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I am currently in the first few years of my undergraduate career completing a major in Computer Science. Although I do not enjoy the subject, I fully plan to see this degree to completion because it realistically assures me a stable, well-paying job. However, I am very passionate about comparative literature. I have spoken to some of my comp lit professors and they advise me to continue my CS degree as a "back-up" but take as many literature classes as possible as extracurricular and do well in them. The plan would be to apply to relevant Master's program and a PhD program after that if I wish to continue. Is this the best approach?

The general question I am asking is how feasible is acceptance into a graduate school in a subject completely different than my undergrad (such as CS -> comparative literature) under the best possible circumstances, and what can I do in the next few years to increase my chances at admission?

Another more specific option I am wondering about, although this may not be the place to ask, is my university offers co-terminal programs that achieve a BS and MA in 5 years, but comparative literature is not offered as a co-term option. The closest are Philosophy or English. Would pursuing either of these alongside a BS in CS be beneficial when being considered for admission into a comparative literature PhD program? Another option would be to pursue a minor in Comparative Literature.

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put on hold as off-topic by Bryan Krause, Brian Borchers, Solar Mike, user3209815, ZeroTheHero Aug 15 at 0:38

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – Brian Borchers, Solar Mike, user3209815
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    @BryanKrause I did run across that question in my research! In this question, I was hoping to more get at what can I do going forward with my undergraduate career ahead of me rather than assessing my chances retrospectively. I understand that it is possible to be admitted in my circumstances. Please let me know if this distinction is not important enough and I will remove my question. – Justin Chang Aug 13 at 21:14
  • I do think the answers on the other question address those sub-questions, but no need to remove your question or fear being marked as a duplicate, there is no penalty against you for that happening. I would wait and see what the rest of the community thinks, they may provide you an answer or they may vote to close. All the options you give seem reasonable to me (taking courses in the relevant area, minoring in the area, double-major or co-terminal degree in a more related area) but it's not possible to gauge how a specific admissions person will view your application. – Bryan Krause Aug 13 at 21:17
  • You may want to continue studying both fields and consider the possibility of entering the field of digital literary studies. – Dave L Renfro Aug 14 at 9:48
  • It is definitely helpful if you can get as many related courses as you can. All options sounds fine but I would go with Comparative Literature minor, and then a MSc and a PhD if you are still keen. I had a literature professor who studied only Mining Engineering but then did a MSc and PhD in literature. So, definitely doable. – enes Aug 14 at 11:26
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Completely feasible. The trick is to relate both fields on a topic of interest for you or your research. Its super easy with IT because you can add a tech view to anything.

As an example, my first career was 'Environmental Diagnostics and Improvement', then I made the 'Information Technologies' career, then I went for 'Economics communication', my master is in Information Systems and my PHD is in 'Organizational direction/Mangement' .

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