Comparative Literature Major Before Fall 2009

If you enrolled in the Literature option FALL 2009 AND BEYOND, the major requirements are different than below. See Requirements for those accepted Fall 2009 and beyond


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 Comparative Literature Undergraduate Advisor to declare the major.

Pre-requisites 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

Major requirements – 50 credits from the groups below):

  • C LIT 300: Introduction to Comparative Literature: Forms, Genre, History
    NOTE: This course serves as a foundation for other upper-division C LIT courses and should be completed by all C LIT majors as soon as possible; offered twice yearly)
  • C LIT 400: Introduction to Theory & Criticism
  • Two differently-numbered courses from C LIT 320, 321, 322, or 323
  • Two additional C LIT courses at the 300 or 400 level
  • One course in a literature at a third year level or above in the student’s foreign language (3-5 credits). Minimum preparation for such a course is completion of two years of college language study (sometimes higher) in the foreign language, or prior knowledge of the language.
  • Remaining credits in literature courses chosen from among the offerings of Comparative Literature and the language and literature departments at the University of Washington, either in the original language or in translation.

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. To declare the major, see the Comparative Literature Staff Undergraduate Adviser.

*Note: Minimum foreign language prerequisite to meet this requirement: completion of the second year (often higher) of the foreign language. Students should consult the departmental adviser to determine the prerequisite language course for the foreign literature course, e.g. German 203 for German 311; French 302 for French 304.