Comparative Literature Requirements

The Comparative Literature curriculum emphasizes foreign language learning as the basis for the study of literary texts. During their course of study, students of Comparative Literature will also become familiar with current comparative methodologies as well as relevant cultural and critical theories. These methodological skills support students’ work as they pursue a flexible and individualized pathway through their program of study, which culminates in an article-length comparative essay. The program is designed to accommodate students at all levels of language proficiency.

 Majors in Comparative Literature will develop a plan of study with the guidance of a faculty advisor with expertise in the student’s chosen primary language and literature 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 courses in the primary foreign language, including two literary classes and one cultural course (e.g. cinema, politics). The choice of particular classes requires the approval of the student’s primary language advisor and the Program Director. Students will also need approval for inclusion of study abroad classes in this category.*

3. Four courses in a secondary language.


 4 ENAM courses, including at least one course pre 1800.

(Courses in this requirement may double-count in the electives section.)

4. One course in literary theory (suggested for 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 pre-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/CMLT 0150; CMLT/RELI 0238; CMLT/CLAS 0450; ENAM/CMLT 0305; GRMN/CMLT 0333; ITAL/CMLT 0299. Suitable classes will be cross-listed and bear the prefix CMLT.

7. One senior/advanced seminar in literature in the student’s primary or secondary language; 

8. Senior Work: During Fall and Winter–Term or Winter–Term and Spring, 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

Chellis House - 2nd floor
56 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753