In the now retired Comparative Studies major, students chose one of five concentration areas of concentration. Students who declared the degree before January 1, 2024 may choose to complete the degree with these concentrations and their existing requirements. Another option is to adopt the new major and simply choose a Core Area of Focus that matches the old concentration.:
To aid students who wish to complete their degree with the requirements in effect when they declared, here is information about the former concentrations for the CS major and their requirements:
- Comparative Cultural Studies
- Comparative Ethnic & American Studies
- Comparative Literature
- Folklore Studies
- Science and Technology Studies
Pre-2024 Comparative Studies Majors: You Have Options!
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.) This page offers an overview of those changes and what they may mean for you.
The aforementioned changes go into effect for students who declare a Comparative Studies major after Jan 1, 2024. 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 discern what will work best for you, please consider the advantages of the new program.
The main goals of the revision 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, and
- smooth the path to degree completion.
The most significant change of the new plan is that it 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 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.