(Above: A bookbinder’s labyrinth for Jorge Luís Borges. Faculty expert, Efrain Kristal.)

UCLA’s Department of Comparative Literature offers both inspiring coursework and the chance to build an exciting, yet practical B.A. or minor. Students’ studies evolve beyond a single language or tradition. Working towards that goal, the faculty of Comparative Literature offer a flexible, multicultural, and interdisciplinary general education; this means students can take courses in numerous departments. In the same way, the CL major is designed for undergraduates who wish to investigate both literature and language (from at least two different national traditions) within cultural, socioeconomic, historical, or political contexts. Students acquire the skills to approach the arts and global culture from a range of perspectives:

  • Psychological
  • Philosophical
  • Economic
  • Technological

Cultural differences and similarities both come to light – in the middle of a city, Los Angeles, that is home to more than two hundred languages.

Majors and Minors

The Comparative Literature program offer a major and minor as well as a Departmental Honors Program for those who wish to further enhance their training in the field.

Diversity Explored Through Global Literature and Cultures

UCLA is passionately committed to issues of diversity and an inclusive environment for everyone on campus. In that spirit, Comparative Literature is a discipline that mirrors some core beliefs of the university regarding diversity. For example: “We value differences as well as commonalities and promote respect in personal interactions.” Or, elsewhere: “We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue, in a respectful and civil manner, on the spectrum of views held by our varied and diverse campus communities.” Comparative Literature concerns itself with diverse literatures and cultures worldwide, both in harmony and conflict with one another.

Opportunities to Study Here and Afar

In a word, the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature guarantees an introduction to storytelling in transnational or global settings, such that individual study and research together interweave with other disciplines – far beyond the Humanities. Not only do students have access to the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), with opportunities in 42 countries, the department also encourages students to incorporate study abroad into their academic programs. This builds an expertise that works directly towards an equally wide choice of careers.

Training for Future Careers

Comparative Literature, more than any other degree, allows students an opportunity to understand the beliefs and values of multiple cultures– as they interact in an increasingly networked world. UCLA is home to a cutting-edge Career Center, so that students may link their studies to a future workplace in a timely and confident manner. Comparative Literature offers expertise in the traditions of many past cultures, together with an ability to engage with them in the future.