Jul 23, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

World Cultures and Literatures, M.A.

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

The M. A. 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 M.A. 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 postcolonialism, 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.

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 M.A. 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 M.A. 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. B.A. recipients who want to go on to a more advanced language training in a terminal M.A. program;
  2. B.A. recipients who wish to complete an M.A. 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.

Degree Requirements

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 semester, 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.

At least 18 of the hours must be in residence either at UH or at UH/MCL affiliated Study Abroad programs.

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):


* Students with credit for WCL 4351, WCL 4352 or WCL 4353 may not take the corresponding graduate level Frames course

Language Requirements

English, proficiency in core concentration / target language, and reading knowledge of a language other than English and the core concentration/target language. If not demonstrated by either

  1. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate School Foreign Language Tests (GSFLT), or
  2. Completion of four semesters of undergraduate coursework in that language reading knowledge in the third language can be satisfied while enrolled in the graduate program through completion of two semesters 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:

  • 3 hrs. in European history
  • 15 hrs. in French, German, or Italian cultural and literary studies including at least 6 hrs. in one target language (primary area of concentration)
  • 6 hrs. in theory , cultural studies, film / visual studies, translation studies, architectural or art history, philosophy, pedagogy , publishing skills, or other courses outside of but related to the student’s core emphasis

Latin American and Latino Cultural Studies:

  • 3 hours in Latin American history
  • 15 hours in Latin American and Latino cultural and literary studies courses
  • 6 hours in theory, cultural studies, film/visual studies, translation studies, architectural or art history, philosophy, pedagogy, publishing skills, or other courses outside of but related to the student’s core emphasis.

Comparative Literary and/or Cultural Studies:

  • 3 hrs. in history related to student’s primary area of concentration
  • 9 hrs. of literature/culture courses in language related to student’s primary area of concentration
  • 6 hrs. of literature/culture courses in secondary area of concentration

Possible Core Areas:

a specific national or regional literature, gender and cultural/literary studies, race and cultural/literary studies, visual arts and literary studies, performance (music, film, theater studies), post-colonial studies, or other concentration approved by program director.