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Semester Schedule

First Semester: Choose an advisor and committee and decide on a program of study.
Second Semester: Design an individualized reading list together with your committee members, work on a thesis proposal.
Third Semester: Take a reading list exam and submit your thesis proposal.
Fourth Semester: Complete and defend your MA thesis.

Note: MA candidates must develop proficiency in a second foreign language or in a discipline other than literature (e.g. art history, musicology, film, history, etc.) demonstrated by course work or examination.

Program Description

The Comparative Studies MA program at BYU offers students a customized, rigorous training in interdisciplinary humanistic cultural studies. With a range of diverse faculty specializations to draw on, students design their own graduate programs in the humanities within a comparative framework, with an optional specialization in Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, Film Studies, or Scandinavian Studies.

The program prioritizes substantial foreign language ability, competence in critical theory and practice, and the development of scholarly discipline. This program offers a terminal MA degree and graduates of this program have gone on to PhD programs at Yale, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, UNC Chapel Hill, among many other prestigious universities.

Benefits of the Program

  • Achieve disciplinary proficiency within an interdisciplinary context
  • Hone advanced research and scholarly writing skills
  • Develop competencies in pedagogy, grant- writing, conference presentation, and academic publication
  • Prepare for a variety of professional careers and/or doctoral study

Program Requirements

  • Required Courses:

    • CMPST 600: “Professional Development Seminar”
    • CMPST 610: “Intro to Contemporary Theory"
    • CMPST 680: "Teaching Pedagogy"
  • 2+ grad-only seminars, e.g. “James Joyce and Modernism”, “Skepticism in Early Modern Europe”, “Metafiction”, “Censorship, Society, and the Self”, “The Witch,” "Film Noir"
  • 5 elective courses (15 hrs) in related fields: humanities, classics, comparative literature, art history, musicology, philosophy, foreign language or literature, history, film, etc.
  • Reading List Exam, administered in August of your second year.
  • Master’s Thesis, written in year 2.

Financial Aid

Aid is available in the form of full or partial tuition grants, teaching assistantships, internships, and (for advanced students) some student instructorships. Upon admission to the respective programs, candidates will be considered for all of these possibilities based upon merit and availability of department resources. Financial aid is limited to two years.