Undergraduate Students

The Children's Literature Program is designed so that individual undergraduate students can choose courses to meet their own interests and strengths. It provides a useful background for many areas of professional work and study.

The Children's Literature Certificate fulfills the A&S requirement for related areas. It is a planned interdisciplinary sequence of a minimum of 18 credits. 9 of these credits come from 3 required “core” courses; the other 9 are electives (see below). Completion is recorded on the student's transcript and a certificate of completion is issued.

Program Goals

Students pursuing the Children’s Literature Certificate will learn, first and foremost, that concepts such as childhood and adolescence are not wholly natural, unchanging categories: they have a history, which can be traced in various ways (by studying literary and visual representations of children over the centuries, for example, or by analyzing historical, anthropological, or sociological data about youth and the family).

In the “core” courses, students will also learn about the history of children’s and young adult literature, encountering texts from a wide variety of periods, cultures, and genres. Students will hone their ability to perform sustained, nuanced analysis of child-related cultural artifacts such as children’s books, films, and toys. Finally, students will be expected to learn and apply critical and theoretical terms from literary criticism and cultural studies, demonstrating how and why such terms are relevant to the study of youth literature and culture.

Required Core Courses

All Certificate students are required to take three “core” courses, ideally in this order:
1. ENGLIT 0560: Children and Culture
2. ENGLIT 0562: Childhoods' Books OR
ENGLIT 0655: Representing Adolescence
3. ENGLIT 1645: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature*
*ENGLIT 1645: Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature is the “capstone” course for the Children’s Literature and must therefore be taken last.

Students are encouraged to take all four “core” courses, since either ENGLIT 0562: Childhood's Books or ENGLIT 0655: Representing Adolescence may be taken as a Category One elective, provided that you take the other to fulfill your "core" requirement. In other words, if you take one of them to fulfill the "core" requirement, you can take the other and count it as a Category One elective.

Approved Elective Courses

In addition to the three core classes, students should design their own course of study to complete the remaining 9 credits. At least one of these courses should be a Category 1 (humanities) course, and one a Category 2 (social sciences) class. The other course can come from either Category 1 or Category 2. Listed below are all the pre-approved electives. However, this is not an exhaustive listing; related courses offered in any given term may be substituted by written consent of the Program Director. Not all of the courses listed below are available in every term. In selecting courses, students should consult an advisor about potential rules regarding how many courses may overlap between majors, minors, and certificates.

Category One

  • CLASS 0030: Mythology in the Ancient World
  • COMMRC 1105: Television and Society
  • COMMRC 1122: Media Criticism
  • COMMRC 1126: Media and Consumer Culture
  • ENGCMP 1551: History and Politics of the English Language
  • ENGCMP 1552: Language, Literacy, and Learning
  • ENGFLM 0530/HAA 0820: Film Analysis
  • ENGFLM 1479: Children and Media
  • ENGFLM 1481: Youth Film
  • ENGFLM 1680: Animation
  • ENGFLM 1752: Television Analysis
  • ENGLIT 0354: Words and Images
  • ENGLIT 0550: Introduction to Popular Culture
  • Either ENGLIT 0562: Childhood's Books or ENGLIT 0655: Representing Adolescence may be taken as a Category One elective, provided that you take the other to fulfill your "core" requirement. In other words, if you take one of them to fulfill the "core" requirement, you can take the other and count it as a Category One elective.
  • ENGLIT 0617: Changing Families in Literature
  • ENGLIT 0620: Graphic Novel
  • ENGLIT 0644: Myth and Folktale
  • ENGLIT 0645: Fantasy
  • ENGLIT 0647: Harry Potter
  • ENGLIT 0717: The Fairy Tradition
  • ENGLIT 0850: The Female Hero
  • ENGLIT 1009: J.R.R. Tolkien and the Counterculture
  • ENGLIT 1635: Children in Pittsburgh
  • ENGLIT 1910: The Fairy Tradition and Fairy Tales (Fall 2020, Hannah Johnson)
  • ENGWRT 0540: Writing Youth Literature
  • FR 1024: The Marvelous and the Fantastic  
  • GER 1502: Indo-European Folktales
  • HIST 1640: American Childhoods After 1865
  • PHIL 0010: Concepts of Human Nature
  • RUSS 0090: Russian Fairy Tales
  • RUSS 0770: Girlhood
  • SA 0110: Visual Thinking
  • THEA 1120: Theatre and Performance in the Classroom

Category Two

  • ADMJ 1210: Juvenile Delinquency
  • AFRCNA 0311: Introduction to the African-American Family
  • ANTH 0780: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • EDUC 1110: Gender and Education
  • GSWS 0100: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
  • GSWS 1460: Gender, Sexuality, and Childhood in a Global Context
  • HHD 1001: Introduction to Educational Psychology
  • HHD 1002: Development: Conceptual through Early Childhood
  • HHD 1003: Development: Middle Childhood through Adolescence
  • HPS 0437: Darwinism and Its Critics
  • PSY 0310: Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 0405: Learning and Motivation
  • PSY 1270: Child Psychopathology
  • PSY 1305: Experimental Child Psychology
  • PSY 1320: Language Development
  • PSY 1321: Child Development and Social Policy
  • PSY 1325: Developmental Psych: Social Development
  • PSY 1326: Culture, Parenting, and Literacy
  • PSY 1355: Adolescence
  • PSY 1360: Psychology of Black Children
  • PSY 1365: The Development of Children and Youth of Color
  • SOC 0426: Society and the Child
  • SOC 0438: Sociology of the Family
  • SOC 0478: Youth and Society
  • SOC 0479: Sociology of Education
  • SOC 1443: Juvenile Delinquency
  • TLL 1041 Intro to Early Childhood Education
  • TLL 1042: Language and Literature for the Young Child
  • TLL 1257: Teaching English Language Learners
  • TLL 1580: Foundations of Special Education
  • TLL 1701: Early Field Experience Secondary
  • TLL 1702: Digital Literacies and Learning Across Educational Contexts

Enrollment and Graduation

To officially enroll in the Children’s Literature Certificate Program, students should visit the Advising Center in 201 Thackeray Hall or email studentrecords@as.pitt.edu with your EMPLID. Please enroll as soon as possible, but definitely aim to enroll at least a term before you apply for graduation (if you are not an A&S student, you must apply for graduation within A&S in addition to your home school). After you enroll, your transcript will indicate that you are earning the Certificate, and when you graduate, you will automatically receive your Certificate in the mail (assuming that you have fulfilled all the requirements). Completion of the Certificate is noted on the student's graduation record.
If an application is not submitted, the Certificate cannot be issued until after graduation. A late fee applies to students who submit an application to receive their certificate after graduation.