Diploma in World Literature


Doctoral candidates may pursue the Diploma in World Literature as they are pursuing their degree requirements. Doing so, however, requires advanced planning regarding course selection and workload in order to balance the requirements of both accreditations.

The Graduate Diploma in World Literature is awarded to registered graduate students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • A three-credit course entitled “Comparative and World Literature Seminar: History and Practice.” This required course will be in addition to the requirements of an MA or PhD degree in English.
  • One course in cultural theory (three or six credits) from annual course offerings and approved by the Diploma coordinator. This course will count for both the PhD and the Diploma.
  • Three course-related research papers with a world literature perspective and content or a PhD dissertation with a World Literature approach. Students taking courses in theory and criticism, or in any literary period or genre, can thus choose to write research papers that fulfill the course requirements while taking a world literature perspective, and have their essays count for both the course and the diploma. Doctoral students thus have the option of fulfilling the diploma requirements by shaping their doctoral degree course papers or by writing a dissertation from a World Literature perspective.
  • A capstone Diploma Research Paper, elaborated with the advice of a Professor with specialization in the topic to be explored. This paper will further develop expertise in World Literature and require that students demonstrate the interdisciplinary, cross-cultural research and critical skills acquired throughout their World Literature Diploma studies. This is also an additional requirement.

It is recommended, but not required, that students complete a study period, research stay, or an internship in a country pertinent to their projects in World Literature. York International provides ideas and help in this endeavor. Do not be put off by the site's wording, geared mostly to undergraduates.




Doctoral students should be aware of the GPE’s exchanges:
Johannes Gutenberg Universität, Mainz Germany: www.uni-mainz.de/eng/
University of Barcelona, Spain: www.ub.edu/web/ub/en/

Students pursuing the Diploma in World Literature are encouraged to apply to attend the Institute for World Literature (summer): iwl.fas.harvard.edu/