Comparative Literature

2016 Rhodes Scholar Billy-Ray Belcourt talks about why he chose to study Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta. He holds a BA (Honors) in Comparative Literature (Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies) and served as President of the Aboriginal Students Council at the University of Alberta.

 What is Comparative Literature?

"Comparative" is our code word for "expansion of horizons." Why study just American novels, when you can match it up with a little extra from Japan? Or only English poetry, when you can add a bit of Spanish, too? And it is not just languages. Why not work on classic Greek drama and Hollywood blockbusters at the same time? Sounds far-fetched? Well, that's exactly the point!

Why should I be interested?

Our doors are open to anything that can be called literature, from anywhere, in any genre or any language. If it's literature, we go for it.

Our undergrad courses have NO PREREQUISITE at all, which means you can take them at any order you want, any time you want.

Also, although we encourage students to learn other languages, all of the materials are taught IN ENGLISH (as originals or in translation).

What are the options?

The possibilities are endless! Do:

A major in Comp Lit and a minor in Sociology
A double major in Comp Lit and Latin American Studies
A major in Psychology and minor in Comp Lit
Honors in Comp Lit or Combined Honors in Comp Lit and another subject

Major and Minor at a glance

Comparative Literature as a Major

A major in Comparative Literature requires a minimum of *30 to a maximum of *48 at the senior level, including a minimum of at least *6 at the 400-level. Courses selected must include C LIT 101, 102, 206, 207, 347, 352, and 460.
Additional credits may be chosen from the following cross-listed courses: CHRTC 353; DRAMA 301, 302, 308; EASIA 411, 425; ENGL 223; PHIL 481; SCAND 356.

Comparative Literature as a Minor

A minor in Comparative Literature requires at least *12 in senior level courses with a minimum of 6 at the 300 or 400-level in C LIT or approved cross-listed courses.

Other cross-listed courses available. See Undergraduate Advisor.
See the University Calendar for Honors & Combined Honors requirements.

Worried about jobs?

Our graduates are busy in many places, such as:

Human resources administration
Education and teaching
Law school
Journalism and publishing
Diverse administrative positions

General Undergraduate questions can be directed to
or Dr. Odile Cisneros(Comparative Literature - Academic Advisor)


The most current Course Listing is available on Bear Tracks.

Program Requirements

Please click here to access the University of Alberta Calendar for information on the requirements related to Majors, Minors, Honors or Combined Honors in Comparative Literature.