Ohio State nav bar

Differences Between Previous and Current CS Major

Effective Autumn 2023, the Department of Comparative Studies has amended the Comparative Studies major program.

There are no changes to the Religious Studies or World Literatures majors.

The sections below give an overview of the changes and what they may mean for you.


  • The changes go into effect for students who declare their major in AU 23 onward
  • Anyone who declares a Comparative Studies major after Jan 1, 2024 will follow the new plan
  • Any majors declared before that date may follow the new plan

In other words, current majors have the option to complete their degree under the new program, but they are not required to switch if they prefer the requirements that were in effect when they declared the major.

As you consider what works best for you, please consider the advantages of the new program.



The main goals of the revisions to the Comparative Studies major are to: 

  • Increase course options that fulfill requirements
  • Provide a more personalized plan of study with more options for focal areas
  • Ease the path to degree completion



The most significant change is that the new plan does not have pre-set concentrations.

Instead, students determine a Core Area of Focus with a faculty advisor and a set of 5 courses related to this area.

Students may still choose a topic that corresponds closely to the concentrations previously offered, but now there will be other possibilities as well.

Although transcripts will not show the major focus, students can (and should!) include it on their résumé, graduate school applications, and other documents that highlight educational experience.

In addition, a personalized letter of recognition from the department will confirm graduating students’ satisfactory design and completion of the Core Area of Focus and the title of their research project in the department.

We are excited about the options that these revisions create for students! Please meet with the Comparative Studies major program advisor Emily Carpenter(.438) to address any initial questions about the major change.

Emily can then put you in contact with your faculty advisor to continue to address additional questions about your course of study and to help you plan your major area of focus.

What's changed about the Comparative Studies Major?


The Core Area of Focus replaces the previous plan’s major concentrations, which are:

  • Folklore, Ethnic & American Studies
  • Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Science & Technology Studies


Students don't need to formally declare a concentration anymore.

Instead, students define a Core Area of Focus for the major with their faculty advisor.

The focus area may correspond to what we used to call “concentrations,” but students can also personalize their focus to better align with their interests and have more options among courses to fulfill the major requirements.

How does this affect you?

Anyone declaring the major AU23 or later will not have a concentration declared in their student record and it won't appear on your official OSU transcript. 

The Core Area of Focus, and courses to fulfill it, will be noted internally between you, your faculty advisor, and the Comparative Studies major program advisor, Emily Carpenter.

Anyone who declared the major prior to AU23 will be allowed to keep the concentration declared and it will appear on your official OSU transcript.


There are now more major course offerings each semester and more flexibility in choice of courses.


With the removal of concentrations, a Comparative Studies major isn't needed to follow a concentration-specific list of courses.

Instead, students can choose courses for a major area of focus with the guidance of faculty advisors and our major program advisor, Emily Carpenter.

Course options will be more varied than the previously prescribed concentration core courses.   

How does this affect you?

All students pursuing the major in AU23 and beyond (and any existing majors who choose to follow the new program) may take advantage of the increased flexibility to complete their major focus area requirements.


All Comparative Studies majors in the new plan must take COMPSTD 2360 as a required course. 


Instead of a concentration-specific introductory course as under the old plan, all majors now take COMPSTD 2360 (Introduction to Comparative Cultural Studies).

More specific introductory courses related to your major focus now can be planned to count toward the 5 major focus classes.

Example: if you choose a major focus related to literature, you could take COMPSTD 2301: Intro to World Literature as part of your major focus group of courses.

How does this affect you?

Anyone declaring the major AU23 or later must take COMPSTD 2360.

Anyone who declared the major prior to AU23 and who wants to follow the revised major is also must take COMPSTD 2360, unless a faculty advisor substitute is approved by the faculty advisor.

What's NOT changing about the major?

Credit Hours

  • 37 credit hours are still required

Required Courses

  • COMPSTD 2099, 3990 and 4990 are still required for the major

Research Courses

  • Students must take a research course
    • A research course is a 4000 or 5000 level COMPSTD or RELSTDS course that includes a significant research component
      • Ideally, this is included among your Major Focus courses


  • Students still must take 12 hours of electives

Embedded Literacies Courses

  • Students completing the degree under the New GE (GE-N) must complete the 3 Embedded Literacies* courses in each of the following areas:
    • Technology Embedded Literacy: COMPSTDS 2340 or another approved Technology Embedded Literacy Course
    • Data Analysis Embedded Literacy: CS 3990   
    • Advanced Writing Embedded Literacy: CS 4990

*Embedded literacies are not part of the major; two courses that are required for the major also meet embedded literacy requirements.

Comparative Studies Major Advising Guide

Current majors may schedule an advising appointment with Comparative Studies Academic Advisor Emily Carpenter by visiting go.osu.edu/oncourse. 

If you have trouble scheduling via OnCourse, please make an appointment via email (carpenter.438@osu.edu) or by calling 614-292-8485.