Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare her major before the end of her sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.

The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.

2017-18 Catalog
2016-17 Catalog
2015-16 Catalog
2014-15 Catalog

Students may complete a major or minor in Comparative Literature.

The study of Comparative Literature situates literature in an international perspective; examines transnational cultural connections through literary history, literary criticism, critical theory, and poetics; and works toward a nuanced understanding of the socio-cultural functions of literature. The structure of the program allows students to engage in such diverse areas of critical inquiry as East-West cultural relations, global censorship and human rights, diaspora studies, film history and theory, and aesthetics of modernity. Therefore, interpretive methods from other disciplines also play a role in the comparative study of literature; among these are anthropology, ethnology, philosophy, history, history of art, religion, classical studies, area studies (Africana studies, Middle Eastern studies, Latin American studies, among others), gender studies, and other arts.

Comparative Literature students are required to have a reading knowledge of at one language other than English, adequate to the advanced study of literature in that language. Some Comparative Literature courses may require reading knowledge of a foreign language as a prerequisite for admission. Students considering graduate work in Comparative Literature should also study a second language other than English.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the Comparative Literature major are:

COML 200: Introduction to Comparative Literature (normally taken in the sophomore year). Six literature courses at the 200 or 300-levels taken in the original languages and balanced between two literature departments (of which English may be one)*—at least two of these (one in each national literature) must be at the 300 level or above, or its equivalent as approved in advance by the adviser; one course in critical theory; two electives; COML 398: Theories and Methods in Comparative Literature and 399: Senior Seminar in Comparative Literature.

Students must further complete a writing requirement in the major.  Students will work with their major advisors in order to identify either two writing attentive or one writing intensive course within their major plan of study.

*In the case of languages for which literature courses in the original language are not readily available in the Tri-Co, students may on occasion be allowed to count a course taught in English translation for which they do at least part of the reading in the original language.


Students who, in the judgment of the advisory committee, have done distinguished work in their courses and in the senior seminar will be considered for departmental honors.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for the minor are COML 200 and 398, plus four additional courses—two each in the literature of two languages. At least one of these four courses must be at the 300 level. Students who minor in comparative literature are encouraged to choose their national literature courses from those with a comparative component.

Both majors and minors are encouraged to work closely with the chairs and members of the advisory committee in shaping their programs.

NOTE: Please note that not all topics courses (B223, 299, 321, 325, 326, 340) count toward COML elective requirements. See adviser.