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MA Program

Graduate Degree Requirements

UB offers a limited number of fee waivers for domestic master’s applicants for fall 2018. Find the information here. The recommended deadline for MA applications is February 1, however we will continue to accept applications based on space availability.

The M.A. (30 credits)
9 Intensive (A) seminars
3 credits Masters Project Guidance (COL 598)
Master’s Project (approximately 50 – 100 pages)
Minimum of 30 credit hours

The above information is provided as a guide. Requirements may vary. Please see the Department Director of Graduate Studies, or your advisor for information tailored to your situation.

Contact Information

Kalliopi Nikolopoulou, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

For application and other administrative questions please contact: Mary Ann Carrick 

University Registration Guidelines Website:



Academic Requirements for the M.A. Program


Applicants must show good reading knowledge of at least one foreign language upon admission, as demonstrated by advanced literary study at the undergraduate level or by language examinations furnished by the department.


MA students must complete a minimum of nine intensive seminars and at least three credit hours of Masters Project Guidance  (COL 598).  Students are encouraged to enroll in at least two courses devoted to national literatures other than English with the reading conducted in the national language.


After completion of the required coursework, normally at the end of two years, students will have a choice of either completing an M.A. thesis or taking an oral comprehensive examination. The project will involve original research, employ scholarly apparatus, and be between 50 and 100 pages in length. The project must be read and approved by the director and one other faculty member. The M.A. comprehensive exam has a similar format to the Ph.D. qualifying examination, but the reading list is significantly shorter and the theoretical framework appropriately limited. For this oral examination, students may choose three predesignated areas of study — major author, genre, period, literary theory, or literary theme. The lists of works to be covered for each area must contain a minimum of fifteen books (compared to a minimum of twenty for the Ph.D. oral exam). The areas of study and the three-person committee are chosen with the approval of the director of graduate studies, and the reading lists require the approval of both the individual committee members and the director of graduate studies. Students will be able to substitute the existing preliminary examination for the Ph.D. for either the M.A. project or the M.A. comprehensive oral exam, but not vice versa. Neither the M.A. project nor the M.A. comprehensive exam can be substituted for the Ph.D. preliminary examination.