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Language Requirement

Ph.D. students are required to take at least two seminars in a language other than that of their intended specialization. (The Comparative Literature section requires seminars or the equivalent in two foreign languages.) Competence in reading, understanding, and interpreting both literary and critical texts in a second language, and--when appropriate--ability to follow seminar discussions or lectures in a second or third language must be demonstrated by the end of the sixth quarter of study.

For practical reasons, students are strongly encouraged to work in languages taught by UCSD faculty members. Approval of languages not taught by UCSD faculty members is at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies.

Definition of graduate-level competence: Students entering UCSD's Ph.D. program are expected to demonstrate a graduate-level working knowledge of a language other than that of their specialization. For French, German, Spanish and Italian, this is generally construed to mean at least two years of undergraduate study; for Latin and Greek, at least three years; for Chinese, at least four years.

Using undergraduate courses to fulfill the language requirement: With the approval of the director of graduate studies or the appropriate sectional adviser, students may satisfy the language requirement by substituting for a seminar an upper-division undergraduate course, enhanced by additional assignments, and which must be completed with the grade of A. This is normally done ONLY when there is no seminar offered in the chosen language. Whenever possible, the upper-division undergraduate course should be conducted entirely in the second language.

To take upper-division undergraduate language courses to fulfill the graduate language requirement, students must demonstrate through prior course work that they have already attained graduate-level competency in the literature and language in question.


Graduate Coordinator
Kristin Carnohan
115 Literature Building
(858) 534-3217

Application Open:
9/1 - 12/1 (deadline)