Comparative Literature offers a broad and flexible program of literary study, outside the disciplinary confines of the national literature departments. Students enjoy a great advantage in their ability to choose departmental courses from all literatures, Western and non-Western, and even from a number of disciplines. Why study literature in this way? There are at least three reasons. One is to study literature as an international phenomenon and explore the ways in which different traditions interact with one another. A second is to provide a theoretical account of literature itself. A third is to explore cross-disciplinary issues, between literature and the arts, literature and science, and literature and the social sciences. Students choosing the Department of Comparative Literature should have a commitment to the study of literature and be open and curious about different approaches to it. They should be adventurous in choosing from a variety of courses and have an independent mind. At the same time, they should be capable of using the freedom that the discipline affords to build a coherent and personally satisfying program of study. Alumni of the department use their multi-lingual proficiency and broad humanities–based perspective to enter such diverse fields as law, business, government, higher education, medicine, publishing, journalism, technology, and the arts.