Admissions to the Majors or Concentration
Students intending to seek admission to the Comparative Literature and Society major or concentration are encouraged to speak as soon as possible to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), to be announced in August 2023.
Students seeking admission to the Medical Humanities major should also speak to Dr. Rishi Goyal, Director of Medicine, Literature and Society (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please join us in Fall 2023 for the Undergraduate Meet-n-Greet to be scheduled. This meeting is an informal discussion with current and prospective majors, our DUS and our Director of Medical Humanities.
Students enroll in the CLS or MedHum major at the beginning of the spring semester of the sophomore year by completing the admissions form that can be found on the download menu bar and submitting the completed form along with a transcript and one-page statement of academic interests. The requirements for admission are as follows:
The Major in Comparative Literature and Society (and Concentration) application requirements (CLS)
Foreign Language Requirement:
Since students are expected to be able to conduct basic research in a foreign language they must, by the time they apply, meet the following foreign language requirement:
Foreign Language #1: you must have taken, or be taking in the spring semester of your sophomore year, at least one advanced course in a foreign language. The course should be taken at Columbia, Barnard or a peer institution. ‘Advanced’ signifies a course at the 3000- or 4000- level that is not a conversation course. The course does not have to be conducted in the target language but most of the readings must be in the language.
Foreign language #2: you must have completed, or be completing in the spring semester of your sophomore year, the equivalent of least 4 semesters of a foreign language. This can be satisfied by either 4 semesters in one language or 2 semesters each in 2 different languages. These four semesters may be taken at Columbia or reflected in AP scores, summer program credits, etc. Native and heritage speakers must take a placement test to confirm their level unless they have completed high school in the foreign language.
Medical Humanities Major
Foreign Language Requirement:
Students must have taken at Columbia or be taking during the spring semester of the sophomore year at least one advanced course in a foreign language. ‘Advanced’ signifies a course at the 3000- or 4000- level that is not primarily a language training course. Note that the course does not have to be conducted in the language but most of the readings must be in the language. An additional advanced language course will be required as part of your major course requirements.
- The applications outline the requirements for the CLS and MedHum majors. The equivalent application for the CLS concentration can also be downloaded below.
- The application should be submitted along with a focus statement of one to two pages. The focus is a period, theme, problematic, movement, etc. that the student proposes to explore from an interdisciplinary and/or a comparative perspective. The faculty understands that this statement is itself a work in progress, but also that it serves as a useful guide to the student’s academic pursuits and course selection. Prospective majors and concentrators are encouraged to consult with the DUS about the particulars of the focus statement or about any other aspect of the application process.
- Applications to a major or concentration for the Class of 2026 are due January 3rd. If you plan to graduate before May 2026, please reach out to our DUS immediately with a completed application for consideration. You must email ONE COMPLETE COMBINED PDF (named your LASTNAME, First Name CLS or MedHum app) that includes your application, focus statement, and transcripts to email@example.com.