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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Apr 
International :15 Apr 

MA History and Literature

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

1 Year
 Start month

 Tuition fee

54360 USD
54360 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Department of History and Literature
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

Columbia University’s M.A. in History and Literature is an innovative new program that explores the interconnections and intersections between history and literature, both as categories of cultural production and as scholarly disciplines. In the past thirty years the boundaries between history and literature have become usefully blurred, as literary scholars pursued the historical aspects of their texts and historians recognized the literary aspects of their narratives. The M.A. in History and Literature capitalizes on this propitious intellectual moment, enabling its students to address new methodological horizons that combine close reading of texts with expansive attention to historical context.

The program is held at Columbia’s Global Center for Europe, located at Reid Hall in the sixth arrondissement in Paris. Students are taught by eminent scholars in history and literature from Columbia University, and also choose from a wide variety of courses at France’s two top-tier graduate schools in the humanities and the social sciences: the Ecole normale supérieure and the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales.

An important part of the program is the consideration of literature itself as a field of moral, philosophical, sociological, and historical knowledge. Students develop a sophisticated awareness of theoretical and methodological issues. They also acquire the philological tools required for the interpretation of texts in print or manuscript form. This practical training includes hands-on sessions conducted at the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Archives nationales de France. We expect many students to have an interest in French history and literature, but we also welcome students who wish to work on materials in other languages. M.A. courses are taught in English or French. Written work is normally done in English.

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Eligibility Criteria

BA in any field within the humanities or the social sciences. Two years of college French or proficiency at the equivalent level (ability to read primary and secondary sources in French and to take part in class discussions conducted in French). N.B.: Written work is normally done in English.

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Course Modules

The MA in History and Literature is a one-year program, with courses from September to June, and an MA essay normally written during the summer following coursework. A total of 30 credits are necessary to earn the degree: 24 credits for coursework, and 6 credits for the MA essay. The degree is comprised of the following modules:

1. Two core courses taught at Reid Hall (Columbia’s Paris campus):

  • Introduction to History and Literature (3 pts). A historical and conceptual introduction to the relationship between history and literature.
  • Research Seminar (3 pts). Initiation to archival, bibliographical, and philological work, with hands-on sessions in libraries and archives, and designing of a research project.

2. Three specialized seminars taught at Reid Hall (3 pts each).

3. Three electives taught at EHESS and/or ENS (3 pts each).

4. An MA essay of no fewer than 50 pages (6 pts).

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How to Apply

Admission Requirements

  • A CV along with official transcripts showing courses and grades from all post-secondary schools attended.
  • A statement of purpose.
  • A writing sample (can be an excerpt, 10-20pp.)
  • Three letters of recommendation. Those who have not been enrolled in an academic program for some time may submit letters from supervisors or colleagues in positions of responsibility.
  • TOEFL. Required for all international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English. IELTS scores are also acceptable to fill this requirement.
  • GRE general exam.

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