Examine the human condition and experience as captured in literature and film.

The literature major at Clarkson provides you with the opportunity to explore works of literature and film from diverse cultures and perspectives, and it provides you with the tools to think about them critically.

Studying literature at a university that cultivates innovative thinking and practical applications for creative ideas can help you bridge the gap between theory and practice as you explore the varied applications of your studies. Moreover, by studying literature in an interdisciplinary department at a STEM-focused university where students are required to take courses in an external field, you are consistently exposed to opportunities to connect information and ideas across disciplines, a skill critical to big-picture thinking.

Request More Info Apply Now Contact the HSS Dept. Contact Admissions

Career Opportunities

A literature degree shows that you are well-rounded, well-read and can talk about big ideas in an engaging way. It will prepare you for the ever-changing modern world by giving you the skills needed to adapt quickly as jobs change. That’s one of the perks of being a passionate lifelong learner. 

A literature major has practical applications. For example, did you know that according to The Princeton Review, humanities majors score better on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) than biology majors do? Literature is all about using words effectively, and medical schools are looking for applicants who can communicate well with patients. 

In short, a literature degree will prepare you for life.

Clarkson University Class of 2020 100 percent placement rating
75% of employers seek candidates with strong written communication skills
Top 3% Best Value Payscale Infographic 2018

Literature Curriculum

In the undergraduate literature program, a total of 31 out of the 120 credit hours are devoted to literature classes. This leaves flexibility for you to narrow your area of interest with minors, concentrations or double majors.

Program Requirements:

  • HSS120 Introducing the Liberal Arts (can be waived in certain circumstances)
  • HSS480 Major Research Seminar
  • Nine courses in literature and film, of which at least two must be LIT courses (that is, have the LIT designator) and at least two must be FILM courses
  • Five courses in a pre-professional or career-oriented external field
  • Fulfillment of the Clarkson Common Experience requirements

Literature majors take courses such as:

  • FILM237 The Horror Film
  • FILM260 Major Marginalized Movie-Makers
  • FILM322 The Hollywood Cinema
  • FILM345 Film and Native America
  • LIT220 American Gods
  • LIT221 Great American Authors
  • LIT222 Philosophy for Life
  • LIT223 Dystopian Fiction
  • LIT225 American Short Story
  • LIT226 Modern Fiction
  • LIT227 Tales from the Tropics
  • LIT230 Monsters in the House
  • LIT235 Science Fiction
  • LIT240 Gender and Popular Culture
  • LIT248 Nobel Prize Winners in Literature


  • LIT250 World Literature
  • LIT253 Greek Mythology
  • LIT255 Close Encounters of the X Kind
  • LIT260 Introduction to Poetry
  • LIT262 Women Acting Out
  • LIT265 Creative Writing
  • LIT270 Comics of Conscience
  • LIT275 Demons and Witches
  • LIT280 Disaster Lit
  • LIT335 Violence and Reconciliation
  • LIT355 Power, Exploitation, and Freedom: Postcolonial Literature
  • LIT380 Shakespeare's Game of Thrones: Blood, Lust, and Power


Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.

  • FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

What's your purpose? Achieve it here.