Comparative Literature: (Trans)national Literatures, BA

The undergraduate program in Comparative Literature welcomes students interested in the study of literature from theoretical, interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and global perspectives.  The core courses train students to appreciate the variety of meanings that texts acquire in different institutional and philosophical contexts and different socio-political frameworks.  There are three concentrations within the major: National and Transnational Literatures (four courses in each of two languages), Theory, and Globalization.

Comparative Literature is a flexible program, allowing students to take courses in a variety of departments in the College. Students with interests in more than one national literature and in fields such as philosophy and political theory, art and aesthetics, and film and music will find the requirements congenial.  The program provides students with a cosmopolitan intellectual background that is increasingly in demand today.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 34. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Requirements
Core Course 1:
COML 1000Introduction to Literary Study1
or COML 1025 Narrative Across Cultures
or COML 1191 World Literature
Core Course 2:
COML 1400Introduction to Literary Theory1
or COML 0540 Benjamin Franklin Seminar: History of Literary Criticism
Core Course 3: Capstone Seminar or Thesis
Select one of the following:1
Independent Study
Independent Study
Advanced Elective
Comparative Literature Electives 2
Select 1 Theory elective1
Select 1 Non-Western or Post-Colonial elective1
Select 1 COML elective1
Concentration Requirements 3
Select 8 courses in two national literatures (4 in each) 48
Total Course Units34

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Must be COML courses.


All Concentration courses to be chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Chair.


At least one concentration (4 course units) must be taken in a language other than English.


Applicants must have an overall GPA of 3.4 and a GPA of 3.6 in Major Related courses.

COML 4998Honors Thesis (required)1
COML 4999Independent Study (required)1


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.