Degree Programs

Majoring in World Languages & Literatures

WLL offers majors in  ChineseGerman, Japanese, and Russian language & literature programs .

Students have the option to major in Middle East & South Asian Languages & Literatures (MESALL). for an advanced knowledge of major themes and genres in Middle Eastern and/or South Asian literature and culture as well as proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening comprehension in a Middle Eastern or South Asian language.

Students interested in more than one language and literature can major in Comparative Literature.

All majors in WLL require 11 courses and share the same basic structure:

  • XL100: Leaving Home: Explorations in World Literature, a team-taught course in which students meet the WLL faculty through guest lectures and are oriented in the rich diversity of the world’s literary traditions.  
  • The 250-series “Masterpieces” course in the literature of specialization
  • Three language courses beyond the fourth-semester level
  • Four courses in the language, literature, and/or culture of specialization.
  • One WLL Breadth Elective. This is a course not in the language of specialization chosen in consultation with an advisor among all WLL courses in order to provide regional, global and/or historical comparison.
  • The Capstone Seminar (XL 479). All WLL majors reconvene in this course in the fall of their senior year to share their knowledge of world languages & literatures and to work with a faculty mentor on a final project using original language materials: a scholarly paper, a translation, a creative work, or other project.

Students who study abroad can often fulfill a good part of the major requirements on the abroad program

Contact any WLL faculty member, or Professor Roberta Micallef, the Director of Undegraduate Studies, to discuss majoring in WLL. The form for declaring a major or minor in WLL is available online.

Students learning Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and/or Turkish can major in Middle East and North Africa Studies in the Pardee School of Global Studies. For more information, please see the BA in Middle East and North Africa Studies page. 

WLL also offers a joint major with Linguistics in Japanese and Linguistics.

Minoring in World Languages & Literatures

Students can minor in any of the languages below by taking 6 courses beyond the second-year level; Comparative Literature is a 6-course minor. Click below to see specific requirements for each minor:

All prospective minors are encouraged to discuss their plans with faculty advisers.


Every declared major and minor student in WLL is assigned to an academic advisor; all faculty whose official title includes the word “Professor” may act as advisors. If you wish to change your advisor, please contact department staff