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Comparative Literature Major

If you enrolled in the Literature option BEFORE FALL 2009, the major requirements are different than below. Click below for the proper requirements:


The Comparative Literature Program studies literature and film as they transcend the confines of a national culture. It explores the relationships among different cultures and between literature, cinema and other fields of knowledge, both visual and verbal, such as art history, philosophy, religion, and political thought. Typical areas of inquiry include traditions and periods, genres, and motifs; patterns of influence and reception of works among national cultures; and the general principles of literary and cinematic theory and criticism.

Students who major in Comparative Literature select either the Literature Option (this page) or the Cinema Studies Option. See the Undergraduate Advising Center for Comparative Literature, Cinema Studies, Creative Writing and English (info below under "Contact Information" to declare the major.

Prerequisites to declaring the major:

  • 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)

Major requirements – 45 credits (plus 5 credits from prequisites) 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.

See our Advising page for more information.