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University of Pittsburgh    
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
  Jun 13, 2024
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Children’s Literature Certificate

Books written for children are among the best-loved and best-remembered of all works of literature. They also provide some of the most important early learning experiences. In recent years, books written for children have attracted increasing interest from scholars and students as well as parents, educators, publishers, and journalists. What kinds of stories do we consider appropriate for children, and why? How have our opinions about this topic changed over time and across different cultures? And how is literacy changing, now that children are exposed not only to books, films, and television, but also to video games and the world wide web?

The interdisciplinary Certificate in Children’s Literature offers undergraduates the opportunity to bring together studies across a broad range of subjects as they contemplate these and other questions pertaining to youth literature and culture. Founded in 1981, the program is designed to meet the individual student’s interests and strengths and fulfills the Arts and Sciences requirement for a related area. The Children’s Literature Certificate provides a useful background for many areas of professional work and study. Many of our students pursue careers in elementary, secondary, and special education, or in information science, child care, or social work. Others students have gone to graduate school in the humanities (English, History, Film Studies) or social sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology). Recent graduates of our new “Writing Youth Literature” course have gone to internships at Sesame Street Productions and the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency in New York City. For more information on the study of children’s literature at the University, see

Course Requirements

The certificate is a planned interdisciplinary sequence of at least 18 credits. The program director must also be consulted about the design of the student’s individual course of study. The three required core courses for the certificate are listed below.

Students are encouraged to take all four of the below courses, since either ENGLIT 0562  or ENGLIT 0655  may be taken as a Category 1 elective. Of these two courses, the course not taken as an elective must be taken as a core course.

In addition to the three core courses, students should design their own course of study to complete the remaining credits, in consultation with the program director. Courses must be selected from an approved list of courses, available from the program director.


* ENGLIT 1645 - CRITL APPRCH TO CHILDREN’S LIT  is the capstone course for the Children’s Literature program and must be taken last.

Other requirements

  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in each course that counts toward the certificate.
  • There is no limit to the number of courses that can be taken on the S/NC basis for this certificate.

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