Comparative Literature is a concentration within the Interdisciplinary Studies Program in which students investigate a subject from the viewpoints of several disciplines.  In taking an interdisciplinary approach, students acquire the knowledge and the skills characteristic of the liberally educated person while enjoying flexibility and an individualized approach to their education.

Comparative Literature combines the study of languages and literature.  Students acquire reading skills in two or more languages, compare the structures of languages, explore the relationship between literature and the language in which it is written, and study literary themes and genres in the context of several cultures.


In addition to the requirements of the School of Arts and Sciences, majors must complete 36 credits with a substantial concentration in one of the following areas:
  • Classics
  • English
  • Modern Foreign Languages

Students also acquire proficiency in two foreign languages, one of which may be in the focal department.  If the focal department is English, the student must take literature courses in one foreign language and advance to at least the intermediate level in the second.

The general model for a major in Interdisciplinary Studies must be varied slightly to accommodate students interested in Comparative Literature, since the requirements for the major are levels of competence.  It is not possible to stipulate the number of credits that will be needed to achieve the required competence.

Students are required to take one methodology course, Introduction to Literary Theory: Criticism and Research, as well as two seminars and/or independent studies and to do a senior project of an interdisciplinary nature in an area of Comparative Literature.



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