A degree in an area such as comparative literature, mythology or classic studies gives graduates the information needed to teach. However, a master's degree also presents opportunities to work in publishing and teaching at community colleges. Graduates may find employment as community college instructors, tour guides and translators. Although few colleges offer master's degrees specifically in comparative mythology, several schools offer similar programs.
Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, offers a master's degree in mythological studies. This program focuses on connections in mythology through various cultures and time periods to understand religion, literature, ritual, art and the psychology behind these cultural aspects. Courses cover areas such as Greek, Roman, Hindu, Egyptian and African traditions; Jungian theory and archetypes; and methods of research in mythology. Pacifica's program leads into a Ph.D. after the M.A., so students finishing the Ph.D. portion write and present a dissertation.
Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is one of several schools offering a master's degree in comparative literature. Like Pacifica's program, Dartmouth's prepares students for doctoral study, but the comparative literature degree has a broader base and includes more study of languages and teaching training. Courses include examination of mythology but also the larger picture, looking at attitudinal differences in traditional literature as well as media such as film. Dartmouth does include some independent study and general topics in the field, allowing students to tailor their program to focus more on mythology.
Indiana University, Bloomington, delivers a master's degree in classical studies. Such programs tend to focus less on the literature and more heavily on the language components. For instance, students in IU's program take both Greek and Latin, and master's comprehensive exams focus on one of these two languages. Classes cover comparative Greek and Latin literature, poetry, novels, archaeology and philosophy as well as specific authors such as Virgil and Cicero. Some courses focus on mythology, such as the "Comparative Mythology" and "Ovidian Mythology and its Tradition" classes.
If general classical studies or comparative literature programs do not support what you want to study, consider a school that lets you design your own master's degree focus, such as Kent State University in Ohio. The awarded degree is technically a master's in liberal studies, but Kent State students may take various classes from multiple schools toward the degree as long as they take an introduction to liberal studies course, culminating in a long essay. Kent State offers courses in various languages including Arabic, Chinese and Latin. Mythological studies may be included in various courses including Greek and Roman rhetorical study, document and text creation through history and several directed studies options.
University of California, Berkeley
Another option is a master's program in folklore, such as the degree from University of California, Berkeley, one of several universities to offer such studies. Folklore's focus on tradition, history and its connections to society may include comparative mythology connections. Although Berkeley's program falls under the jurisdiction of the anthropology department, coursework includes literature study with classes such as "Forms of Folklore" and "Theories of Traditionality and Modernity." Students choose selections in theories of tradition, religion and narrative to round out the experience along with a foreign language study and a master's thesis.
- California State University, Fullerton: What Can I Do with This Degree? Comparative Literature
- Pacifica Graduate Institute: M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies
- Dartmouth: Comparative Literature Master's Program
- Indiana University, Bloomington: Department of Classical Studies Degree Programs
- Kent State University: The Masters of Liberal Studies at Kent State
- Kent State University: Course Descriptions
- University of California, Berkeley: Masters in Folklore
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