Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies in Arts and Letters

The college has a unique commitment to interdisciplinary studies that includes graduate degrees and certificates as well as an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.

Comparative Studies Program

The Cultures, Languages and Literatures Track of the Ph.D. in Comparative Studies Program is designed as an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary course of study that enables doctoral students to develop expertise within traditional disciplines and across disciplinary and cultural boundaries. At the heart of our program is the recognition that cultures, languages and literatures are most fruitfully understood through comparative modes of analysis that include an ever-changing landscape of theory and methodologies. Primary areas of strength for this broadly based program include studies of literature and migration, rhetoric and composition, U.S. multiethnic literatures, early modern literatures, gender, sexuality and embodiment, modernity and postmodernity in literature, space and place in literature, and postcolonial literature and culture. The curriculum also draws from such disciplines as anthropology; art history; communication; history; peace studies; philosophy and religion; political science; sociology; and women, gender and sexuality studies. 

Ph.D. in Comparative Studies

Environmental Studies

The graduate certificate in Environmental Studies is a five course program emphasizing Humanities and Social Science approaches to the study of the environment. It provides an academic forum for understanding environmental issues in their social, symbolic, historical and political dimensions.

Graduate Certificate in Environmental Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies in Film and Culture

The Graduate Certificate in Film and Culture offers a flexible and diverse curricular framework for a  multidisciplinary focus on film and culture across departmental and college boundaries. Taking into account the growing importance of the study of visual culture in many disciplinary terrains, the certificate provides graduate students an opportunity to add a field of specialization to their existing academic portfolios, or to prepare to write theses or dissertations that may reflect an engagement with the professional study of film and visual culture.

 Graduate Certificate in Film and Culture


The graduate certificate in Literary Translation, offered jointly by the English Department and the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature, offers students an opportunity to study and practice literary translation in more depth during the course of their studies. Literary translation is an increasingly in-demand vocation in the rapidly globalizing world. This certificate gives students tangible training in the field and acknowledgment of that training. Through directed coursework in the history and practice of translation, as well as through a capstone translation project, students gain knowledge and competency beyond that of their cohort who simply take a class or two in the field. Students typically work from Spanish, French, Italian, German or Hebrew into English or the reverse. However, students are welcome to work in a wide variety of other languages. The is not a certificate in simultaneous interpretation, technical translation or any other type of non-literary translation.

More information by email to Becka McKay at


Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

The M.A. in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies prepares students to think critically about the ways that gender interacts with politics, culture, ideologies, social structures and economics, historically and globally to shape the lives of women and men. Our courses explore gender and sexuality through experiences and standpoints rooted in diversity of intersecting factors, including class, race, ethnicity, nationality, ability, religion and age. Recent graduates of our programs have pursued careers in academia, social work, women's health, family law, public policy, international human rights, legislative politics, family development, archival and library science, and nonprofit management.

 M.A. in Women's Studies