Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Literature Undergraduate Program

Q: Why study Literature?[ show]

A: Literature prepares us to understand our thoughts, emotions, and worldview. The close analysis of texts and cultures equips students for many different careers, including teaching, game design, public service, journalism, and more.

Q: Where is the Literature Department located, and how can I contact the department?[ show]

A: Our office is located in Humanities 1, Room 303, and is currently open 9:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-3:00 PM Monday-Wednesday. Email us at, visit our website at, or call at (831) 459-4778.

Q: What concentrations are available in the literature major? [ show]

A: The major offers General Literature, Creative Writing (CW), and Language Literature concentrations, with studies in languages such as French, German, Greek, Latin, Italian, and Spanish. Acceptance to the creative writing concentration is by application only; learn more about the creative writing concentration here.

Q: Is the creative writing concentration open to everyone? [ show]

A: The creative writing concentration is selective, and requires the completion of a creative writing application. More information below.


Q: Who are my advisers at UCSC? [ show]

A: Each student has two advisers: College advisers can assist with general university requirements, like certain petitions and planning your GE requirements. Major advisers are department-specific advisers who are best at helping with major- or minor-related issues. Reach out to literature advising for help understanding the major requirements and planning your LIT major courses.

Q: How can I meet with my LIT adviser? [ show]

A: Literature advising appointments are available Monday through Friday in person or via Zoom. Advising appointments can be scheduled any time directly through the Navigate app, or online at Navigate Slug Success.

Q: When should I declare the LIT major? [ show]

A: As soon as you are ready! Students who enter as frosh must be declared in at least one major by their sixth quarter of enrollment at UCSC. Transfer students must declare during their second quarter at UCSC. Students must complete LIT 1 before declaring the literature major. LIT 1 requires completion of the Composition requirement (WRIT 2) offered by the UCSC Writing Program. Learn more about declaring the LIT major.

Q: Can the literature major be paired with other majors or minors? [ show]

A: Absolutely! The literature major complements many other majors and minors on campus, ranging from Astrophysics to Theater. Meet with a literature adviser to discuss adding a second major to your academic plan.

Courses & Enrollment 

Need additional enrollment assistance? Visit the Registrar's enrollment FAQ page

Q: What should I take next quarter? [ show]

A: In an advising appointment, a literature adviser can help you create an academic plan to complete the major or minor. Your academic planning form will show which courses you need, and when you should take them. After this appointment, your academic planning form is always available to you on your UCSC Google Drive. You can access your Google Drive by going to or from Gmail. Once in Drive, just search for your UCSC ID number. You can then bookmark this page for easy access.

Q: How many classes should I take? [ show]

A: Typically, students take three 5-unit classes. It's recommended to take no more than two upper-division literature classes per quarter.

Q: What should I do if a class I need is full? [ show]

A: Enroll on the waitlist, and reach out to the instructor. Instructor contact information is available on the class schedule before the start of the quarter. Students can also use the waitlist swap function to enroll in a backup course.

Q: The enrollment portal says I don’t meet the course prerequisites. What can I do? [ show]

A: Before the start of the quarter, students with questions about course prerequisites should reach out to us at In cases where course prerequisites have been satisfied, but enrollment is prevented for technical reasons, the department can often provide a permission code to join the course. After the start of the quarter, or if course prerequisites have not been satisfied, students can only enroll by permission of the course instructor. Students should reach out to the instructor listed on the quarterly schedule to request a permission code.

Q: Can I take LIT major courses pass/no pass? [ show]

A: Yes! Up to 25% of your literature major courses can be taken pass/no pass (P/NP). Students must take at least 75% of major courses for letter grades. LIT 190 and LIT 195 courses must always be taken for letter grades in order to count as the senior exit requirement for the LIT major. Language classes taken to complete the literature major’s language requirement can also be taken P/NP.

Q: Should I complete course evaluations (SETs)? [show]

A: Always! Please complete all your assigned Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) forms at the end of each quarter—they truly help improve our curriculum and instruction.

Q: Do I need to take language courses for the LIT major? [show]

A: All literature majors are required to take LIT 102, Translation Theory, to complete the LIT major. Before taking LIT 102, students must demonstrate the equivalent of one year of college-level language proficiency.

Q: How can students demonstrate their proficiency in a language? [show]

A: Students who already possess language skills at the required level can demonstrate proficiency by completing a reading proficiency exam offered by the Literature Department, or take a placement exam by the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department. To schedule a Literature Department language proficiency exam, please reach out to us at High school language classes do not count towards the one-year requirement, but students with two or more years of high school language classes are encouraged to take the department proficiency exam.

Q: What is the senior exit requirement, and when can I take it? [show]

A: The senior exit requirement for the literature major is typically satisfied by completing a senior seminar course in the LIT 190 series. Students also have the option of completing an independent senior thesis with a literature faculty member. Senior exit requirement courses generally require more intensive research skills, and involve an extended final project. Students must have senior standing (135+ credits) and have completed LIT 101 before LIT 190 can satisfy their senior exit requirement. The senior exit requirement must be taken for a letter grade.

Creative Writing

Q: Are there any prerequisites before applying to the creative writing concentration? [show]

A: Students must take at least one lower-division LIT creative writing course (LIT 90, LIT 91A, LIT 91B) at UCSC before applying to the concentration, and preferably two. It is recommended that students work on another concentration (such as general literature) until they have been accepted into creative writing. A majority of the requirements to complete the creative writing concentration overlap with those of the general literature concentration.

Q: The creative writing application requests evaluations from all prior creative writing instructors. Does this include non-UCSC creative writing instructors? [show]

A: The creative writing concentration application requires students to request narrative evaluations from their previous LIT 90 and LIT 91A/B instructors only. These instructors submit their recommendations directly to the Literature Department.

Q: I’m a senior and I’d like to take LIT 90 to satisfy the PR-C general education requirement. Why can’t I enroll yet? [show]

A: LIT 90 is required for students planning to declare the creative writing concentration of the literature major. The creative writing concentration requires a minimum of three quarters to complete after acceptance to the concentration. However, this is not to say it is impossible to add the course if you have senior standing. Students are encouraged to reach out to the instructor of the course you are interested in after the first day of instruction to ask if they will allow you to enter the course. If there is room in the course, and the instructor agrees to add you, they can provide you with a permission code to add the course after the start of instruction. The instructor’s contact information will be available on the Literature Department class schedule before the beginning of the quarter.

Q: I’m taking two creative writing workshops this quarter that have a time conflict over the same Living Writers (Thursday evening) meeting. What can I do? [show]

A: To enroll in both courses, you'll just need to send a note to the Office of the Registrar explaining that the two courses are conflicting over the same class meeting. They should be familiar with the situation, and will be able to override the conflict for you. You can contact them at or by calling (831) 459-4412.