University of Rochester

Master of Arts in Literary Translation

students studying

Admission Requirements:

  1. Bachelors degree or higher in related field
  2. An online application
  3. Official transcripts
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Personal statement, describing career and educational goals, prior experience with literary studies, translation, and languages other than English
  6. Translation sample (approximately 20 pages of fiction or drama, 200 lines of poetry) and copies of corresponding pages from source text

Deadline for applications: February 15

Application Instructions:

Follow the instructions accompanying the online application. (There is a $60 application fee.)

Please upload your translation sample to the documents portion of the online application.

student in library

Library Resources:

Headquartered in the landmark Rush Rhees Library, the River Campus Libraries hold about 3.6 million volumes and 19,000 journal subscriptions. The libraries furthermore provide access to an extensive collection of electronic resources, including over 175 University of Rochester databases and 125 subscribed databases, and 6 dedicated CR-ROM workstations. The libraries include several unit and departmental libraries throughout River Campus.

View UR’s Library Resources

Distinguished literary translators must be lifelong students of literature and they must have superior writing skills in English. They must also understand the business of translation. The Master’s degree in Literary Translation Studies (MALTS) combines academic rigor, strong practical training, and intensive professional development through internships with the Open Letter press and other literary presses.

The minimum degree requirement for admission to the program is a bachelor’s degree, and it is expected that applicants will have significant preparation in one or more literary traditions.

Program Requirements

The MALTS Program is comprised of three components: a core, electives, and an annotated thesis translation. (A graduate certificate in literary translation is also available. Students follow the same curriculum as MALTS students, but do not complete the thesis.)

The core introduces students to the theories and problems of literary translation; furnishes them with a framework in which to work on a series of short to medium-length translations independently and in consultation with their advisor; and provides a writing workshop in which they can hone their writing skills not merely as literal translators, but as translators of literature.

For their elective requirements, students may pursue at an advanced level their study of specific national literatures and of international literature as a global phenomenon. They may also elect to work as interns at a literary press.

The annotated thesis translation is a book-length literary translation into English, accompanied by commentary addressing the particular problems the student encountered with the work and a description of their resolution. It is expected that the thesis will be of near publishable quality. The very best theses will be considered for publication by the Open Letter press.

Learn more about the three components of the MALTS Program »»

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the deadline for admission?
A. The application deadline for those students who are applying for the fall semester is February 15.
Q. I’m interested in translating a work from English into Italian. Can I do that in the MALTS program?
A. The MALTS program is based on the translation of literary works into English.
Q. How many languages do I need to know? At what level should my linguistic competence be?
A. Students in the MALTS program need to be fluent in English and highly competent in whatever language(s) they plan to translate from.
Q. How long should I expect the program to take?
A. The program can be completed in one academic year (2 semesters). Some students may take additional time to complete their masters thesis, however.
Q. What department is the MALTS program in?
A. MALTS is an interdepartmental program. Faculty from a number of different departments contribute to the program.
Q. Is the GRE required? TOEFL?
A. The GRE and TOEFL are both recommended but not required.
Q. How much is tuition?
A. View a complete schedule of fees »»
Students admitted to the MALTS program are eligible for up to a 50% tuition remission.