Comparative Literature

College of Arts and Sciences

An undergraduate major in Comparative Literature trains students in the critical analysis of texts. It explores how the rhetorical and aesthetic features of those texts — whether literary, visual or theoretical — respond to and shape social values, attitudes and beliefs. International in scope and interdisciplinary in orientation, the major emphasizes intellectual breadth and maximizes students’ opportunities to design their own courses of study. It explores the relationships among different cultures and between literature and other fields of knowledge, both visual and verbal, such as art history, philosophy, religion and political thought. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as marketing, publishing, law, technology, public relations and the arts.


Major category: Minimum requirements

Minor available

Curricular options: Cinema Studies, Literary Studies

Topic: Arts

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Comparative Literature is a minimum requirements major. You may declare this major after enrolling at the UW and completing the prerequisites. Visit the department website for more information.

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

This major has minimum admission requirements, including a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.

Suggested first- and second-year college courses include foreign languages, classics, history, philosophy, literature and writing.

Visit the Comparative Literature website for more information on this major.

Courses required for the major:

  • English composition or Writing course
  • Complete one of the following courses:
    • C LIT 250 A&H – Introduction to Comparative Literature: Literature and Culture
    • C LIT 251 A&H – Introduction to Comparative Literature: Themes
    • C LIT 252 A&H – Introduction to Comparative Literature: Genres

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 10
Total from Washington community colleges: 2

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: <5
3.50 – 3.74: <5
3.25 – 3.49: <5
3.00 – 3.24: <5
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes:

Outcomes unavailable for this major. See other majors with similar topic categories.