Find Out More

To find out more about the comparative literature major, contact the Undergraduate Advising Head (UAH) Matthew Fraleigh.

How to Become a Major

All students are welcome to enroll in any course in the program unless prerequisites are stipulated. Students interested in learning more about the comparative literature and culture major or minor are encouraged to speak with the undergraduate advising head. Keep in mind that  two literature or cultural courses must be taken in a language other than English. Students are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester abroad, preferably in a country whose primary language is not English.

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Learning Goals for Comparative Literature Major

Requirements for the Major

The major in comparative literature and culture requires a minimum of nine courses, distributed as follows:

A. COML 100a, to be taken as early as possible in the student's academic career.

B. Two upper-level courses taught in a language other than English, involving work with texts and/or films. Normally such courses are numbered 100 and above, exclusive of language skills courses. The two courses need not be drawn from a single language tradition. Coursework in literature and culture focused upon original-language texts can be pursued both at Brandeis and through approved study-abroad programs.

C. Three upper-level courses designated COML. These courses will bridge more than one national tradition and engage in cross-cultural examination.

D. Three upper-level elective courses in literature or a related field as approved by the UAH. Students are encouraged to select courses that take a comparative approach. No more than two of these elective courses may be in film. No more than one of these elective courses may be counted toward another major.

No course with a grade below a C- will count toward the major; nor will a class taken pass/fail.


Students who wish to pursue honors must enroll in COML 99d, a full-year course, normally in the senior year, and complete a thesis. One semester of thesis research may substitute for an upper-level COML or elective course. A senior project is required only of students pursuing honors.