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Mailing Address
Comparative Literature Program
Dartmouth College
6051 Reed Hall, Room 201
Hanover, NH 03755


Office Hours
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: (603) 646-2912
Fax: (603) 646-9288

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How to Apply

A Major Application Form is available for download here. (PDF download)

Major cards must be submitted to the Registrar's office by the end of the fifth term in residence or before the tenth day of the following term. Since Comparative Literature requires an application that must be approved by the Steering Committee, Comparative Literature majors need to design their major well in advance of this deadline. To apply, students must complete the Program's application form and outline a coherent program of study. Applications are available in the Comparative Literature office, 201 Reed Hall.

  1. When applying to the Major you should think about the literature courses you have taken, and determine what about them has interested you most. Think about several possible areas of interest around which you might focus your major and make a list of courses that fit into each of them. Think about the different major options and try to determine which might suit you best. Think especially about your level of linguistic competence, and about which language you need to strengthen before senior year. Consider whether you would like to go on a foreign study program. As you look through the ORC, remember to look at a number of different departments and programs: Comparative Literature, the department of your primary (and secondary) language or of your "other discipline," History, and other interdisciplinary programs. Any course can count if you can make a case for including it in your focus. Try to coordinate these lists with your Dartmouth plan. You can do this alone or in consultation with a professor whom you know in the Program.
  2. Meet with the Chair to discuss your area of interest and to consult about courses which might fit into your schedule. This is also the time to choose an advisor among the Program's faculty and to discuss your plans with him/her. Your major advisor does not need to be your thesis advisor.
  3. Complete the application in consultation with your major advisor and the Chair. An application is available here (Word document)Please download the application and TYPE in your information. The most important section of the application is the outline of your course of study. It is here that you articulate your area of interest as specifically as you can and that you demonstrate how different courses will enable you to explore it. Do not hesitate to mention authors you hope to study, genres and themes you wish to analyze. This is not a thesis proposal - we assume that you have a great deal of reading to do before you select a thesis topic. We do, however, want to know how your program coheres and what general texts or questions have brought you to it.
  4. Your major advisor must approve your application with his/her signature. Next, take your completed major applications to the Comparative Literature Program office (201 Reed Hall) by the 4th Friday of the term. The Steering Committee will convene to review your application. Applications must be approved by the Steering Committee before the major card is signed by the Chair. The Steering Committee may ask that you rewrite your plan of study with more clarity or focus, or might suggest some changes in your course outline. This is part of the application process.
  5. Once the application has been approved by the Steering Committee, the Chair will sign your major card. If you wish to change any of the courses on your major card, you may do so with the approval of the Chair.
    *Important: If you change a course, you must re-file your major card with the Registrar.
  6. During the end of sophomore and during junior year, you can be involved in program activities by attending receptions, colloquia and lectures. During winter term, you will be encouraged to attend the senior thesis/paper presentations and at the end of the spring term you will be invited to the senior luncheon.

Last Updated: 5/20/14