While Comparative Studies is broadly concerned with the study of culture and cultural differences, students develop particular areas of expertise. Comparative Studies majors choose one of five areas of concentration:
- Comparative Cultural Studies
- Comparative Ethnic & American Studies
- Comparative Literature
- Science and Technology Studies
As a Comparative Studies major, you will learn more about the variety of ways people have developed to understand and describe the world, their place within it, and their relationship to others. Understanding cultural similarities and differences is at the heart of the Comparative Studies program. Comparative Studies raises questions that help us understand how culture shapes the lives of individuals and groups. How, for example, does religion influence social change and stability in different cultures? How do different people express themselves and their concerns through literature and the arts? How do science and technology reflect cultural values and beliefs?
Unlike many Arts and Sciences majors, the Comparative Studies major is interdisciplinary, which means that you will be taking courses in several departments to satisfy the requirements. Once you've chosen an area of concentration, you and your adviser can begin to put together the set of courses that best reflects your particular interests and also satisfies the requirements of that area. Comparative Studies maintains lists of courses in other departments that count for major credit in each area. As a Comparative Studies major, you will take an active role in planning the program that best accommodates your academic goals.