About the Department

The Programs


The major and the minor undergraduate programs in Comparative Literature, like the graduate (MA and PhD) programs, give students the freedom to combine courses from the Comparative LIterature Department with courses from other literature departments at UC Davis.

Our undergraduate major begins with an introductory course sequence (COM 1-4) extending from ancient literatures and classical traditions to contemporary literature and film while offering simultaneous and intensive practice in analytical thought and argumentative writing. Courses in this sequence satisfy a portion of the University Writing Requirement, as well as counting toward satisfaction of the General Education requirements in Arts and Humanities, World Cultures, and Writing Experience. These courses form the gateway to a wide range of comparative and globally oriented courses, at both lower and upper division levels. Comparative Literature majors must also complete an advanced upper division course in literary and critical theory with the dual aim of offering them analytic tools to use in their major coursework and preparing them for further post-graduate level study in this crucial area. All readings in undergraduate Comparative Literature courses are in English; majors must also take upper division courses in at least one foreign literature in the original language. Comparative Literature majors are also strongly encouraged to participate in one of the many study abroad programs offered to students at UC Davis. In collaboration with the renowned Casa de las Américas, Comparative Literature at UC Davis also offers its own quarter abroad program of Caribbeanist/comparatist study in Havana, Cuba -- inaugurated by the late, distinguished professor and scholar Marc Blanchard and one of the very few such programs in the United States.

The Comparative Literature Graduate Program at UCD requires MA and PhD students to study multiple literatures in their original languages, while ensuring that such study is carried out in a setting that accords with the highest theoretical and historically-informed standards and that is always interdisciplinary and multicultural in its outlook. Meanwhile, Comparative Literature at UC Davis gives every graduate student the opportunity to create an individual program designed in keeping with that student's own self-determined intellectual and scholarly interests and goals. 


An Introduction to the Department of Comparative Literature