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Comparative Literature. Undergraduate Program


The undergraduate major in Comparative Literature is designed for students whose curiosity about literature is wider than a single national tradition. In our courses we think about how literature (very broadly defined) functions in our imaginations, our languages, and our social, political, and economic lives.

The major in Comparative Literature requires students to enroll in a set of core courses offered by the department, to complete electives in the department, and to enroll in additional literature courses, or other courses approved by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies, offered by other departments. This flexibility to combine literature courses from several departments and to address literature from multiple traditions is the hallmark of the Comparative Literature major. Literature is read in translation, we study translation itself, and the department encourages language study by automatically counting 15 units of Language Center courses towards the flexible electives in the major. 

Comparative Literature and Philosophy Major

Undergraduates may major in Comparative Literature with a special track in interdisciplinary studies at the intersection of literature and philosophy. Students in this option take courses alongside students from other departments that also have specialized options associated with the program for the study of Philosophical and Literary Thought. See


The department's honors option offers motivated Comparative Literature majors the opportunity to write a senior honors thesis. For more information, please read a description of the program here.


The undergraduate minor in Comparative Literature represents an abbreviated version of the major. It is designed for students who are unable to pursue the major but who nonetheless seek an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of literature. Plans for the minor should be discussed with the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.


Judy Nugent, Undergraduate Student Services Officer
Pigott Hall, Bldg. 260, Rm. 128
Alexander Key
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Bldg. 240, Rm. 108
Undegraduate Peer Advisor

Undegraduate Peer Advisor