The principal subjects of the four years undergradute (240 ESPB) program in comparative literature are history of world literature (including national literature), literary theory, methodology of literary scholarship and aesthetics. The syllabus is designed so as to offer interdisciplinary education in the field of humanities. It includes, therefore, courses in art history, national and foreign languages, general linguistics, cultural studies and history of philosophy.
Graduates from the Department of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory obtain extensive and thorough education in the humanities, which makes them highly qualified not only for further master and doctoral studies in the field, but also for a wide range of careers and top positions in public affairs (higher education, literary criticism, journalism, government and diplomacy, translating, management in culture, library management etc.).
The beginnings of this type of studies can be traced back to 1873, when the Department of World Literature was founded at the Great School, predecessor of the University of Belgrade. Some of the greatest names of national scholarship in language and literature were among the first lecturers and researchers in this department. The Department was closed during World War II and it was re-established in 1954, originally at the Faculty of Philosophy, transferring later to the Faculty of Philology. The first graduate of the renewed Department of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory was Danilo Kiš, later to become an internationally acclaimed Yugoslav writer. In 1995 the annual Danilo Kiš award was established for the best student academic papers.