Program in Comparative Literature

Applying to the Ph.D. Program

The deadline for applications for admission for Fall 2020 is December 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm (CST).

All applications require the following:

  1. The Program in Comparative Literature Application Cover Sheet
  2. Writing sample
  3. Personal statement/statement of purpose
  4. Statement of teaching experience
  5. Letters of recommendation
  6. Transcripts
  7. General GRE score


Admissions requirements for the Graduate School:

  1. Bachelor's degree: A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or proff of equivalent training in a foreign institution.
  2. 3.0 GPA: A grade point average of 3.0 in upper-division (junior and senior-level) coursework and in any graduate work already completed.
  3. 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.
  4. Official TOEFL or IELTS score(s): For international applicants whose native language is not English, applicants 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.
  5. Adequate subject preparation for the proposed major: Evidence of adequate preparation varies by program, but examples include lettters of reference, auditions, samples of work, and personal statements.

Visit the Graduate School website for additional information about eligibility for admission consideration and application directions.


How to submit an application:

  1. Complete the ApplyTexas application.
  2. Pay the application fee. After completing your application and paying the application fee, you will receive an email with an EID (electronic ID) and temporary password. This EID and temporary password will allow you to log into the Application Status Check website and upload the required application materials listed above.
  3. Upload required application materials, such as Program in Comparative Literature Application Cover Sheet, writing sample, statement of purpose, etc.


Required Application Materials

Writing Sample

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 stduent, but should include a copy in English so that the entire Admissions Committee may read it.

Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose

A statement of purpose, discussing the applicant's education, specific areas of interest, and professional goals.

Statement of Teaching Experience

In addition to a "Statement of Purpose," applicants must indicate prior teaching experience and abilities, and qualifications for specific teaching positions. This is a separate sheet detailing teaching experience (and, where appropriate, dates of residency abroad).

Letters of Recommendation

The Program in Comparative Literature requires three letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation should address the appplicant's academic achievement and potential for graduate study. Please note: upon submission of the completed ApplyTexas application, the University automatically contacts your recommenders via email with directions for submitting their letters. Recommenders must upload their letters to the applicant's online application.


Photocopies of transcripts can be sent as unofficial copies in case official scores are delayed. If you have sent an official transcript, there is no need for unofficial copies. Please note: official copies of transcripts sent to the Graduate and International Admissions Center (GIAC) are sometimes delayed in processing, so that the dossiers of students who do not provide the Program with photocopies may be considered incomplete.

GRE Scores

Applicants must submit a GRE General Test score not more than five years old.  When arranging for the submission of your scores, be sure to enter the University code: 6882. There is no department code. Your scores take 2-6 weeks to be processed and added to your application.


Please contact the Program in Comparative Literature graduate coordinator, Elizabeth Davis, if you have any questions.