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 Master of Arts in Comparative Literature

(Non-thesis Option)



Academic Year

1442 AH / 2021 G



  • Introduction:

The College of Arts was inaugurated in 1957; it is the oldest college at King Saud University. The primary role of the college is to promote the study of the humanities and Social Sciences to cultivate the intellectual and spiritual qualities of the human being. In addition, the College of Arts has special goals stemming from its unique Saudi character. First, it plays an important role in the revival of Islamic culture, the preservation of Islamic history and traditions, and the enhancement of Arabic language within the context of a modern and developing society. Moreover, the college offers scientific studies that systematically research various aspects of Saudi society. It also aims at supplying the country with well-qualified graduates who will assume various managerial, social and planning responsibilities. In 1961, the college extended its admission policy to include female students as society realized the vital part females play in keeping pace with the development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Department of Arabic Language and Literature is one of the first departments established at the University in 1957.  The Department of Arabic Language has developed over the years and broadened the scope of its offerings to include the teaching of Arabic Syntax, Morphology, Rhetoric, Criticism, and Literature.  For some period of time, the Department of Arabic Language also affords courses in other Islamic Semitic languages such as Turkish, Persian, and Hebrew; now, these languages have established departments in the College of Language and Translation. Today, the Department of Arabic Language is the largest in terms of the number of faculty members, lecturers, teaching assistants and students.  It provides BA, MA, and PhD programs in four major fields of study related to Arabic. In an effort to enrich the quality of study for its students, the Department has also established a folkloric museum concerned with collecting antique samples representing various sides of Saudi life and the change it is going through. 

The Department of English Language & Literature takes pride in its prestigious position at the very heart of King Saud University. It has been a vital component of the College of Arts ever since the College initiated the first-university-level studies in Saudi Arabia in 1957. Right from its inception, the department has availed itself of a highly qualified and competent teaching and research faculty along with effective curricula subjected to continual refinement and modernization. Affiliated to it is the English Department in the Female Branch/ Center of the University which, employing an equally capable faculty, has been running programs identical with those of the parent department at the College of Arts.

The Department of English Language & Literature serves the specific purpose of providing progressively sequenced instruction in both English language and literature to students enrolled with it. Its programs are geared to provide virtual vocational and professional training to students expected to serve later as translators and linguists. It further undertakes to prepare exceptionally bright students for higher studies, locally as well as abroad, towards earning MA and PhD degrees in the fields of English language and literature. The department offers multiple courses in composition, grammar, linguistics, translation, language, and English/American literature.

Finally, statistics provided by the Unit of Gradation shows that there are 601 MA students who graduated from The Department of Arabic Language and Literature, while there are 221 MA students who graduated from The Department of English Language & Literature.

  • Degree's Name:
  1. Master of Arts in Comparative Literature
    • Program's Language:
  2. English and Arabic.
    • Significance and Justifications of Program Creation
  1. The significance of the creating this program is based on a conducted scientific surveys which conclude that there is a need for graduates from this program and there are job opportunities awaiting them.
  2. Align the program’s goal with the national 2030 vision in terms of:
    1. Fostering a national identity that takes “immense pride in the historical and cultural legacy of our Saudi, Arab, and Islamic heritage.
    2. Continue the region’s legacy of cross-cultural interaction as a result of its location of “crossroads of global trade.”
    3. Emphasize the country’s “heritage that has given our society the cultural richness and diversity it is known for today.”
    4. Preserve “this sophisticated heritage in order to promote national unity” to “guide the lives of future generations” and at the same time create an awareness of our global cultural context.
    5. Continue to “work on the restoration of national, Arab, Islamic and ancient cultural sites and strive to have them registered internationally to make them accessible to everyone” through highlighting Saudi Arabia cultural literacy through its literary contributions.
    6. Have our creativity recognized in order to “create a living witness to our ancient heritage, showcasing our prominent place in history and on the map of civilizations.” 
  3. To be competitive on the global academic scene by providing a program that centralizes Arabic as a literary medium, which will be the first of its kind as the benchmarking illustrates.
  4. To use the English language as a medium to communicate the Arab and Saudi cultural experience
  5.  To create an interdisciplinary field serving various students in the humanities.
  6. To serve as a platform for global cultural exchange.



  • Program's Vision

To be a world class program of Comparative Literature and a forerunner in cultural exchange. 

  • Program's Mission

To provide distinguished program in comparative literature, produce outstanding research in the field of comparative literature, serve international cultures and contribute in global cultural exchange.

  • Program's Objectives
  1. To emphasize the importance of comparative approach to the study of literature,         literary theory and criticism.  
  2. To provide students with theoretical and practical training in comparative        research methodologies.
  3. To polish students’ creative and critical thinking and research skills in the field of          comparative literature.
  4. To contribute to the development of the field of Arabic Comparative Literature.
  5. To prepare students to be distinguished scholars and to be active in national         and global institutions.
  6. To provide an academic platform for Islamic, Arabic and Saudi literary research        in English.
  7. To equip students with proper tools allowing them to produce distinguished papers, participate in local and global academic conferences, and write original research papers.
  8. Program's Outcomes
  1. Knowledge and Comprehension:
    1. To demonstrate a critical understanding of the general historical and cultural background of global literatures.
    2. To discuss the contexts of global literatures and their dialogue with global literary criticism, their reception and adaptation
    3. To recognize literary and critical terminology and research tools in the field.
    4. To classify information 
    5. To convert information into effective communication
    6. To give examples from a variety of cultural standpoints.
    7. To Identify multi perspectives.
    8. To discover points of similarities between and across cultures
  2. Mental Skills:
    1. The ability to use theories of comparative literature to analyze and culturally comprehend literary texts.
    2. The ability to critically relate the relationship between literature and culture.
    3. The ability to distinguish erroneous arguments.
    4. The ability to defend and argue.
    5. The ability to describe accurately.
    6. The ability to explain points of view.
    7. The ability to express coherently.
    8. The ability to infer similarities and differences.
    9. The ability to produce reports that demonstrate creative thinking.
  3.  Professional and Practical Skills:
    1. To write critical and analytical essays in English and Arabic.
    2. To produce literary and critical research.
    3. To interpret comparative literary studies.
  4. General Skills:
    1. The ability to argue and debate in English and Arabic.
    2. To culturally connect with the English-speaking world.
    3. To build bridges between the Arabic and Islamic culture on the one hand and the other cultures on the other.
    4. To inform decision makers regarding dialogue between these cultures
      • Program Beneficiaries:
    5. Students with interest in literature, criticism and critical theories of the world.
    6. Students with interest in comparative cultural studies.
    7. University lecturers pursuing their graduate degree in comparative literature
    8. Foreign students that would earn the College an International Orientation for its programs.
    9. Students who earned their B.A. in languages, Arabic or English literature, comparative literature, translation, media, history, anthropology, fine arts, linguistics, political science, culture studies, theology, psychology, sociology, film studies and theater.
      • Employment Opportunities Available:
    10. Working with government agencies concerned with international relationships, cultural exchange and tourism.
    11. Education: university lecturers in comparative literature. 
    12. Working as cultural attaché.
    13. Working at the media: visual, auditory, or journalistic both traditional and virtual.
    14. Engaging research and authoring books in cross-cultural relationships that could contribute to local and international libraries.
      • Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements mentioned in the unified regulations for graduate studies in Saudi universities and the organizational and executive rules and procedures for postgraduate studies at King Saud University, the program's council requires the following to enroll in the program:

  1. The applicant must hold a full-time bachelor’s degree in Arabic or English literature, comparative literature, translation, media, history, anthropology, fine arts, linguistics, political science, culture studies, theology, psychology, sociology, film studies or theater with a Very Good GPA of no less than 3.75 out of 5, or equivalent.
  2. Obtaining a minimum score of (6) in the IELTS or its equivalent. The program does not accept STEP.
  3. Submitting a statement of purpose.
  4. Passing the program written exams.
  5. Types of program partnership



A joint program among departments of one college




A joint program between two departments or more of one college or more




A joint program among departments, units, or research centers


  • Program's Partners:

Partnership %





Department of Arabic Language and Literature


Department of English Language and Literature



  • Requirements for obtaining the Degree:
  1. Non-thesis option
  • Passing (36) study units of Master’s courses including the research project



  • Program General Structure:
  1. Non-thesis Option
  • Number of units required is (36) including the Research project as follows:

No. of Units Required

No. of Courses

Type of Courses

(18) Study units


Core courses

(15) Study units


Elective courses

(3) Study units


Research project

(36) Study units






Last updated on : January 12, 2023 1:47am