Comparative Literary Studies


This certificate offers a comprehensive graduate program of comparative study and research. Linked to the Department of English but not limited to it, 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 discipline(s) of focus. This certificate enhances teaching and research credentials, as well as possibilities for employment in the arts, publishing, broadcasting, journalism, and government.

Course Location/Delivery

This graduate certificate is offered at the Tampa campus.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold an earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in English or Humanities.
Overall GPA of 3.3 and 3.5 in major coursework

Application Process

To learn about the application process, and to access the application, please review our application process.

In addition to your completed application form, transcripts, resume and letter of interest, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Three letters of recommendation


Generally, students will have already had some undergraduate study of the discipline(s) they wish to include in their graduate certificate selection of courses. For example, those who wish to study Spanish literature will have knowledge of Spanish.


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 will involve two or three courses in the English Department, but in special cases, particularly for graduate students in another program, course substitutions may be made if comparable courses in theory or other areas exist.

  • Any graduate-level English Lit., Rhetoric, or course in student's other declared discipline; for English MA and PhD students, ENG 6009-Introduction to Graduate Studies may be counted.
  • 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.
  • One graduate-level literature course in English, American or World Literature OR graduate-level course in student's other discipline.


Select two elective courses:

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 research and theory courses.

Time Limit for Completion of Certificate

Per University Policy, all Certificates have a five year time limit.

Credit toward Graduate Degree

Up to 12 hours of certificate course credits may be applied to a graduate degree with departmental approval. For information on the graduate programs in English see Masters of English Info Sheet

Standardized Tests

GRE scores from no more than five years are required with a suggested minimum verbal score of 600. International students must submit a TOEFL score when English is not the native language. A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test or 79 on the web-based test is required.


Susan Mooney
(813) 974-2421
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Lee Davidson
(813) 974-9461
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Graduate Certificates
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Department Website