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

Applications for the major are due on Monday, March 25, 2019

"Erasmus: How the Itinerant Dutch Humanist Created a Blueprint for a New Europe." A Lecture by Michael Massing

Thursday, March 7 @ 4:30 in the COL library

Michael Massing is a former executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and The American Prospect. He is the author of The Fix, a critical study of the U.S. war on drugs; Now They Tell Us: The American Press and Iraq; and Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther, and the Fight for the Western Mind.