Literature Major

Literature Major Options

Students who major in literature may choose either the standard literature major or the intensive literature major. The intensive literature major is recommended particularly for students who plan to continue their studies in graduate school.

General Literature Concentration Checklist (PDF)

Language Literature Concentration Checklist (PDF)

Creative Writing Concentration Checklist (PDF)

Literature Minor Checklist (PDF)


Standard Literature Major

Literature language proficiency requirement:

  • One year (three quarters or the equivalent) of college level study of a non-English language or demonstrated reading ability at this level

Twelve courses are required. 

Two lower-division courses:

  • Literature 1, Literary Interpretation: close reading and analysis of literary texts
  • One Literature 61-series course: categories, methodologies, and problems of literary study or one Literature 80-series course: topical, thematic, and comparative study of literary texts

Ten upper-division courses:

  • Literature 101,Theory and Interpretation: contemporary approaches to literary and cultural theories
  • Literature 102, Translation Theory: an examination of translation and its role in redefining meanings across epochs and cultures or one upper-division course in a non-English literature studied in the original
  • Six upper-division courses: one in each of six critical approaches to the study of literature
  • Two upper-division literature electives

Upper-Division Distribution Requirements:

Among the ten upper-division courses, at least two must focus on literature written before the year 1750; one on non-Western literature or literature in a global perspective; and one on the study of poetry.

All literature majors must complete the senior comprehensive (exit) requirement. One of the upper-division courses may be a senior seminar, which may be used to satisfy the campus senior comprehensive (exit) requirement. In exceptional cases, and with faculty permission, students may write a senior thesis to satisfy the exit requirement.


Intensive Literature Major

Fourteen courses, including two upper-division courses in a second-language literature, are required:

Two lower-division and twelve upper-division courses, and completion of the literature language requirement are required for the Intensive Literature major. One of the upper-division courses may be a senior seminar, which may be used to satisfy the campus senior comprehensive (exit) requirement. Two upper-division courses must be in a second-language literature studied in the original language.