2019-2020 Catalog 
    Sep 22, 2023  
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Comparative Literature and Culture Major

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The Comparative Literature and Culture program promotes linguistic proficiency and cultural literacy, with emphasis on critical thinking, practice of close reading, extensive writing and text analysis so students can be successful in their academic and professional endeavors but also in the service to others in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural world.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • articulate in writing and discussions responses to literary texts in the context of their historical, cultural and/or aesthetic traditions
  • identify and compare ideas and formal features of an integrated body of literary or non-literary texts using the disciplinary convention and methodologies of literary and cultural analyses
  • analyze the main ideas of various cultural phenomena, such as literature, art, music, film and popular media
  • appreciate and explain the plurality of meanings and diversity of perspectives presented in literary and non-literary texts of one or more ethnic, racial, religious and culturally diverse groups, or their communities within the US

Major Requirements (44 units)

Intermediate Level (4 Units - 1 Course)

Capstone Seminar (4 Units)


No more than eight units of the CMPL major or minor can count toward a second major and/or minor.

Foreign Language (8 Units - 2 Courses)

Students must complete two semesters of one foreign language above the three semesters required by the College of Arts and Sciences (level 101, 102, and 201 or equivalent, as determined by placement tests.)

  • 4th Semester of a Foreign Language (202 in target language)
  • 5th Semester of a Foreign Language (300-level course taught in the target language)

300-Level Literature and Culture Electives (24 Units - 6 Courses)

  • Students will select their elective courses at the 300-level or above from the offerings of Departments and Interdisciplinary Programs. These courses must have a strong emphasis in one or more literatures and cultures of the world, and must be relevant to the student’s area of concentration for comparative studies.
  • Students enrolled in CMPL program will meet with a CMPL advisor to discuss their choice of electives before registering. In addition, they will submit a petition for approval of each of their electives. The petition will include a narrative, which demonstrates how such electives contribute to the student’s area of concentration. (Petition forms are available online or at the Department of Modern Languages office in KA 328).
  • Major in CMPL with Language emphasis: Students will select all six elective courses in their first and second foreign language of study. Students must achieve an advanced proficiency level equivalent to one 400-level seminar in their first foreign language of choice and complete two 300-level courses or equivalent in their second foreign language.

Upon completion of all their electives, students will register for the Capstone Seminar on Political Fictions. In this seminar they will also conclude their individual research in their area of concentration and write a Senior Thesis. Additional information about the Capstone Seminar and Guidelines for the Senior Thesis are available on canvas.


Students enrolled in CMPL will register their progress toward completion of their Major in an e-portfolio.

Unit Transfer

Students may transfer up to twelve (12) units toward their elective requirements from another institution or a study abroad program. To transfer, courses must be at the minimum level of 300 or above, or its equivalent. To facilitate transfers, student will provide the course syllabus, a major paper written for that course and a petition form for each course.

Study Abroad

Majors in Comparative Literature and Culture are strongly encouraged to study abroad.

Students may transfer up to twelve (12) units from their University sponsored study abroad program toward the Comparative Literature and Culture Major. A minimum of twenty-four (24) of the total forty-four (44) units required for the Comparative Literature and Culture Major must be completed in residence at USF.

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