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Major in Comparative Literature and Culture

Requirements for the Major in Comparative Literature and Culture

One Introductory Level Course (4 Units)
  • CMPL 195 First-Year-Seminar: The Beauty of the Beast in Literature OR Literature of the Child: Trauma and Healing
  • CMPL 295 Transfer Seminar: Animal Encounters in Literature OR Life Disrupted: The Psychic Wound in Early Life
  • CMPL 200 Introduction to Comparative Studies: Cultures in Conflict

One Intermediate Level Course (4 Units)
  •  CMPL 399 Critical Analysis 

Two Foreign Language Courses (8 Units)
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)
Six 300-Level Literature and Culture Electives (24 Units)
  • 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.

One Capstone Seminar (4 Units) 
  • CMPL - 400 Capstone Seminar in Comparative Literature and Culture: Political Fictions

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.

Study Abroad

Majors in Comparative Literature and Culture are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Students should consult with the Center for Global Education in UC 5th floor for information about USF Sponsored Study Abroad programs. 


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. 


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.

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

To make an advising appointment, please write to:

Learning Goals/Outcomes for the Major in Comparative Literature and Culture

Students will be able to

  • engage in comparative analysis of literary texts and other cultural artifacts that seek to enhance our understanding of cross-national cultural commonalities and differences.
  • communicate in a foreign language both orally and in writing.
  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of, and respect toward, one or more of the many cultures of different regions of the world in their varied dimensions (social, historical, political, religious, economic, linguistic and artistic).
  • bridge the divisions between national literatures and cultures instead of concentrating on a single tradition or their own.
  • develop an intellectual engagement, introspection and reflective sensibility that will contribute to life-long learning.