College of Letters

Cultivating the Educated Imagination

The College of Letters is a three year, interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy, from antiquity to the present. During these three years, students participate as a cohort in a series of colloquia in which they read and discuss works together (in English), learn to think critically about texts in relation to their contexts and influences—both European and non-European—and in relation to the disciplines that shape and are shaped by those texts.  Majors also become proficient in a foreign language and study abroad in order to deepen their knowledge of another culture. The COL, a unique college within the University, has its own library and workspace where students can study together, participate in seminars and workshops, attend lectures, and meet informally with their professors, whose offices surround the library.


Frequently asked questions about majoring in the COL, answered by Professors Ponce-Hegenauer and Torgerson

Transfer Students: Applications for the COL class of 2022 are due during orientation in late August


The 2019 Philip Hallie Lecture: “I wish you, what you wish me:” Jokes, Forgiveness, Shame, and the Social

Sarah Hammerschlag '96 (University of Chicago, Divinity School)

Friday, May 24th, 3:00 p.m., Memorial Chapel

Please join us for the 2019 Hallie Lecture. More information can be found here: