Frequently Asked Questions


What do I do if a course is full? 1) Place yourself on the waitlist if one is activated.
2) If not enrolled, attend the first class meeting and first section meeting if applicable.
3) Let the instructor know your name, major/minor, class year (junior, senior) and sign up on the waiting list if your instructor is keeping a manual one.
4) Continue to attend the lecture and discussion section if applicable.
5) Priority of enrollment and distribution of add codes are at the discretion of the instructor, once school has started.
If you are unable to attend the first class meeting due to religious observance, illness, or other unavoidable conflict, do contact the instructor via e-mail. Add codes will not be distributed prior to completing this procedure.

After week 1, all students need an approval/add code from the instructor to enroll in any course.

What if I do not meet a course prerequisite? Contact the course instructor in order to assess whether you do not need the prerequisite. Depending on the situation, he/she may give you an approval code to override the prerequisite(s). If you are trying to enroll in a language class, contact the Undergraduate Advisor in the appropriate department to take a placement exam.

How can I find out what classes will be offered in future quarters? Pick up a tentative list of course offerings in the department office.

How do I know what the course is about? Read the description in the catalogue or look under “Courses” on our website.

Do I have to finish the lower-division courses before I can enroll in upper-division courses? No. The only prerequisite for upper-division Comparative Literature courses is upper-division standing. However, you should complete the lower-division language requirement early because language level 6 is a prerequisite for some upper-division courses needed for the major.


How do I declare a major or a double major? Come to the department office, Phelps 4206C, to fill out a “Petition to Change Major.” You must bring a self-addressed, stamped envelope to submit the petition to the college. The “catalog year” is the academic year you declare the major, like 2015-2016. To declare a double major, you will also need to complete a “Memo of Understanding for Double Majors” form. We will help you complete these forms in the office. You do not need to complete the lower-division requirements before you declare the major.

How do I declare a minor? Come to the department office, Phelps 4206C, and fill out a “Petition to Declare the Minor.” The minor will appear on your diploma and on your transcripts once you have completed all the requirements and notified the department Undergraduate Advisor.

When should I declare a major/minor? The sooner the better, and certainly before your final quarter. As soon as you declare the major or minor, we will add you to the department listserv to receive emails about department events, courses, and other important information.

How long does it take for my major/minor to appear on GOLD? Majors usually take two or three weeks. Minors do not show up on GOLD.

Should I be a major or minor? You should take as many Comparative Literature classes as you like and sign up for the corresponding program. Out in the world, what matters is that you receive your degree, not which humanities major you choose. But the reading, writing, communication, and analytical skills you learn through the study of comparative literature will greatly benefit you in the future.

When will I receive the minor? During your last quarter, notify the Undergraduate Advisor  that you have fulfilled the required classes for a minor. The Advisor then completes a minor clearance form showing the fulfillment of classes for your minor and files it with the College of Letters & Science. Without the clearance form your minor will not be official.


What should I take first? We recommend that you complete the lower-division language requirement early, to allow plenty of time to complete the upper-division requirements. Also, this will allow time for you to study abroad during your junior or senior year and to complete courses for the upper-division major abroad. While you may take lower- and upper-division classes at the same time, some upper-division classes require language level 6 or above as a prerequisite. NOTE: French 26 is a prerequisite to all upper-division courses taught in French; Spanish 16 or 25 is a prerequisite to many upper-division courses taught in Spanish.

What if I have already taken the equivalent of a language level 1-3, for example? You must complete the equivalent of language level 6 of any foreign language at UCSB. So if you have received credit for language level 3, you would need complete levels 4, 5 and 6 at UCSB.

How can I test out of foreign language classes? Take a UCSB placement exam in the department that offers the language. Advanced Placement (AP) exam scores or advanced/intermediate language courses taken at another college can also fulfill all or part of the lower-division language requirement for the major or minor.

What is the difference between the Interdisciplinary and the Foreign Language emphases of the major? The lower-division requirements are the same. The upper-division requirements differ as follows:


  • 5 Comparative Literature courses, including Comp Lit 100 or 101, and 198 or 198H
  • 3 Literature courses, one of which is taught in a foreign language
  • 3 courses selected from departments of your choice (consult the Undergraduate Advisor)


  • Comparative Literature courses, including Comp Lit 100 or 101, and 198 or 198H
  • 6 Literature courses, 3 of which are taught in a foreign language

The Foreign Language emphasis requires greater study of literature taught in the original language. The Interdisciplinary emphasis gives students a broader background in fields complementary to the study of Comparative Literature.

How do I know which courses I can take for the upper-division major? Consult with the department undergraduate advisor for a list of literature courses offered in other departments or check the download area on For those in the Interdisciplinary emphasis, the advisor will also help you select an appropriate department for the ancillary courses.

Can I use courses from other departments for the minor? No. Earning a minor in Comparative Literature means that you should be taking Comparative Literature classes. Comparative Literature classes taken through EAP may still apply.


What classes require a petition? Students must submit a “Petition for Degree Requirements” to receive major credit for any classes taken at another college or university. Any courses not listed on the major requirement sheet must be petitioned before they can count for the major. Prior to graduation as a Comparative Literature major, you must complete a petition to list which courses you are using to fulfill the major requirements. This will notify the College of Letters & Science that you have completed your major.

EAP courses must be applied to the major by completing a “Petition for Major Substitution of EAP Courses.”

All petitions are available in the Registrar’s Office or the College of Letters and Science Advising Office in Cheadle Hall 1117. All petitions must be submitted along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

I did not finish a course. What should I do? If you have not officially dropped the course you will have to petition for an Incomplete. The petition is obtained at the Registrar’s Office. The instructor must sign the petition, and it must be filed before the end of the quarter in which you were enrolled in the course. If you do not file an Incomplete petition, you will receive an “F” in the course. Incomplete grades must be made up by the following quarter or else the Incomplete grade will revert to an “F” after one quarter.

Can I change a course taken pass/no pass to a letter grade after the deadline? It is not possible to change the course grading option if the class has already been graded. The deadline to change a grading option is the end of the 7th week of instruction through GOLD. For more information, contact the College of Letters & Science at 805-893-2038.

WHAT IF I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? Visit the department office in Phelps 4206, Monday - Friday, 9am to noon or 1pm to 4pm. Phone: (805) 893-3111

For undergraduate and graduate matters, email Ms. Carol Flores, our Student Service Manager: