Comparative literature is the international, interdisciplinary study of literature and other media as modes of human expression. Courses in Comparative Literature examine literary works from many national traditions, and also study the relations between literature and the other arts. The comparative perspective includes insights from philosophy, history, linguistics, sociology, the media, and the other human sciences.
The Comparative Literature Department at UMass Amherst offers personalized academic major tracks as well as a large array of comprehensive and unique courses. We in the Comparative Literature Department are dedicated to our students' academic growth and advancement, which we manifest in our programing as well as our student-centered advising and support.
Our undergraduate major offers several different tracks, allowing students to customize their course of study. Students may chose a language intensive path, specializing in two or three languages. Others pair language and literature with study of another discipline (for example, history, art, economics, philosophy, film, political science, etc.). We also feature courses in Film and Translation, which students may choose as a specialization within the major.
Comparative Literature majors must take 6 course in Comparative Literature, along with upper-level courses in at least two other departments, selected with the guidance of their advisor. See the specific requirements for the Major, Minor, and Honors. To better understand how a major might be structured, see our sample course plans.
Our 100 and 200 level courses are open to everyone. Courses at the 300-500 levels are more specialized: Comparative Literature and Foreign Language majors have the opportunity to use the languages they are studying by reading the original texts. None of our courses, however, have any prerequisites, so anyone can feel free to check out a 300-level course!