B.A. in Comparative Literature

Discover New Worlds with the Global Literary Studies Major

We are happy to announce the Global Literary Studies major. This new major is a dynamic collaboration of multiple UW departments and housed in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Global Literary Studies (GLITS) introduces students to works of literature from around the world and from all eras of human history.

Drawing on the expertise of faculty from across the Humanities Division, GLITS offers students a rich array of courses that reveal the importance and lasting impact of various forms of imaginative writing and speech. All GLITS courses are taught in English and work with literature in English translation. Skills developed by the study of literature include the ability to effectively communicate in oral and written form, to activate one's imagination and creativity, and to engage with varied points of view, ways of thinking, and lived experiences.

GLITS is a flexible program of study that provides students many opportunities to customize their degree.

You will find information about the GLITS major at the link below:

Global Literary Studies


An undergraduate major in Comparative Literature trains students in the critical analysis of texts. It explores how the rhetorical and aesthetic features of those texts respond to and shape social values, attitudes and beliefs. The major is international in scope and emphasizes intellectual breadth. It explores the relationships among different cultures and between literature and other fields of knowledge, such as art history, philosophy, religion and political thought. This broad latitude maximizes students’ opportunities to design their own courses of study. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as marketing, publishing, law, technology, public relations and the arts.

Our department recently changed its name to Cinema & Media Studies. Please see our FAQ about the name change and what it means for current students.

Admissions, Advising & Student Resources

The Comparative Literature major has minimum requirements. The admission requirements are the following:

  • Minimum 2.0 overall GPA
  • Completion of either the English Composition requirement or a W-course
  • Completion of one of C Lit 250, 251 or 252 (5 credits count toward the 50 credit major requirements)

Please see an Adviser to declare the major and our Undergraduate Programs section for further information about career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.

Degree Requirements

Major requirements – 45 credits (plus 5 credits from prerequisites) from the groups below:

  • Three differently numbered courses from among C LIT 320, C LIT 321, C LIT 322, C LIT 323, C Lit 360, C LIT 361, C LIT 362 At least one must come from each series (15 credits)
  • One 300-level cinema studies course (5 credits)
  • C LIT 400 (5 credits)
  • One additional course in Comparative Literature at the 300 or 400 level. (5 credits)
  • The remaining (15) credits are to be earned normally in 300 and 400 level literature, cinema or media studies courses from among the offering of Comparative Literature and the following participating departments: Asian Languages and Literatures, Classics, English, Germanics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, French and Italian Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Scandinavian Studies, and Slavic Languages and Literatures.
  • One course taken in the program must focus primarily on literature written before 1800.

No course presented toward fulfillment of the 50-credit major requirements may be taken on a credit/no credit or satisfactory/non-satisfactory basis. There is no formal application procedure for declaring the Comparative Literature major; however, a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in order to be admitted to the program.

If you enrolled in the Literature option BEFORE FALL 2009, the major requirements are different. See Requirements for those accepted before Fall 2009.