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Comparative Literature students in their third year are invited to apply for admission to the Distinguished Majors program in Comparative Literature. The program is intended for excellent students who wish to engage in independent research during their final year at the university. Students accepted to the program spend two semesters writing a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member associated with the Comparative Literature program. They also enroll in the fourth-year Comparative Literature seminar CPLT 4990, which is usually taught by the Director of the program.

Students accepted to the program are expected to have a GPA of around 3.4 over-all and 3.6 in their major. In order to graduate with honors, you will need to maintain your grade point average and achieve distinction in your honors thesis. This thesis is a substantial piece of scholarly writing dealing with any topic relevant to Comparative Literature, and is normally between 40 and 60 pages in length. It is evaluated by the studentís advisor and by the Director of the Comparative Literature program. (See recommendations and timetable for the honor thesis .)

Applications to the Distinguished Majors program are due on April 20 or the first working day thereafter. They should be directed to the Director, Professor Paul Cantor (Department of English, Bryan Hall). The application consists of four parts:

1) Cover sheet

2) 1-2 page outline for a thesis project.*

3) A transcript of grades at UVA (or elsewhere in the case of a transfer student)

4) A letter of recommendation from a faculty member, which should be sent directly to the Director as a letter or e-mail attachment.

* Students are encouraged to find a faculty member willing to direct their thesis before applying to the program. Discussions with a professor can be very helpful in formulating a plausible research topic. Many students begin by sketching out a topic far too ambitious to be covered within the scope of an honors thesis. Your outline should include the following: a title; an indication of the questions that will be driving your research; the text or texts you will be analyzing; and why you think this research matters.


  University of Virginia

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.