Comparative and World Literature

Major department advisors answered a few questions to assist you with your first-semester class selection. 

General Information

What are some of the highlights and features to know about this major?

Like to read literature?  Want to read literature from more than one place?  Comparative and World Literature is where that happens.

CWL Motto:  “Crossing boundaries and building bridges between literatures, languages, theories, and disciplines.”

When should I first meet with my major department?  
How will I be assigned to a major advisor and how do I contact them? All new majors begin with Dane Johnson, the undergraduate coordinator for the department.  You can seek advising at any time from any of our tenured and tenure-track faculty (listed on CWL website).
Where can I find information about major advising?
Does this major require any pre-work from me before I attend orientation or register for classes? None.
What should I do if my major core and/or prequisite courses are full?
  1. Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to the department via email (;
  2. You should contact professors of CWL courses youare interested in, as we give priority to majors/minors for coming off the wait list or being added above the cap;
  3. Remember that literature courses from any program can count as program electives in the major/minor.
Is there anything else I need to know about starting in this major? Ideally before arrival.  As stated, Dane Johnson will available all summer –in person June/August; email anytime.  If you did not connect with the department before arrival, please meet with our department as soon as possible in the semester so that changes to your schedule could still occur.

Transfer Student Info

What upper division courses should I take in my first semester as a transfer student for this major?

CWL 400 GW, Approaches to Comparative and World Literature is the best option for majors and/or minors.

Any upper-division CWL course is appropriate, as the only pre-requisite is second-year composition.

Dane Johnson is available all June and August for one-on-one meetings with potential majors/minors and is available via email in July as your faculty ambassador.

Are there any prerequisites to these upper division courses for the major? None.
Are there any registration blocks or holds in the system for this major, and if so, what do I do/who do I contact to clear them? None.
Does this major have an approved Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) roadmap?


English (AA-T) [Click here for ADT Roadmap]

Freshmen Student Info

Are there any courses I should take first as a Freshman to get started in this major and/or are there any lower division GE course requirements that I can take that will also count toward this major?

The following courses are excellent for freshman.  All count toward LD GE C3 and SF State Global Studies: Global Perspectives.

CWL 220, Reading Beyond Boundaries: An Introduction to Comparing Literatures (n.b., this is more of a seminar-style class—capped at 25 and with each section having a different theme)

CWL 230, World Literature

CWL 250, Fables and Tales

CWL 260, Myths of the World

Are there entry or prerequisite requirements for these Freshmen courses?

NO PREREQUISITES!  Perfect for all SF State students!

Can any of my AP or IB tests count toward requirements in this major? None.

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College of Liberal & Creative Arts Advising Resource Center (ARC)

Services provided for: Undergraduate students pursuing a major, minor or certificate in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.

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