MLA Course Requirements

As an MLA student, you will design an individualized curriculum of nine graduate-level courses that center on a particular theme that interests you. The series of MLA courses must include at least one, and up to three MLA Proseminars, plus graduate-level courses from any department within the School of Arts & Sciences which may be taken during the day. (Note: No more than four courses may be taken in a single discipline and some courses may require departmental or faculty permission.) View the course guide for listings of the MLA courses offered in the evening through LPS.

You may also take classes to satisfy the MLA course requirements at other schools within the University, such as the Annenberg School for Communication, the Graduate School of Fine Arts and the Graduate School of Education; however, you may take no more than two courses outside of the School of Arts and Sciences. It may be necessary for some MLA degree candidates to take prerequisites for which graduate credit may not be given. You will be advised and supported throughout your MLA degree studies by the MLA Program Director and program staff. The PENN A-Z index provides current information about courses and faculty.

Proseminars for MLA Degree Candidates

An MLA Proseminar is a graduate-level seminar taught by a member of Penn's standing faculty. The Proseminars are MLA courses designed to introduce MLA students both to interdisciplinary research and to academic work at the graduate level. We offer multiple MLA Proseminars every semester, and the topics change every semester. You must take a Proseminar as one of your first three MLA classes, and you may take up to a total of three Proseminars throughout the course of your program.

Certificates in Addition to MLA Degrees

The MLA degree will be awarded after successful completion of nine graduate course units including the submission of a faculty-guided Capstone Project. Students have the opportunity to earn certificates in their fields of concentration in addition to their MLA degrees. Although we encourage students to develop their own individualized programs of study, there are several established concentrations leading to certificates, around which many MLA students have developed their coursework. These include:

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