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What will I learn?

The Master of Fine Arts program in comparative literature - translation requires 48 s.h. of graduate credit, including a thesis. Students typically complete the program and graduate in two to three years.

Translators in the program focus on creating works that can convey the timelessness of the classics or the immediacy of new poetry, fiction, and drama. Students consider ideas of literariness, style, cultural politics, authority, and how these come into play in the relationships between authors and their texts, authors and translators, translations and readers, and in the media landscapes in which these all circulate.

Depth in the literature and culture of the source language, creative writing (translation is considered a writing art), translation theory and history, and contemporary literary theory are basic curricular requirements, supplemented with elective courses in which students may develop an area of special interest in consultation with their advisors.

Career Advancement

Graduates of the program have gone on to work in the world of professional publishing as editors and reviewers or as free-lance translators; to become university professors after earning a Ph.D.; and to pursue other careers involving cross-cultural and artistic exchange.

Which department am I in?

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (Minimum of 48 semester hours of graduate credit)

Tuition fees
US$30,549.50 per year
Start date

Expected August 2023


Graduate College

201 Gilmore Hall,

The University of Iowa,



52242, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country; A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00, or the foreign equivalent. English Language Requirements: IELTS score of 7.0, with no subscore less than 6.0; PTE minimum score of 68 with no subscore less than 58; TOEFL scores below 100; a score of 550 or higher on the paper-based (PBT) version of the test, or a score of 81 or higher on the Internet-based version of the test (iBT).

For international students

A U.S. bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions with a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00.

English Language Requirements:

An IELTS (International English Language Testing System) total score of 7.0, with no sub score less than 6.0.

TOEFL score requirements with score of 81 or higher on the Internet-based version of the test (iBT) and newly admitted graduate students who present iBT scores below 100 on the PBT.

TOEFL score requirements with score of 550 on Paper-based test (PBT) and newly admitted graduate students who present TOEFL scores below 600 on the PBT.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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