Graduate Program

The Literature Department fosters innovative and experimental work across historical periods, languages, approaches, and media. Our graduate curriculum is designed to give students maximum flexibility in constructing their fields of research and to provide exposure to cultural production and theoretical work that is global in scope. True to the department’s history of innovation—it was among the first literature departments in the US to offer emphases in World Literature and Cultural Studies and Pre- and Early Modern Studies—the department offers a Ph.D. concentration in Creative/Critical Writing that crosses the boundary between creative work and criticism.

Students emerge from the graduate program with a distinctive intellectual and pedagogical flexibility. Current departmental strengths include empire, race, and colonial/postcolonial studies; gender and sexuality studies; environmental humanities; Mediterranean studies; Jewish studies; transatlantic/oceanic studies; posthumanism and animal studies; speculative fiction; science/technology studies; creative practice; critical theory; and digital humanities/new media. The department offers a designated emphasis for graduate students from other departments, while individual Literature faculty lead several research clusters of faculty and graduate students, including: Making Sense of Memory, Memory of Forgotten Wars, and Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future.

Graduate study in Literature includes Ph.D. and free-standing M.A. programs. M.A. students typically take two years to complete the degree, pursuing coursework alongside Ph.D. students, and are well prepared to continue in a doctoral program elsewhere. Normative time for the Ph.D. is seven years, with graduates going on to teach at institutions of higher learning across the world. Ph.D. students are required to be able to read proficiently in at least two languages integral to their intellectual work, one of which may be English. Students create their own programs of study, producing dissertations on a range of comparative, translingual, and interdisciplinary projects. (See list of recent titles.)

The Department of Literature at UCSC is affiliated with a range of university programs and research centers (The Center for Cultural Studies, Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies, The Dickens Project).  Students may receive a designated emphasis on their doctoral degree in the following programs: Anthropology, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Education, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, Latin American and Latino Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, and Visual Studies. Applications and requirements are available at the respective program and department offices.

Inquiries should be directed to:

Graduate Program Advisor & Coordinator