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Comparative Literature, Ph.D.

College of Arts and Sciences

Prepare for a career in multilingual, cross-cultural literary scholarship in a program that fosters global understanding and produces research that pushes the boundaries of humanistic knowledge.

Consider topics from a cross-cultural perspective in our renowned and rigorous degree program that you can tailor to your interests. Become a highly proficient comparatist able to teach in your languages of expertise. Work with professors across multiple disciplines, and enjoy access to the languages lab and rare books collection.

Program Highlights

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    Ranked Program

    Study in one of the Top 10 comparative literature programs in the nation for faculty productivity (Chronicle of Higher Education).

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    Work Abroad

    Travel overseas and teach for a year at a university in another country.

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    Annual Conference

    Help organize our annual conference, which brings internationally renowned scholars, and even present your own work.

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    Supportive Program

    Form close mentoring relationships with members of our diverse faculty and within our welcoming community.

What You’ll Study

You will complete graduate-level work in your language of expertise and demonstrate reading knowledge in two specialty languages. Candidates also select an additional language (with approval) for the study of at least three national literatures. The program culminates in a doctoral dissertation and a series of written and oral exams.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Foreign Language Skills

    Communicating effectively to understand different cultures and foster global connections

    Critical Thinking

    Analyzing and evaluating information to make informed decisions or judgments

    Cultural Awareness

    Learning about and respecting diverse cultures and beliefs

  • Research

    Gathering and analyzing information to increase knowledge or solve problems


    Foster learning by conveying knowledge, skills and concepts to students


    Creating professional written content for inclusion in scholarly journal articles, books and reports

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Faculty
  • Translator
  • Foreign Language Educator

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Academic Adviser
  • Department Director

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $115,744

Workplace Settings

  • Education
  • Publishing
  • Nonprofits
  • Business

Employers of Alumni

  • Anderson University
  • Butler University
  • Charleston Southern University
  • The University of New Mexico