What Can I Do With a Major In Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature?

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Joyce Halverson

Career Counselor

Major Information

The Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature major strives for a broad, international scope, ranging widely across history, literature, media, and culture. Our central focus is on the various mechanisms through which value systems and individual and collective identities are continuously generated, challenged, and reinvented. The program’s goal is to produce individuals who are prepared to actively participate in the intellectual conversations and social struggles that shape our world today.

Students in the major explore areas of literary and cultural study, including the novel, poetry, film, media, sound, sexuality, and everyday life as they select courses from three of our four subfields:

  • Discursive practices and genres
  • Subjectivity and history
  • Ideologies and disciplines
  • Critical theories and method
All liberal arts degrees help CLA students develop their Core Career Competencies, and cultural studies & comparative literature majors develop specific skills that are applicable to lots of different careers. These skills include:
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Critical thinking and research skills
  • Ability to formulate clear, organized and persuasive messages
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Listening, clarifying, questioning and responding skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to work well with diverse groups

Interest code: AIS

Internship & Job Search Websites

Student Groups

Professional Organizations

Career Options

Below is a small sampling of what alumni with this major have pursued, organized by the most common career fields they go into (although keep in mind that there are Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature alumni in all eight of the career fields).  For more career information for Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature majors, utilize these additional resources:

  • What Can I Do With This Major - Find information about common career paths, employers, and strategies for how to build experience in different career fields
  • LinkedIn's Alumni Tool - Explore thousands of alumni career pathways
  • GoldPASS - Explore different job, internship, and volunteer opportunities as well as career events on campus

Note: *Asterisks denote that further education and/or training is often required

Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism & Communications


  • Editorial Intern, Free Spirit Publishing Inc.
  • Community Productions Intern, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network
  • Editorial Intern, Experience Life Magazine


  • Executive Editor, St. Thomas Intercultural Human Rights Law Review
  • Editor, Jagged Edge
  • Author/Editor-Ster, Literacy Enterprises


  • Communications and Events Manager, Arts for LA
  • Editor, Splice Here
Arts & Culture


  • Development Intern, Park Square Theatre
  • Communication & Design Intern, Transition Town Hall - All St. Anthony Park
  • Communications and Cultural Project Intern, Irish in Britain


  • Producer, CKS Group


  • Senior Producer, Funny Garbage
  • Morning Host, KZNR:FM
  • Internet Content Producer/Morning Show Host, KQRS-FM: Citadel Broadcasting
  • Theater Warehouse Manager, KBR
  • Freelance Video Editor
Business, Consulting, Marketing & Sales


  • Recruiter, New York Life Insurance Company
  • Human Resources Manager, Dashe and Thomson
  • Professional Healthcare Representative, Pfizer
  • National Accounts Manager,  Evenium Inc.
  • Inside Sales Representative, Glass Door
  • Regional Manager, AEKus Properties Inc.
  • Associate Development Officer, UMN Foundation
  • Human Resources Generalist, UMN
  • Marketing Coordinator, Ellerbe Becket
  • Senior Bilingual Registered Representative, Aetna/ING Financial Services
  • Director of Franchising, GNC


  • Assistant Manager, Unteidt's Garden Market
  • Assistant Project Manager, Kellison Company
  • Human Resources Manager, Bluefly*
  • Managing Director of Field Operation, ASAFO Global Medical Trust*
  • District Multi-State Manager/Independent Business Consultant, JoAnn Stores
  • Sales Executive, Spectrus Real Estate Group
  • Regional Team Leader, Whole Foods market
  • Diversity and Inclusion Manager, 3M*
  • Senior Consultant, Bridgehead International Ltd*
  • Recruitment Manager, Robert Half technology
  • Human Resources Manager, Steven Alan*
  • Project Manager, McCann Erickson
  • Assistant Vice President, Merrill Lynch*
Government & International Affairs


  • Intern, Ramsey County Attorney’s Office
  • Legal Services Intern, Tubman
  • Social Media & Recruitment Intern, Fund for Public Interest


  • Law Clerk, Becker & Polikoff
  • Field Organizer, Betsy Hodges for Mayor
  • Automated Logistical Specialist, US Army
  • Small Business Development Volunteer/Project Manager, U.S. Peace Corps


  • India Program Director, Lifeworks International