Comparative Literature Majors

The Comparative Literature major offers a wide-ranging program of study in world literatures and cultures, with courses that reach across disciplines to explore the many ways in which literature has enriched human lives around the world. This is a course of study that also provides intensive training in critical thinking, develops effective oral and written communication skills, and introduces students to the wider world of the humanities

Within the Comparative Literature Major there are two emphases:

  1. Multilingual Emphasis: Students conduct in-depth study of literature in the original language(s)
  2. Interdisciplinary Emphasis: Students explore cross-disciplinary issues and relationships between literature and the arts, social sciences, or the natural and physical sciences.

At the lower division, potential majors in Comparative Literature build a solid background in foreign languages by studying 2 years of one (or more) language(s) other than English. They also take 2 survey courses in Comparative Literature that cover a wide variety of literary works across periods, genres, and national traditions.

Once they have reached upper-division standing, majors in Comparative Literature need to complete 2 requirements (2 courses in Comparative Literature, CLIT 100: Introduction to Comparative literature or CLIT 101: Introduction to Literary and Critical Theory, and CLIT 198: Junior/Senior Seminar, or CLIT 198H: Senior Honors Seminar), and take 8 additional courses (or 32 units), 3 of which must be within the Comparative Literature program. Within such parameters, majors build a personally-satisfying sequence of courses, focused on the nature, function, and value of literature and culture in a broadly comparative context. They learn about diverse approaches to literary study, ancient and modern literary theory, and interdisciplinary methodologies to the study of world literatures.

Majors who choose the Interdisciplinary Emphasis further explore cross-disciplinary issues and relationships between literature and the visual or performance arts, or literature and social sciences, and literature and the sciences, such as psychology, mathematics, physics, biology, or geography. Majors who choose the Multilingual Emphasis carry in-depth study of literature(s) in the original language(s).

Students choose their courses from the Comparative Literature program and Departments of languages, literatures, and cultural studies such as Black Studies; Chicana/o Studies; Classics; East Asian Studies; English; Film and Media Studies; French and Italian; Germanic and Slavic Studies; Religious Studies; Spanish and Portuguese; Theater and Dance.

Requirements for:

The Comparative Literature Major, Multilingual Emphasis
The Comparative Literature Major, Interdisciplinary Emphasis