Prospective Students

The undergraduate program in Comparative Literature at Harvard prepares students to play an active and creative role in today’s globalized world by exploring literature and culture across languages, and investigating the intersections and inter-connections among literatures, cultures, media, and disciplines.

Students in Comparative Literature design a course of study tailored to their particular interests, and work in languages as diverse as English and German, French and Hindi, Spanish and Arabic, Chinese and Latin.  Some students have fluency in their foreign language(s) of choice when they join the program, while others develop their linguistic fluency as they pursue their studies in the concentration. Comp Lit concentrators can connect their literary studies with broader interests in the Humanities, such as film, digital media, and music.  They can also incorporate their literary studies into their interests in other fields, such as law, medicine, and the environment. Many of our students bring a comparative disciplinary element into their program of studies (literature and gender studies; literature and philosophy; literature and government), while others pursue a joint concentration directly.

If you are interested in concentrating in Comparative Literature, our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Sandra Naddaff, will be happy to answer any of your questions. She also holds office hours by appointment (Spring 2017 Office Hours: Wednesdays 10:30-11:30am). Please call (617-495-4186) or email our Program Coordinator if you wish to sign up for an appointment. You may also email Dr. Naddaff directly (snaddaff@fas.harvard.edu) with any questions you might have. 

We look forward to hearing from you and to meeting many of you in the coming year!

Our Concentration Admission season occurs in the fall for Harvard students in their sophomore year. Our application deadline has passed for 2016-2017 but you may still contact our Director of Undergraduate Studies (snaddaff@fas.harvard.edu) if you wish to inquire about the possibility of joinning our concentration after the deadline.

Please review the Harvard College Handbook for Students for a description of the Comparative Literature concentration and its requirements.

Feel free to contact any one of our Peer Advisors for more information on what it's like to concentrate in Comparative Literature:

You will also find many more details in our Comp Lit brochure.

Students who have concentrated in Comparative Literature have gone on to careers in a variety of fields:  academics, journalism, film, law, medicine, and business, among others. Please see our Alumni List for specific examples. Here are also some testimonies about our concentration from some of our alumni: Alumni Voices.

comp lit without borders