Program Regulations

Graduate School Requirements

Graduate students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the Graduate School regulations governing all graduate study at LSU. These regulations appear in the current General Catalog. Of particular importance is the information contained in the sections “Admission and General Information,” “General Graduate School Regulations,” and “Requirements for Advanced Degrees.” These sections deal with such matters as minimum admissions requirements, application procedures, types of admission, residency requirements, minimum and maximum course loads, time limits on degree programs, and course, examination, thesis and dissertation requirements for the Ph.D. What follows is a guide to additional regulations governing graduate study on the Program in Comparative Literature.

Program Requirements

Students in the Program in Comparative Literature are required to study literature and criticism in at least three languages. They are also responsible for determining, in consultation with their faculty advisory committee, three broadly defined “areas of concentration” that will guide them in designing a curriculum suited to their individual interests and inspirations.

Course Requirements

The Program is organized around a simple core curriculum.

All students are required to take both CPLT 7010 (History of Literary Theory and Criticism: From Antiquity to Romanticism) and CPLT 7020 (History of Literary Theory and Criticism: From the Late Nineteenth Century to the Present).

All Ph.D. students must take both CPLT 7120 (Topics in the Theory of Criticism) and CPLT 7130 (Topics in Comparative Literature) at least twice. Students are also required to take CPLT 7140 (Topics in Interdisciplinary Study) at least once. Since the specific topics of these three courses differ from semester to semester, each may be taken more than once, up to a maximum of 9 credit hours.

For all students, the distribution of the remaining courses required for the degree is designed by the student in consultation with his or her Major Professor and Advisory Committee. In all cases, a primary aim is to make sure that the Comparative Literature graduate has sufficient training in at least one national literary tradition (e.g., English, French, Spanish) to compete effectively in today’s academic job market.

Additional Requirements

  •  All students must demonstrate advanced reading ability (proficiency) in three languages, of which English or the student’s native language may be one. Proficiency in the second language must be demonstrated in the first year, and in the third language before the end of the second year of residency, by passing a departmentally-administered examination or by performing satisfactory relevant graduate course work at LSU, as attested by a member of the LSU faculty.
  • All students must pass a general examination at or near the end of course work, assessing the student’s command of the three areas of his or her concentration. This exam is known as the “PhD General Examination.”
  • Students entering with a B.A. who decide to pursue an M.A. in English, French, Hispanic Studies, or Philosophy and Religious Studies must complete the degree requirements for the M.A. in the discipline of their choice.
  •  All Ph.D. students must complete and defend a satisfactory dissertation on an approved topic.


Comparative Literature Minor

Students who wish to have a minor in Comparative Literature must obtain 9 credits of Comparative Literature course work and demonstrate reading competency in two languages in addition to their native tongue.