FROM STUDY TO SKILLS
All academic programs offered at the UM help students develop valuable transferable skills. Comparative Literature is a flexible interdisciplinary program that examines world literatures across national, historical, and linguistic boundaries. Comparative Literature students gain an understanding of comparative methodologies and cross-cultural analysis, and are encouraged to study abroad.
As a concentrator in Comparative Literature, you will study at least one foreign language and develop skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing about literature and other media. Given today’s developments in multiculturalism, trans-nationalism, and globalization, the Comparative Literature concentrator will be particularly well prepared for the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Related fields include International Studies, Communication Studies, Linguistics, History, Screen Arts and Cultures, History of Art, American Culture, Women’s Studies, Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and other programs in Languages and Literatures.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Mastering more than one language
Comparing / contrasting different languages
Perceiving word patterns and structures
Using and recognizing precise language
Producing and evaluating translations
Analyzing complex texts from a variety of media
Synthesizing themes from diverse sources
Comparing / contrasting ideas
Using theoretical approaches
Understanding components of complex problems
Offering diverse perspectives
Cross-Cultural / Interpersonal Skills
Understanding and interpreting other cultures / beliefs
Examining a problem from a variety of perspectives
Appreciating similarities /differences among people
Honing sensitivity to others’ viewpoints
Writing clearly and concisely
Presenting complex information logically
Editing / proofreading materials
Advocating / defending a position
Communicating through print and online media
Assessing the needs of an audience
BUILDING YOUR SKILLS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills, initiative, and a strong work ethic. Student organizations and campus employment offer valuable opportunities to add to the skills you are developing in your classes. The Comparative Literature Undergraduate Group is one such opportunity and recently launched an online translation magazine, Canon Translation Review. Other options include study abroad, off-campus employment or volunteering in the community. Finally, a summer internship may be the best way of all to test out a career field and develop marketable skills.
FROM SKILLS TO CAREER
Comparative Literature concentrators develop a broad range of skills applicable to a wide range of careers. The interdisciplinary nature of our undergraduate program helps prepare students for opportunities in fields as diverse as law, medicine, journalism, translation, publishing, international relations, marketing, education, public policy, film, and new media. Many concentrators continue their education in graduate or professional programs. The list below is a sample of careers undertaken by Comparative Literature concentrators.
United Nations interpreter
Special collections librarian
English as a second language teacher
Adult literacy teacher
Public opinion analyst
Market research analyst
Historic preservation specialist
Advocate for the homeless
Volunteer coordinator, nonprofit
Foreign service officer
Labor relations specialist
Cross-cultural relations specialist
Counselor / social worker
Reporter / columnist
Public relations representative
= Further Study Required
For more career information, see O*Net at http://online.onetcenter.org/
Prerequisite: Foreign language proficiency necessary for the study of foreign literature courses at the 300 level or higher. A minimum of 33 credits is required, as follows:
- 24 credits: A complementary group of courses in literature (or related fields) at the 300 level or above in at least two languages (one of which may be English), at least 12 credits per language.
- 6 credits of CL courses at the 200 level or above. CL496-Honors Thesis may be used.
- The 3 credit capstone senior seminar, CL 495.
For further information, please see the LSA bulletin, or the program website. A Concentrator’s Handbook is available online under “Undergraduate Resources.”
Department of Comparative Literature
2021 Tisch Hall.
Newnan Advising Center
1255 Angell Hall
To begin connecting to professionals in fields that interest you, create your own LinkedIn account:
To identify internships or job opportunities, visit Handshake: https://careercenter.umich.edu/article/handshake
On campus jobs (work-study and non work-study jobs) are listed at: https://studentemployment.umich.edu/JobX_Home.aspx
The Maize Pages list hundreds of organizations for students to get involved in:
The Career Guide series was developed by the University of Michigan Career Center, Division of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. ©2011 Regents of the University of Michigan