Comparative Literature and Thought Major, Comparative Arts Specialization

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 30-50.5
    • Required Courses (27-36 units):
      • Humanities Core Courses (12 units): All Comparative Literature and Thought (CLT), Comparative Arts (CA) Specialization majors will take two required core courses in "Literature and Arts" and two core courses in "Thought."
      • Upper-Level Courses (15-24 units): All CA majors will complete at least eight upper-level CLT courses (24 units) at the 300-/3000-level or above, including one course with the HTH attribute. Up to three 300-/3000-level Humanities Core Courses taken to satisfy the 12-unit core requirement above can count toward the eight-course upper-level requirement.
    • Capstone (0.5 units or honors program): All CA majors will complete a CA or CLT capstone project (unless CA or CLT is not their primary major).
    • Applied Art and Language Study (3-14 units): All CA majors will pursue applied arts credits and, if necessary, language study. Up to 6 units of foreign language courses focused on literature or intellectual culture may be counted toward the required 24 units of upper-level courses.

A student pursuing the Comparative Literature and Thought Major, Comparative Arts Specialization, will adapt the Comparative Literature and Thought Major as follows:

  1. Students will select Comp Lit 313E Introduction to Comparative Arts (3 units) as one of the four courses from the Humanities Core. As an alternative, they may substitute a first-year program or Ampersand seminar in Comparative Arts.
  2. Upper-level courses for the major must include one course in the history or theory of a non-literary art practice (HTH course attribute). If such courses are not cross-listed in CLT, students may enroll with the permission of their CLT advisor and the CLT Director of Undergraduate Studies.
  3. Students must complete at least two semesters of applied arts courses for a minimum of 3 units.

Required Courses

Humanities Core Courses

The CLT Humanities Core is meant to introduce major texts (in both secular and sacred canons) and foundational methods of inquiry in the humanities (formal, generic, historicizing, skeptical, and appreciative) as well as to provide an historical perspective on the development of current categories of sociocultural analysis (i.e., race, ethnicity, sex, and gender).

All CA majors will take the two required core courses in Literature and Arts and two core courses in Thought for a total of 12 units in the Humanities Core. 

Literature and Arts
Required courses:
Comp Lit 211World Literature3
Comp Lit 313EIntroduction to Comparative Arts3
Additional course options:
IPH 201CClassical to Renaissance Literature: Text & Traditions3
IPH 3050Literary Modernities in Europe and America: Text & Traditions3
IPH 307Literary Modernities in East Asia: Text & Traditions3
IPH 201APuzzles and Revolutions: Text & Traditions3
IPH 203CEarly Political Thought: Text & Traditions3
IPH 207CModern Political Thought: Text & Traditions3
IPH 209Scriptures and Cultural Traditions: Text & Traditions3
IPH 310An Intellectual History of Sex and Gender: Text & Traditions3
IPH 320An Intellectual History of Race and Ethnicity: Text & Traditions3

CLT also offers special first-year programs (FYP) and Ampersand courses that will perform the intellectual functions of courses in the Humanities Core above. Please contact the CLT department for additional information about those offered courses, as they change each semester. 

Upper-Level Courses

CA majors must complete 24 upper-level units, including one course in the history or theory of a non-literary art practice (HTH course attribute). To build on the Humanities Core, these students will take five to eight additional courses at the 300/3000 or 400/4000 level. (Note that several courses in the Humanities Core are offered at the 300/3000 level; these courses can count toward the 24-unit upper-level major requirement.)

Up to 6 units of foreign language courses focused on literature or intellectual culture may be counted toward the required 24 units of upper-level courses with permission of the CLT Director of Undergraduate Studies; students must seek and obtain that permission prior to enrolling in the course.

Applied Arts and Language Study

CA majors must complete at least two semesters of applied arts courses for a minimum of 3 units:

  • Students who take 3 to 5 units of applied arts must also take one of the following:
    • Three consecutive semesters of foreign-language study with a grade of a C or better; or
    • One semester of a language course at the 300/3000 level or higher.
  • Students who take at least 6 units of applied arts are not required to take additional foreign language courses above the Arts & Sciences graduation requirement in Language and Culture.


The final semester or two in the CA major comprises an important culmination. Students enrolled in CA as their primary major will complete a CLT capstone project. Many will simply revise essays from two upper-level courses and write a sustained essay reflecting on how these exemplify the skills and concerns they have developed over the course of the major. In a few cases, students will complete their capstone requirement by means of an internship. Students pursuing specializations in CA have the option of completing a creative project capstone. The capstone projects for students pursuing honors are described below.

Additional Information

Honors Program in Comparative Literature and Thought, Comparative Arts Specialization

CA offers an honors program that requires an additional 6.5 units of course work. Students who have attained a 3.7 grade point in courses in the major are encouraged to apply for admission to the honors program as early as the second semester of their sophomore year and no later than the beginning of the second semester of their junior year. Students seeking CA honors have three options: honors by thesis, honors by creative project, or honors by course work. We expect that most CA honors students will complete their majors with a creative project.

For most students, the honors program will begin in the fall of the junior year, when students enroll in a course in Theory and Research Methods that culminates in the production of a substantial research paper and oral defense. This course is open to students across the humanities. (For students who decide to pursue honors belatedly, the Theory and Research Methods course may be taken during the fall of senior year.) 

In the spring of junior year, students pursuing theses or creative projects will enroll in a short course of four workshops that address how to refine a thesis or creative project topic. The following year, this cohort of CLT honors students will complete their honors project in two semesters of highly collaborative workshops.

In a few instances, CLT honors students will forego a thesis or creative project and will instead enroll in two more 400-level CLT courses, with a capstone essay reflecting on the coherence of those advanced courses or on the friction between them.

Students may be awarded honors, high honors, or highest honors based on the quality of their honors capstone materials. Please note that CLT honors are separate from Latin honors.

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