Interior of the Suzzallo library silent reading room.

Global Literary Studies

Program Overview

A dynamic collaboration of multiple UW departments and housed in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Global Literary Studies (GLITS) introduces students to works of literature from around the world and from all eras of human history. Drawing on the expertise of faculty from across the Humanities Division, GLITS offers students a rich array of courses that reveal the importance and lasting impact of various forms of imaginative writing and speech. All GLITS classes are taught in English and work with literature in English translation. Skills developed by the study of literature include the ability to effectively communicate in oral and written form, to activate one's imagination and creativity, and to engage with varied points of view, ways of thinking, and lived experiences. GLITS is a flexible course of study that provides students many opportunities to customize their degree.


Admission Type

Open - students in good academic standing may declare this major at any time by meeting with an adviser.


Completion Requirements (53-55 credits)

Core Courses (25 credits):

Introduction to Literature (5 credits): One course from GLITS 250, GLITS 251, GLITS 252, or GLITS 253

Literature Across Boundaries (20 credits)

Students should take a minimum of two courses from two of the following categories. See adviser or department website for list of approved courses (a course not on the approved list must be approved by the program adviser).

  • Literature Across Times: Studies in literary and cultural history, spanning multiple periods.
  • Literature Across Languages: Translation studies and the literature of languages in contact, including the varieties and interrelationships of Global English.
  • Literature Across Places: Strategies of reading and imagined dialogues between texts from disparate places.
  • Literature Across Genres/Modes: Literary work developed across various forms of imaginative expression, such as the adaptation of prose fiction to theater, or treatment of a common theme in multiple genres (such as poetry, legend, opera, comics, fictional and non-fictional narrative, essays).
  • Literature Across Disciplines: Explores literature in conjunction with other fields of study, such as environmental humanities, medical humanities, or studies of literature and law, literature and art.


Integrative Experience Course (5 credits): GLITS 450

Electives (23-25 credits)

Any combination of the courses listed in requirement #1 above, second-year or above language courses (maximum 15 credits), or courses from a list of approved elective courses. See adviser or the linked page above for list of approved elective courses (a course not on the approved list must be approved by the program adviser). Maximum one 200-level course graded as credit/no credit may count toward this requirement.



A minimum of 30 credits must be taken in 300/400 level courses.

A maximum of 15 credits for the GLITS major may overlap with requirements for another major.