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Comparative Literature, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 84 months
University rank #5 (ARWU) Berkeley, CA, United States
The Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, offers opportunities for graduate study in a wide variety of literary traditions, with emphasis on historical coverage, on issues of influence and reception, and on critical and theoretical approaches ranging from textual criticism to cultural studies.
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  • Comparative Literature faculty hold joint appointments with many different language and literature departments on the campus, and Comparative Literature graduate students enroll in a diverse selection of classes offered by those departments, in addition to Comparative Literature seminars.
  • Because of the size and diversity of its faculty, the importance of its general library, its several special collections, and its other research facilities, Berkeley offers superior opportunities for graduate study in nearly all areas of Comparative Literature. Specifically, the Department of Comparative Literature offers organized programs leading to specialization in all areas of Western literature from the earliest Mediterranean texts to the twentieth century, as well as in major areas of East-West, Latin American and African studies, and it is equipped to devise individual degree programs in some special areas in which regular course instruction is not normally listed.
  • The fact that graduates of this Department are currently teaching at the university level such widely different literatures as English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Italian, Russian, Greek, Sanskrit, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, along with film, gender, and ethnic studies, illustrates the wealth of choices facing entering students.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 84 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The U.C. Berkeley Graduate Division has established a “normative time” of seven years for completion of the Ph.D. degree in Comparative Literature. Following is a recommended timetable:

  • Second year review (and, if applicable, M.A. examination) completed by end of fourth semester
  • Ph.D. coursework and Qualifying Examination completed by the end of the eighth semester
  • Dissertation completed by the end of the fourteenth semester

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks.

General Requirements

  • All applicants, both domestic and international, must take the GRE, general test only. Subject tests are not required. 
  • Students from countries where the principal language is not English and who have not enrolled for at least a year in a degree program at a university in an English-speaking country are also required to take the TOEFL. 
  • You are responsible for soliciting three letters of recommendation to support your application.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    33958 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16979 USD per semester and a duration of 84 months.
  • National

    33958 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 16979 USD per semester and a duration of 84 months.
  • In-State

    18856 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9428 USD per semester and a duration of 84 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Berkeley

  • 1750 - 2820 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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