Program in Comparative Literature

Applying and Admission

The Graduate Admissions Committee of the Program accepts approximately 10 to 15% of the students who apply. The Program admits students in the fall semester only.

December 15th is the date by which all applications are due. It is also the early deadline for those wishing to be considered for University Fellowships.

Almost all of those who attend the program receive financial aid -- a few in the form of fellowships, most in the form of teaching assistantships or assistant instructorships awarded by the language and literature departments at the University.

Applicants should read all the information on this web site and at the Graduate School web site, and should follow instructions carefully. Failure to do so will result in delays or incomplete files which will not be reviewed.

For information concerning the GRE, inquire at any college or university, or write to the Educational Testing Service, Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6000. Students outside the U.S. may inquire at an American consulate. Those students whose first language is not English will also need to submit results of the TOEFL Test.

The GRE code for the University of Texas at Austin is 6882. We do not require a departmental code.

Admissions Requirements: Graduate School

Prospective candidates must first meet the minimum requirements established by the Graduate School for admission.

For U.S. citizens, these are:

  • Bachelor's degree - A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent training in a foreign institution.
  • 3.0 GPA - A grade point average of at least 3.0 in upper-division (junior- and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed.
  • Adequate subject preparation for the proposed major - Evidence of adequate preparation varies by program, but examples include letters of reference, auditions, samples of work, and personal statements.

  Applicants will normally be notified of the Program's decision by early April. All application materials can now be uploaded to the online application site. 

  • The Program in Comparative Literature Application Cover Sheet. (Upload to "Department Application" in your MyStatus login.)
  • A writing sample in the form of a critical essay of 10-15 pages demonstrating the ability to perform literary analysis. The essay should reveal the applicant's skill at explicating a text in a manner that shows a sophisticated appreciation of its formal attributes, figurative language, and historical context. The essay should also demonstrate methodological rigor and critical self-awareness. Applicants are free to submit a writing sample written in the language they intend to study, but should include a copy in English so that the entire Admissions Committee may read it.
  • A statement of purpose, discussing the applicant's education, specific areas of interest, and professional goals. (Submitted Online)
  • Photocopies of all transcripts and GRE (and TOEFL) scores can be sent as unofficial copies in case official scores are delayed. If you have sent the official ones there is no need for unofficial copies. Please note that official copies of these items, sent to GIAC, are sometimes delayed in processing, so that the dossiers of students who do not provide the Program with photocopies may be considered incomplete and may not be reviewed.
  • An affirmative answer to Question 8 on the ApplyTexas application.

    Application Procedure

    Note: Applicants must follow both steps 1 and 2.  Incomplete materials will delay the application process and will result in incomplete files which will NOT be reviewed.

    1. Applicants must complete the following steps to apply to the Graduate School:

  • Complete the online ApplyTexas application.
  • Pay the application fee (this can be done online or by check; your application will not be processed until the fee is paid).
  • Submit one official copy of the academic transcript from every senior college you have attended.
  • Submit official GRE scores (and TOEFL scores for international applicants).
  • Submit three letters of recommendation online via the Texas Common Application (you will be prompted to enter the email addresses for your recommenders, who will then be sent a email with instructions from GIAC explaining how to submit their letters online). (These can be uploaded online)
  • Submit the Certificate of Financial Responsibility  (for international students)
    • A recommendation for acceptance by the Graduate Studies Committee for the proposed major area.
    • Bachelor's Degree - A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proof of equivalent training in a foreign institution.
    • 3.0 GPA - A grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or comparable grade point average in upper-division work (junior- and senior-level courses) and in any graduate work already completed.
    • Official GRE or GMAT Score - An official score on the Graduate Record Examinations General Test (GRE). Only official reports from the testing agency are acceptable.
    • Official TOEFL score or the Academic Examination of the IELTS score

Adequate subject preparation for the proposed graduate major
A recommendation for admission by the Graduate Studies Committee in the proposed majo

The GRE code for the University of Texas at Austin is 6882.

2. Applicants must also complete the following steps to apply to the Program in Comparative Literature:

For international applicants, these are:

International students whose native language is not English must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer-based test), or 79 (internet-based test) on the TOEFL OR an overall band of 6.5 on the IELTS is considered the minimum acceptable for admission to the University of Texas at Austin.

If you hold bachelor's degrees from a U.S. institution or from an institution in another English-only speaking country, you will receive a waiver of the TOEFL or IELTS.

Information concerning TOEFL schedules and test centers may be obtained from U.S. consulates or binational cultural centers in many countries or from the TOEFL Web site.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is administered in more than 120 countries and is available off-site in additional countries. Information about IELTS test dates, locations, and procedures is published online.

In addition, all applicants, U.S. and international, must meet these requirements:

Applicants who fail to meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School will not be admitted except in the most unusual cases. However, it should be noted that admission to the Program in Comparative Literature is a highly competitive process, and meeting the minimum requirements specified above in no way assures acceptance into the Program. Students admitted to the Program generally have a highly competitive score on the verbal portion of the GRE and a grade point average in all upper-division and graduate courses considerably higher than 3.0.

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