application:

  • A statement of purpose, explaining your background for graduate study in literature and their language areas and proficiency levels. Please include immediate and long-range goals in the field in the statement. Statements of purpose should primarily focus on intellectual interests and research plans, though autobiographical material can be useful where it is clearly relevant.
  • Applicants should also have three scholars under whom you have studied submit recommendation letters about your potential in literature, languages and general intellectual qualifications.
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required; students living abroad can get information about taking these exams from the US Embassy or Consulate. We do not require the subject test portion of the GRE. Applicants should take the exams no later than October or November. We will accept scores from exams taken within the past five years. The GRE school code is 4837; the department code is 2902.
  • Applicants must submit official records (transcripts) from each academic institution attended. These must bear the actual signature of the Registrar and the seal of the issuing institution and must be sent directly to the department address as noted below. You should also upload the unofficial transcripts if you have one on the online application.
  • Applicants must submit a research paper or other piece of writing (no more than 15 pages) in literature. Please do not submit your entire thesis. Please do not submit more than one paper. Additional papers will be returned to the applicant and not considered in the file. This part of the dossier is very important, and is often given more weight in admissions decisions about admissibility than anything else, since it (potentially) provides evidence of the ability to pursue original research in the field. Applicant files will not be considered complete if a research paper is not included.
  • International applicants whose first language is not English must certify their proficiency in English. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A score of at least 560 on the paper and pencil test or 220 on the computer-based test is recommended for applicants.

We expect all eligible students (permanent residents and U.S. citizens) to establish state residency after their first year of graduate study. Once residency has been established, a student is exempt from non-resident tuition and pays only the registration fees.

Although you will upload a copy of your transcripts for review by the Admissions Committee, official transcripts (one hard copy) and GRE/TOEFL scores should be mailed to:

UCLA Department of Comparative Literature
BOX 951536, 350 Humanities Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1536