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Graduate Certificate Programs

Graduate Certificates provide additional certified training after only 15 hours of study. Graduate Certificate admission and completion forms can be found on the Graduate Certificates website. The requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Comparative Literary Studies are outlined below. Use the navigation menu to the right to find information on the department's other Graduate Certificate programs.

Graduate Certificate in Comparative and/or Interdisciplinary Literary Studies


This certificate offers a comprehensive graduate program of comparative study and research. Linked to the Department of English, the students take core courses in research, bibliography, approaches to critical theory, and develop a comparative study, part of which is often grounded in literature or rhetoric. The certificate culminates with an individualized comparative course (Directed Study) that allows students to engage in the practice of comparative research and results in a research paper, possibly publishable, on an aspect of the focus area(s) of inquiry.

Through a thematic or conceptual cluster of five graduate-level courses in two disciplines, students can explore how different national literatures are interconnected, and/or how different literatures relate contextually and culturally to other disciplines, such as art, music, history, psychology, philosophy, politics, among others.

This certificate, owing to the personalized design of each student's program, appeals to students of diverse backgrounds and interests and their desire to connect literary and aesthetic study to history, foreign languages, philosophy, religion, politics, and cultural studies.

By completing this certificate, students will have an excellent formation in comparative or interdisciplinary studies. Graduates may decide to further their studies in comparative studies, literature, or their other disciplines(s) of focus. This certificate enhances teaching and research credentials, as well as possibilities for employment in the arts, publishing, broadcasting, journalism, and government. For complete information, visit the Graduate Certificates website.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in English, Humanities (with a minor in Literature), or a related discipline (e.g., Spanish, French, German, Classical languages, History, Philosophy, Art History, Communications, etc).

In addition, it is suggested that the applicant have:

  1. An overall GPA of 3.3 and 3.5 in major coursework;
  2. A GRE score of 600 or higher in the verbal exam.

Application process: Please visit the Graduate Certificates admissions page to download an application form.

In your application, include:

  1. Application form (for non-USF students) OR departmental approval form (for currently enrolled degree-seeking graduate students at USF);
  2. Official transcripts;
  3. Three letters of recommendation (sent by referees directly to Graduate Certificates; USF students in a graduate degree-seeking program may use the letters on file for their application to their degree);
  4. An academic resume: i.e., a one-page description of your interests and achievements as these relate to your proposed plan of study;
  5. A statement of interest (250-500 words) outlining your research objectives for the comparative study. Clearly identify the two disciplines you plan to combine in this study. You should have done some substantial undergraduate studies in these disciplines (not necessarily a double major, but sufficient to be prepared to take graduate courses in both disciplines). Applicants are encouraged to consult with the coordinator with any questions regarding this statement.

Application Procedure

See the instructions for (a) students currently not enrolled in a graduate program at USF and (b) current USF graduate students at the Graduate Certificates website.

All applications are first mailed to the following address:
University of South Florida
Office of Graduate Certificates, SVC 1072
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, FL 33620

Program Description and Requirements

Total program hours: 15 credit hours. Students will develop an individualized curriculum plan in conjunction with the Graduate Certificate Program Coordinator and the Graduate Director. Normally, course selection involves courses from two graduate-level disciplines, often English (although other disciplines welcome) and another discipline. Course substitutions may be made if comparable courses in theory or other areas exist in a student's home department.

  • One graduate-level Literature, Rhetoric, or course in student's other declared discipline and usually related to student's declared area of comparative study; for English MA and PhD students, ENG 6009-Introduction to Graduate Studies may be counted.
  • One theory-based course: ENG 6018 - Studies in Criticism and Theory I OR ENG 6019 - Studies in Criticism and Theory II OR a theory-rich course in English Literature (or comparable theory course in student's other discipline).
  • One graduate-level literature course in English, American or World Literature OR graduate-level course in student's other discipline; this course is related to the declared area of study.

Two elective courses are required to complete the 15 credit hours:

  • One graduate-level course in a discipline other than English, usually in the Humanities, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, History, Religion, Theatre, Communications, etc. The course should contribute to the student's proposed area of comparative research.
  • Directed Study - An individual reading and research course resulting in a graduate-level research paper of 15-25 pages with a comparative and/or interdisciplinary focus (related optimally to the courses in theory, literature, and elective discipline).
    • This directed study course should be supervised by a professor of graduate studies in the Dept. of English or in the department of the second discipline, all with prior approval of the coordinator.
    • The directed study course can be taken in conjunction with the literature and elective courses, or after them. The directed studies course may not be taken prior to completion of the theory course.

Department Contact

To learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Comparative and Interdisciplinary Literary Studies, visit the certificate page of the Graduate Certificates website and contact:

Dr. Susan Mooney
Program Coordinator
Phone: (813) 974-9504