Graduate Program

The Literature Department fosters work that cuts across linguistic, national, and period boundaries.  The 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 historical and global in scope.  True to the department’s history of innovation—it was among the first literature departments in the US to offer foci on World Literature and Cultural Studies and on Pre- and Early Modern Studies—the recently added Ph.D. concentration in Creative/Critical writing crosses the boundary between creative work and criticism.  Students emerge from the program with a distinctive intellectual and pedagogical flexibility. 

The graduate program in Literature is relatively small, and students work closely with an internationally recognized faculty throughout their graduate careers.  Graduate students are able to take advantage of a rich array of intellectual and cultural events, to participate in collaborative research clusters, and to attend lectures by scholars whose work is transforming the discipline.  The goal of the program is to develop scholars who will be qualified to teach in departments of national and comparative literatures, cultural studies, ethnic studies, and interdisciplinary programs.

Graduate study in Literature includes Ph.D. and free-standing MA programs.  MA students typically take two years to complete the degree and are well prepared to continue in a doctoral program elsewhere.  Normative time for the Ph.D. is seven years, and graduates go 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 that are integral to their intellectual work, one of which may be English.  Within these guidelines students create their own programs of study, with 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 elect to participate in cooperative programs between Literature and Anthropology, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Education, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, Latin American and Latino Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Visual Studies, and receive a designated emphasis on their doctoral degree. Applications and requirements are available at the respective program and department offices.

Inquiries should be directed to:

Janina Larenas 
Graduate Program Advisor & Coordinator

Professor Dorian Bell
Graduate Program Director