1. What is World Literature?

World Literature is the study of writing from around the world—poetry, fiction, drama, travelogues, and screenplays. It will appeal to students who have a passion for literature, travel and cultural exchange. If you are curious about different forms of global culture, from epic poetry to contemporary graphic novels from East and West, then World Literature may be just the program for you.

2. I would like to take an introductory course in World Literature. Where are they offered?

Introductory courses for World Literature are offered at SFU Burnaby.  All five 100 level World Lit courses provide an introduction to World Literature, so you have a range to choose from.

3. I am an upper division student, and I would like to take an upper division course in World Literature.Is this possible without taking a lower division course first?

Yes.  If you have taken three courses that are designated as 'B-HUM' (breadth in humanities), you have the prerequisites for most 300 level World Literature courses. 

4. How do I declare my Major or Minor in World Literature?

When you have successfully completed two courses in World Literature, you can declare your Major or Minor.  E-mail the student advisor: worldlit@sfu.ca and ask for an appointment to declare your Major or Minor, and to find out about your options within the program. 

5. I heard that you learn a second language in the World Literature Program. Is this true?

Courses and texts in World Literature are in English, but students are encouraged to learn another language or to further their skills in another language. Courses are offered through SFU's Language Training Institute and include Chinese, Japanese, Italian, German, Spanish and French.

6. I am interested in majoring in World Literature, but I have already completed 20 or 30 units at SFU.  Would I still be able to complete the major in a timely fashion?

Yes.  The key to the timely completion of your degree is advance planning.  You are welcome to meet with Katie Nordgren, Student Advisor, for assistance. 

E-mail: worldlit@sfu.ca

7. I have taken literature courses in other departments at SFU.  Would they count towards a major or minor in World Literature?

Courses in other departments can be considered for credit in World Literature. You can request approval by bringing a detailed course outline to the undergraduate advisor.  For an appointment e-mail: worldlit@sfu.ca

8. I'm interested in teaching. How can World Literature help?

World Literature is an exciting way to prepare for the multicultural classrooms of the 21st century. The BC College of Teachers recognizes World Literature as a teachable subject for high school. World Literature also fulfills the English requirement for elementary teachers.

You are strongly encouraged to attend an orientation for teachers, offered through the Faculty of Education. For date information, please visit the website for the Faculty of Education. Any questions that pertain to teaching can be directed to the Faculty of Education advisor, Jacquie Breadon.

9. I am transferring from another post-secondary institution (college or university), and am interested in majoring in World Literature.  Will courses I've taken count towards my degree?

Please click here for a list of courses from other post-secondary institutions recognized for World Literature credit.

In addition, SFU recognizes a range of courses at other universities and colleges. If you are transfering from a post-secondary institution within the province, check out the BC Transfer Guide. If you are applying from outside of BC, you can submit course syllabi (with course descriptions, assignments, and grading) to Student Services for transfer credit evaluation after being admitted to SFU.

10. I want to enroll for a course but I have not completed the pre-requisite(s). What can I do?

Pre-requisites help students achieve success in advanced courses. If you strongly feel that your work or previous education experience covers material you could have learned in a pre-requisite course(s), please fill out a pre-requisite waiver and submit it to the Advisor.

11. I took a WL course before, and it's being offered again by a different instructor, with different content. Can I take it for additional credit?

Yes. If you previously took a WL course but it is being taught again by a different instructor and has different class content, you can take it for additional credit. Please fill out a course duplication request form and submit this to the Advisor.

12. I would like to take World Literature courses as electives. How would these count towards my degree?

WL 100, 102, 201 and 203 are recognized specifically for Breadth-Humanities credit as part of WQB requirements. Other World Literature courses will count for general, undesignated breadth credit outside your major. WL 101 and 301 are also designated writing-intensive (W) courses.

13. What can I do with a degree in World Literature?

Here are some career paths:

  • International agencies and organizations, including embassies
  • Teaching, in Canada and abroad
  • Book, multimedia, and magazine environments
  • Social service, especially in the area of immigration
  • Consultant in the public or private sector
  • Creative writing and cultural professions
  • Writing, editing and publishing
  • Small business
  • Journalism, communications, broadcasting and public relations
  • Public administration
  • Community and social service organizations
  • Education and academia

Click here for more exciting career options with a degree in world literature!