Comparative Literature Requirements

Students majoring in Comparative Literature focus on the comparative study of national literatures and receive training in at least two of these literatures in the original language along with comparative methodology. The program is designed to accommodate students at all levels of language proficiency regardless of previous language training.

Majors in Comparative Literature will put together a plan of study with the guidance of two faculty advisors with expertise in the student's chosen literatures and the Director of the Comparative Literature Program.

The basic structure of the program is as follows:

1.  One primary foreign language AND

2.  One year of a secondary foreign language OR English/American Literatures


1. CMLT 0101;

2. Three content classes in the primary foreign language, including two literary classes and one cultural class (e.g. cinema, politics).  The choice of particular classes requires the approval of the student’s advisors and the Program Director. Students will also need approval for inclusion of study abroad classes in this category;*

3. At least one year of study in a secondary foreign language and one course in that language to be taken during their senior year. Students with more advanced language proficiency in their second foreign language will take 3 literature courses in that language, one of them during their senior year;
ENAM courses: 0201 or 0204; a second pre-1700 (Period I) elective; and two other electives; (These courses may double-count in the electives section)

4. One course in literary theory (suggested in sophomore year);

5. Study abroad required for all students studying a foreign language. Up to 4 courses in literature taken abroad may be counted toward the major, subject to the approval of the Director of the program. All students studying abroad must take one class in their foreign language after their return;

6. Two electives explicitly comparative in nature. These literature courses may be taught in English. Examples: CLAS 0150; CLAS 0190; CMLT 0230; CMLT 0460; ENAM 0305; GRMN/CMLT 0333; ITAL/CMLT 0299. Suitable classes will be cross-listed and bear the prefix CMLT;

7. Senior Seminar: One seminar in literature in the student's primary or secondary language, preferably during the senior year;

8.  Senior Work: Students will write a 35-page (article-length) comparative essay (advised independently).  Students are responsible to choose their advisor and the members of their committee no later than the last week of classes in the preceding term. To be eligible for honors students must have a departmental GPA of 3.7 and a B+ or above on their essay.

*In the case of students whose primary language is Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Japanese, some of these three content courses MAY be taught in English, depending on the availability of suitable courses in the language. Students should be aware that policies regarding acceptance of study abroad courses to satisfy requirements vary widely from department to department.

Comparative Literature Program

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753