Masters Degree in World Cultures and Literatures

Areas of Concentration

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. 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):

  • WCL 6351 Frames of Modernity I*
  • WCL 6352 Frames of Modernity II or WCL 6353 Frames of Modernity III*
  • 3 hrs. in 6000-level history course related to target culture / area of concentration
  • 15 hrs. in 6000-level language, linguistics or literature courses related to area of concentration
  • 6 hrs. electives in courses related to area of concentration in literary theory, philosophy, cultural studies, pedagogy, 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
    • *Note: 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

Chinese:

  • WCL 6351 Frames of Modernity I and WCL 6352 Frames of Modernity II
  • 3 hrs. in 6000-level history course in Chinese or Asian history
  • CHNS 6364 Issues in Chinese Language and Culture
  • CHNS 6373 Studies of Chinese Language Learning and Teaching
  • CHNS 6371 Teaching Chinese as a Second Language
  • CHNS 6397 Selected Topics (may be repeated, as topics vary, with approval of chair)
  • 6 hrs. in cultural studies, Asian American studies, translation studies, or other relevant courses

French:

  • WCL 6351 Frames of Modernity I
  • WCL 6352 Frames of Modernity II or WCL 6353 Frames of Modernity III
  • 3 hrs. in 6000-level history course related to target culture
  • 6 hrs. selected from FREN 6313, 6315, 6316
  • 9 hrs. selected from any of the 6000-level literature courses taught in French
  • 6 hrs. in theory, cultural studies, film / visual studies, translation studies, architectural or art history, philosophy, pedagogy, or other courses relevant to the core, taught in MCL or other departments

German:

  • WCL 6351 Frames of Modernity I
  • WCL 6352 Frames of Modernity II or WCL 6353 Frames of Modernity III
  • 3 hrs. in 6000-level history course related to target culture
  • 15 hrs. selected from 6000-level courses taught in German
  • 6 hrs. in theory, cultural studies, film / visual studies, translation studies, architectural or art history, philosophy, pedagogy, or other courses relevant to the core, taught in MCL or other departments

Italian:

  • WCL 6351 Frames of Modernity I
  • WCL 6352 Frames of Modernity II or WCL 6353 Frames of Modernity III
  • 3 hrs. in 6000-level history course related to target culture
  • 15 hrs. selected from ITAL 6303, 6304, 6305, 6306, 6307, 6308, 6397, 6398
  • 6 hrs. in theory, cultural studies, film / visual studies, translation studies, architectural or art history, philosophy, pedagogy, or other courses relevant to the core, taught in MCL or other departments

European Cultural Studies with French, German or Italian Core:

  • 6 hrs. from WCL 6351, 6352, 6353 (Frames of Modernity I, II, and III)
  • 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:

  • 6 hrs. from WCL 6351, 6352, 6353 (Frames of Modernity I, II, and III)
  • 3 hrs. in Latin American history
  • 15 hrs in Latin American cultural and literary studies courses
  • 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

Comparative Literary and/or Cultural Studies:

  • 6 hrs. from WCL 6351, 6352, 6353 (Frames of Modernity I, II, and III)
  • 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
  • 6 hrs. in WCL 6722, 6396, 6379

    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.