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Master of Arts Degree in Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature (LLCL)

The department offers an MA in LLCL with six areas of concentration: Comparative Literature, French, the Teaching of French, Linguistics, Spanish, and the Teaching of Spanish.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature is designed to prepare students for doctoral study in French, Spanish, Italian, Comparative Literature, or Linguistics, and/or for employment in a variety of foreign-language applications in business and government, as well as for qualification as teachers of the major language, its literature, culture and linguistics. All students should:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Additional coursework may be required of applicants whose undergraduate major was not the same as the graduate specialization.
  • Have a minimum 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 undergraduate credits.
  • Submit with the application a two-to-four-page typed and double-spaced statement of purpose outlining the student's qualifications for graduate study in the given field and reasons for pursuing the MA degree. Two academic letters of recommendation are also required to be sent to the departmental director of Graduate Studies at time of application.
  • Submit a writing sample of the student's academic work, i.e., an essay written for a class in the student's field.
  • Submit a two-minute video clip responding to specific questions about the applicant's background and interest in the program to which the student is applying.
  • For international applicants, a TOEFL score of 550 or IBT score of 61, or an IELTS score of 6.0.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

A limited number of Graduate Assistanships are available each year. The deadline for application is normally February 1. Prospective students interested in applying for an Assistantship should be sure to submit their applications for admission to the graduate program as early as possible.

Degree with a Thesis

For the MA degree with a concentration in French and Spanish (Latin American and Peninsular Literature), the department requires a minimum of 30 credits: 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits of thesis work. Courses must include Foundations of LLCL (FOL 6731C) and Advanced Research Methods in LLCL (FOL 6885). The student's program will include a minimum of four courses (12 credits) in 6000-level or higher seminars in the literature of concentration, plus one course (3 credits) of departmental electives. Students must pass an oral examination prior to submitting their thesis prospectus.

The MA degree with a concentration in Comparative Literature is available to majors in British, French, German, Italian, Peninsular Spanish, Latin American or American literatures. Courses must include Foundations of LLCL (FOL 6731C) and Advanced Research Methods in LLCL (FOL 6885). Comparative literature broadens the context of single works of literature, provides a method of looking beyond the national frontiers of languages and cultures, and studies major authors, periods, genres, trends and movements in international contexts. Comparative literature is also, by tradition, the study of literature beyond the geo-cultural boundaries of one particular country or hemispheric region. In addition, it pays special attention to the study of relationships between literature and other areas of knowledge and intellectual inquiry. This includes areas such as linguistics, art history, film studies, philosophy, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, as well as other fields. Comparative literature is the comparison of the literary with other spheres of human epistemology, expression and intellectual investigation.

A cardinal feature of the graduate curriculum is the small core requirement in terms of specific courses and the correspondingly large number of electives taken in different fields. Each student develops his or her own program in consultation with the director of Graduate Studies and pursues individually supervised research interests, culminating in a comparative thesis.

Admission to Comparative Literature Study

 Students who do not hold the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in one of the literatures or other areas of concentration may be asked to do a certain amount of preliminary coursework without credit toward the degree. These courses may be taken after admission to the master's program.

Program Requirements

The MA degree in Linguistics, Comparative Literature concentration, requires the student to pursue one of the two following programs: the study of the two literatures in their original languages, one of which may be British or American literature; or the study of one literature as the primary concentration and a non-literary field as the secondary concentration.

The literature studied may be chosen from among the following: American (i.e., United States, Canadian, Anglo/Caribbean), British, French, Francophone, Italian, Spanish Peninsular, Latin American. There is no additional language requirement beyond the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters requirement for the Master of Arts degrees.

Coursework will consist of at least 30 graduate credits for the thesis option (all in courses with readings in the original languages).

In addition, within Comparative Studies, there is a Translation Studies option in which a thesis is required. This is a professional degree in the field of translation and may not provide the candidate with the qualifications necessary to teach language in a postsecondary environment.

The MA degree with a concentration in Linguistics requires specialization in English or one of the department's major languages (French or Spanish). A minimum of 24 credits of coursework and 6 of thesis are required. Courses must include Foundations of LLCL (FOL 6731C) and Advanced Research Methods in LLCL (FOL 6885). Nine credits are earned by taking linguistics seminars such as Morphology and Syntax, Second Language Acquisition, and Sociolinguistics.

Prerequisites include an advanced level of the language of specialization. Or, for students specializing in English, intermediate reading proficiency in a foreign language.

Students who are not required to write a thesis but are interested in applying for the thesis option should submit the required application materials to the director of Graduate Studies by the end of the second semester of full-time study, or after completing 15 credits studying part time.

Degree without a Thesis

The department also offers the MA degree in LLCL with concentrations in Comparative Literature, French, the Teaching of French, Linguistics, Spanish, and the Teaching of Spanish without a thesis. Courses must include Foundations of LLCL (FOL 6731C) and Advanced Research Methods in LLCL (FOL 6885). These programs require 36 credits of coursework and the successful completion of a written comprehensive examination during the last semester of graduate study.

MA in LLCL with a concentration in the Teaching of French or the Teaching of Spanish

The MA in LLCL with a concentration in the Teaching of French or the Teaching of Spanish (focus in Latin American or Spanish Literature) is for students who have the intention of becoming teachers at the secondary* or postsecondary lower-division level. Courses must include Foundations of LLCL (FOL 6731C) and Advanced Research Methods in LLCL (FOL 6885). The program requires 36 credits in literature and linguistics.

The program may be modified in accordance with the student's undergraduate preparation and professional teaching experience. Grades below "B" will not be counted as fulfilling the requirements of the degree.

 * Certification is required for secondary teaching in Florida public schools.


MA in LLCL: Comparative Literature

MA in LLCL: French

MA in LLCL: Teaching of French

MA in LLCL: Linguistics

MA in LLCL: Spanish

MA in LLCL: Teaching of Spanish

Ph.D. in Comparative Studies