Jul 19, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

World Cultures and Literatures, MA

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences  > Department of Modern and Classical Languages  > World Cultures and Literatures, MA

The MA in World Cultures and Literatures is an innovative, interdisciplinary graduate program with strong cultural studies focus and in-depth study in one of the target languages and/or cultures. With an emphasis on languages, literatures, and cultures, the WCL MA program involves a wide range of possible directions as it seeks to meet individual student’s academic and career interests and needs. The program addresses issues such as modernity, postmodernity, globalization, colonialism and post-colonialism, transnational and transcultural concerns, urban and diasporic studies, and the formation of cultural identities. It incorporates literary, film, visual, media, and gender studies. Students in language core areas acquire high proficiency in the target language, translation skills, and, in some areas of concentration, training in applied linguistics and second language teaching.

Areas of Concentration

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • European Cultural Studies with French, German or Italian Core
  • Latin American and Latino Cultural Studies
  • Comparative Literary and/or Cultural Studies
  • Global Cinema Studies

Our faculty , dedicated scholars and teachers drawn from the Chinese, Classical Studies, French, German, Italian, and World Cultures and Literatures programs of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages as well as from other disciplines and departments, provide students with diverse perspectives and approaches relevant to the study of cultures and languages in multiple contexts. Instruction is student-centered, engaging, and encourages faculty-mentored individual and collaborative research. We are committed to excellence in scholarship, student success, and cultural diversity.

The MA in World Cultures and Literatures prepares and qualifies students for a wide range of career areas or for doctoral studies in given languages. In a rapidly changing job market, there is a growing demand for people with an understanding of historical and global contexts who can think across cultures and disciplines, imaginatively frame questions and consider multiple perspectives, combine various approaches and find innovative solutions. The WCL MA contributes to the University of Houston’s mission of preparing students for an increasingly diverse and interdependent world and accommodates the educational needs of:

  1. BA recipients who want to go on to a more advanced language training in a terminal MA program;
  2. BA recipients who wish to complete an MA as a bridge program to prepare them for doctoral study at other universities;
  3. Working professionals, including foreign language teachers, who wish to continue their education in foreign languages and cultures.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA in last 60 hrs
  • Competitive GRE scores
  • Major in target language, or
  • Minor in target language and approval of director (admitted provisionally), or
  • High level in target language and some background in target culture and/or literature, with approval of director (admitted conditionally; conditional admission is not available to students on an F-1 visa)

Students should submit the following materials:

  • The on-line application
  • Application fee ($50 domestic applicants/$125 international applicants)
  • Official transcripts from every institution of higher education attended
  • The GRE general test score (The ETS code for the University of Houston is 6870)
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Completed departmental application form with student’s statement of intent (500 words) and a brief statement in the target/core language (200 words) explaining why you wish to study at the graduate level
  • International applications have additional documentation requirements, including TOEFL scores if appropriate. For further information, please visit the International Graduate Students page.

Degree Requirements

Credit hours required for this degree: 30.0

A minimum of 30 hours is required for the WCL M.A., all at the 6000-level or above. Students may elect to write a thesis, complete a translation project in literary/cultural studies, or develop an editing project; if they do so, a maximum of 6 hours of thesis credit may be added on to their requirement. In alternative, students may elect the non-thesis option:  they will submit to the director of graduate studies, by the middle of their final term, a copy (in English translation if the paper was originally written in another language) of a seminar paper they judge to be their best. The paper should be revised and expanded in light of further consultation with the professor in the seminar and the director of graduate studies.  Students will receive no credit for the non-thesis option. Before entering the M.A. Program, students should decide on a concentration they wish to pursue. Careful advising of individual students will ensure that students build a curriculum that supports their academic and career goals. However, the program is so designed that students may change directions with little or no need for extra courses. The course choices currently include 6000 level courses in MCL and other departments. Courses at the 8000 level require the permission of the instructor.

A minimum 3.0 grade point average for all courses in the M.A. Program is required.

Required Coursework

Total of 30 hours without thesis:

  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • or

  • Credit Hours: 3.0
  • 3.0 hrs. in 6000-level history course related to target culture/area of concentration
  • 15.0 hrs. in 6000-level language, linguistics or literature courses related to area of concentration
  • 6.0 hrs. electives in courses related to the area of concentration in literary theory, philosophy, cultural studies, pedagogy, global cinema studies, etc. offered by MCL or another program and approved by director, including practice teaching, internship, study abroad and publications skills preparation as WCL’s special elective

Language Requirements

English; proficiency in core concentration/target language, demonstrated by either

  1. completion of B.A. or equivalent;
  2. completion of four terms of undergraduate coursework in that language followed by approval of the MCL program director of core concentration/target language;
  3. native or acquired fluency, followed by approval of the MCL program director of core concentration/target language.

Reading knowledge of a language other than English and the core concentration/target language desirable. Reading knowledge in the third language can be satisfied while enrolled in the graduate program through completion of two terms of graduate reading courses in the language with a grade of B- (2.67) or higher.

Areas of Concentration & Specific Requirements





European Cultural Studies with French, German or Italian Core:

Latin American and Latino Cultural Studies:

Global Cinema Studies:

Comparative Literary and/or Cultural Studies:

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