Carnegie Mellon University

Literature & Culture - Primary Major

In addition to satisfying all of the Dietrich College degree requirements for B.A. candidates, which include the General Education curriculum, Literature & Culture primary majors must complete coursework in the following areas below.

Learn how to declare the primary major in Literature & Culture.

To see more in-depth details related to the Literature & Culture curriculum, such as specific course options, please visit the Undergraduate Catalog.

Curriculum: 13 courses, 117 units minimum

  • Required Introductory Courses (3 courses, 27 units):

    • One Introductory Genre Writing Course
      • Choose from 76-260 Intro to Writing Fiction, 76-261 Intro to Writing Creative Nonfiction, 76-265 Intro to Writing Poetry, or 76-269 Intro to Screenwriting
    • 76-245 Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories
      or 76-247 Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
    • 76-275 Intro to Critical Writing
  • 200-Level Courses in Literature and Culture (2 courses, 18 units):

    • These courses are designed to give you experience in interpreting and writing about literature and other media in cultural context.
    • One course must be before 1830.
  • 300-Level Courses in Literature and Culture (2 courses, 18 units):

    • These courses give you a more in-depth experience in studying a period or a special topic.
  • Theory Course (1 course, 9 units):

    • This course will give you an historical overview of theoretical models important to the analytical work done in literary and cultural studies.
  • Rhetoric Course (1 course, 9 units):

    • This course can be taken at any point in your work towards the major.  You will need your advisor’s approval to ensure that the course is appropriate to your level of study. 

  • Capstone Seminar (1 course, 9 units):

    • This course will provide a true seminar experience for seniors in the major: the in-depth study of a topic in literature, culture, and theory. It will include independent research culminating in a 15- to 25-page seminar paper.  You will be given a taste of graduate study in the field, along with masters and Ph.D students.
  • English Electives (3 courses, 27 units):

    • These electives can be any 200-level or above courses offered through the English Department.