The Comparative Literature doctoral program allows students to pursue advanced study of world literatures and cultures within and beyond national and linguistic borders; develop knowledge of literary theory as well as interdisciplinary methodologies; and achieve proficiency in two languages (in addition to their native language). Through linguistic, scholarly and pedagogical training, the doctoral program in Comparative Literature prepares students to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for careers as teachers and scholars of national language departments as well as comparatists in comparative, world literature, English, Feminist Studies, Ethnic, or Global Studies departments. Beyond academia, our graduates also pursue alternative careers that require expertise in world languages and familiarity with multi-cultural perspectives, such as library studies, international journalism, publishing, business, law, diplomacy, and non-profit organizations.

Mailing Address

Comparative Literature Program
University of California, Santa Barbara
Phelps Hall, Room 4212
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4130


Department Phone Number
(805) 893-2131

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines

Fall Only:

  • December 17, 2023 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, and Resume or CV (submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (submitted online)
  • English Language Exam Scores (if applicable): TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) total score of 80, or TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) total score of 550, or IELTS Overall Band score of 7, or Duolingo English Test total score of 120, or higher
  • Writing sample in English of no more than 25 pages (submitted in the online application)
  • Competence in a foreign language. Foreign language proficiency can be demonstrated by (a) submission of a writing sample in a foreign language, or (b) evidence that the applicant is a native speaker of a language other than English.
  • Supplemental Foreign Language Form: (submitted in the online application)
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Applied Linguistics; Cognitive Science; Environment and Society; European Medieval Studies; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Translation Studies; Writing Studies (All Ph.D. only)


Optional: German Literary Studies; French Literary Studies (Desired optional specialization, if applicable, should be indicated in the Statement of Purpose)