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.

In short, the Comparative Literature Concentration provides an ideal home for students who wish to craft a comparative and interdisciplinary concentration that is embedded in the Humanities but has the potential to reach beyond.

  • Check in with one of our concentration peer advisors for the inside scoop on concentrating in Comp Lit at any time. They are happy to meet with you.

You can find a full description of Comparative Literature and concentration requirements in the Harvard College Handbook for Students.

Life After Comp Lit:

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 information about some of our graduates.

We welcome your questions throughout the year:

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 throughout the year. She holds office hours by appointment (Fall 2021 Office Hours TBD) and you can sign up for your appointment on this page. You may also email Dr. Naddaff directly ( with any questions you might have.

comp lit without borders