Comparative & World Literature

What Is It?:

Comparative and World Literature offers exciting and innovative ways to approach comparative literary and cultural studies. Within this area, there are two majors:

  • Comparative Literature centers on placing two or more literary and cultural traditions studied in the original languages into dialogue
  • World Literature allows students to place literature and culture in a comparative context but without a specific language requirement.

For more information, please visit the Department of Comparative and World Literature

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CWL 112—Literature of Global Culture
  • CWL 114—Global Consciousness and Literature 
  • CWL 241/242—Masterpieces of Western Culture I / Masterpieces of Western Culture II

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period. 

Possible Career Opportunities:

Many students pursue a diverse range graduate studies, including literature, law, editing and publishing, library science, translation, international studies, diplomacy, medicine, sociology, political science, theology. Alumni confirm the effectiveness of Comparative and World Literature in preparing them for their chosen careers: critical analysis, foreign language proficiency, writing skills.
Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Campaign Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Copywriter
  • Critic
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Education Director
  • Historical Society Specialist
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Lobbyist
  • Museum Curator
  • Non-profit Administrator
  • Politician
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Writer
  • Teacher

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSOrelated to this major, such as:
    • Model United Nations: increases student knowledge and awareness of global relations through simulations of the United Nations
    • Tandem Learning Club: provides a forum where International and American students can meet and learn each others languages together. Students can learn from each other and make connections with others from around the world and become friends in the process. 

Related Skills:

  • Clear and articulate writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Deeper understanding of intercultural and transnational relations
  • Diverse range of critical problem solving tools and techniques
  • Experience in both the theoretical and practical issues of cross-cultural work
  • Interdisciplinary perspective
  • Logical and persuasive argument
  • Thoughtful analysis of written, oral, and visual materials

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Comparative and World Literature, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Comparative and World Literature.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Comparative and World Literature.  These organizations include American Comparative Literature Association and International Comparative Literature Association.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Comparative and World Literature, visit Undergraduate Programs.