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Columbia University Course/Program Name
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National :01 Jan
International :01 Jan

BA Comparative Literature

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

46040 USD
46040 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Department of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600

World University Ranking

About this course

The Department of Classics and Ancient Studies offers majors in Greek, Latin, Classics, and Ancient Studies and minors in Classics, Ancient Studies, and Modern Greek. Please consult the relevant category under "Majors" for details about courses of study and requirements.


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Eligibility Criteria

To enter the program, a student must normally have completed the required sequence necessary for entry into the advance literature courses of her major program.

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Course Modules

Students are required to take the following courses
  • CPLS BC3001 - Introduction to Comparative Literature
  • One (1) course in appropriate classical texts
    • For those specializing in languages and literature in the Western tradition
      • CLLT GU4300: The Classical Tradition
      • RELI UN3301: Hebrew Bible
      • RELI UN3120: Introduction to the New Testament 
    • For those specializing in languages and literatures in Eastern traditions
      • AHUM UN3399: Major Texts - Middle East and India
      • AHUM UN1400: Colloquium on Major Texts - East Asia
    • For other courses, please see chair for approval.
  • One (1) course in literary theory.
    • Students will normally be expected to satisfy this requirement by taking CPLS UN3930: The Colloquium in Literary Theory.
    • If study abroad plans make this impossible, other courses may be substituted (i.e.: ENGL BC3194: Critical & Theoretical Perspectives on Literature)
  • Three (3) courses from each of two (2) literary traditions* studied in the original languages.
    • Foreign literature courses must be beyond the introductory level.
  • Five (5) elected courses in comparative literature or literary theory (studied in the original or in translation) related to the student's individual program.
    • These courses must be comparative or theoretical in nature; consultation with the chair advised.
  • One (1) course for writing the Senior Thesis.
    • The Senior Thesis must deal with material from at least the two central literatures in the student's major. In addition, this thesis must treat, entirely or in part, the one period, genre, theme, or theoretical issue that has shaped the student's program. The choice of topic for this senior essay and the appointment of a second adviser are determined in consultation with the area adviser and the director of the program. A detailed description for planning the major is available from the director of the program.
Students who wish to major in Comparative Literature, but who for valid reasons wish to pursue a program at variance with the above model, should consult the director.

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How to Apply

Submit all supporting materials

  • Request that all official high school and college transcripts be sent to Barnard College along with your high school's profile. Your guidance counselor will also need to submit the School Report.
  • Submit official standardized testing. For more information, please view
  • Submit Teacher Evaluation forms. We require letters from two teachers that taught you in core academic subjects (English, foreign language, history [social science], mathematics, or science) in your final two years of secondary school.
  • Your counselor will submit the mid-year report with your first semester senior grades by March 1st via the common application.
  • Submit TOEFL or IELTS (if applicable). In addition to SAT/ACT requirements, TOEFL/IELTS scores are required for students whose primary language is not English and who have not been enrolled in a school where English is the primary medium of instruction for four consecutive years

Optional Supplemental Materials

  • Students may choose to complete an on-campus or off-campus interview. For information on how and when to schedule an interview, please visit our admissions interview page. 
  • Students may choose to submit supplementary portfolios (art—including film, photo, drawing, painting, sculpture—music, dance, theatre, or creative writing) for review via Slideroom. 
    Please note: Supplementary material will not be reviewed by Barnard faculty, and unfortunately, during high volume periods, we cannot guarantee it will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee. 

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