Comparative Literature Degrees: Distance Learning Programs

Comparative literature degree programs cannot be completed through distance learning only, though you can take certain classes online. English degree programs, which typically offer related courses in literature, may be completed online. Learn more about distance learning options and explore course topics. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Comparative Literature?

In comparative literature courses, you read and compare works from different cultures instead of reading literature in one tradition or language. Foreign works are generally read in translation unless you are fluent in the language of the text. Comparative literature practices a variety of means of analyzing texts from diverse cultures.

One basis of comparison is genre, whether its poetry, play, fiction or essay. Theme provides another point of comparison that divulges perspectives of different cultures on perennial questions or ideas, such as love, good and evil, war and poverty. Works of literature across cultures may also be compared according to their time period or literary movement, such as Romanticism. Additionally, you are typically asked to apply various interpretative or theoretical approaches to the works studied. Feminist, Marxist and psychoanalytic criticism are examples of approaches you might learn and apply to works from different cultures.

Program Focus Analyses of literature from different cultures using various methods of interpretation or criticism
Online Course Options Individual courses in comparative literature available online including Romanticism, comedy, and digital culture
Online Degree Options Bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature available online
Requirements for Online Study Computer with internet connection, word processing software

Are Online Degree Programs Available?

Though there aren't any fully online degree programs available in comparative literature, you can take a variety of individual classes online from some schools. Online courses in comparative literature can be your first step toward pursuing a campus-based degree. Courses may be based on time period or movement, theme or genre. Some examples of course topics include the following:

  • East and west
  • Romanticism
  • International short story
  • Brave new worlds
  • Comedy
  • Digital culture
  • Cinema and psyche

Can I Earn an English Degree Online?

Bachelor's and master's degrees are available online in English literature. These programs typically have concentrations in American or English literature and writing. Undergraduate programs include courses in a variety of genres and movements, such as short fiction or poetry.

You will also likely study authors in the English canon, such as Shakespeare, Milton and Chaucer. Some of these online programs also offer courses in literature from other cultures, but these are not comparative literature courses. Graduate courses in English explore the work of particular writers in greater depth and place more emphasis on literary theory and criticism.

How Do I Take Online Courses?

You can participate in online courses if you have a computer with standard productivity software - typically a word processing application - and access to the Internet. You are able to navigate the course through the course's website, which uses a learning management system to document your participation. You can participate in discussions, take exams and view multimedia course materials. Besides discussion boards and news groups, you can communicate with instructors and fellow students by e-mail.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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