Major program: The College of Letters is a three-year interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy. The program consists of:

  • five colloquia designed to acquaint students with works of predominantly European literature, history, and philosophy.
  • four seminars minimum (one in history, one in philosophy, one in literature, one in your target foreign language literature).  These specialized seminars allow COL majors to shape their COL major aound a particular interest.
  • one semester abroad, most often in Europe, Israel or in a country where your selected foreign language is spoken; in the spring of your sophomore year.
  • one comprehensive examination in April/May of your junior year.
  • one senior thesis or essay.

In all these contexts, much emphasis is put on the development of skills in writing and speaking. For this reason, letter grades are not given in courses taken for COL major credit, and COL seminars do not generally have final examinations. Instead, tutors write detailed evaluations of their students work at the end of each semester, and these are kept on record (and discussed with each student upon request).

Sample Courses: Laughter and Politics; German Romanticism in Art and Literature; Reading Theories; Tolstoy; Feminism After 1968: France, the United States, and in Between; Russia's Storyteller Playwrights

Number of Professors: 12

College of Letters Building
Title: Faculty Spotlight
College of Letters Building

Khachig Tölölyan

Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Professor of Letters


Research interests: How the increasing level of migration and dispersion brings new populations to the West, how these dispersions become ethnic and diasporic, and how these reshape the nations that host them, in culture and politics.