English and Comparative Literature, MA

Program Category: MA Programs
Chair: Denise Cruz
Associate Director of Graduate Studies: Julie Crawford
Website: english.columbia.edu
Degree Programs: Full-Time/Part-Time: Free-Standing MA

The Department of English and Comparative Literature has played a significant role in the history of literary study in the United States and abroad since its inception. With a large faculty of renowned scholars and dedicated teachers, the department offers a wide range of courses in traditional and emerging fields of literary and cultural study.

Students should not apply to the free-standing program if they wish to advance beyond the MA in the English and Comparative Literature department at Columbia: the free-standing program is terminal.

In the MA year students take eight courses, which must include the Master’s Seminar and the Colloquium in Theory and Method. MA students must also complete the Master’s Essay and demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language. No advanced standing will be granted toward the MA for graduate work completed at other institutions. 

For a more detailed description of the program and current information on courses, faculty and any changes in requirements, see the department website.

Special Admissions Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed below, all students must submit one transcript showing courses and grades at each school attended, a statement of academic purpose, a writing sample (a course paper, term paper, etc.), a personal statement, and three letters of evaluation from academic sources.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

For more information, refer to our Admissions Information and Frequently Asked Questions pages.

*GSAS will accept up to four recommendations, regardless of the number required by your program of interest. However, to be eligible for admission at GSAS, at least TWO letters must be submitted by academic recommenders.