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Department of English

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Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

Undergraduate Programs

The department teaches undergraduates to write clearly and effectively and to read good literature with understanding and pleasure. It offers courses in 3 general divisions:

  1. Literature: Through reading, discussion, and writing, the student develops powers of appreciation and criticism.
  2. Language: Courses describe and explain the historical development of the English language and its present structure. They also may introduce the student to works written in earlier forms of the language.
  3. Writing: Through reading, discussion, and practice, the student learns to write informative and imaginative prose. Courses in the writing of fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, and nonfiction prose are offered.

Placement in English

In general, students should enroll in ENGL 101, with the following exceptions:

ACT English Scores:

  • 31-36 — Enroll in ENGL 105 with Freshman-Sophomore English requirement reduced to 6 hours.
  • 27-30 — Enroll in ENGL 102 and petition for honors placement for possible admittance to ENGL 105. The FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.
  • 00-26 — Enroll in ENGL 101.

SAT Verbal Scores:

  • 650 or higher — Enroll in ENGL 105 with Freshman-Sophomore English requirement reduced to 6 hours.
  • 600-649 — Enroll in ENGL 102 and petition for honors placement for possible admittance to ENGL 105. The FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.
  • 00-599 — Enroll in ENGL 101.

Advanced Placement Scores — Literature and Composition Exam:

  • AP 5 — Exemption from Freshman-Sophomore English and 6 hours of credit given.
  • AP 4 — Enroll in ENGL 205; 3 hours of credit given and completion of ENGL 205 satisfies the FSE requirement.
  • AP 3 — Enroll in ENGL 105 or ENGL 102*. No credit is given for ENGL 101 or ENGL 102, but the FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.
  • AP 2 — Enroll in ENGL 101 and petition for honors placement. If the petition is successful, it admits the student to ENGL 105, and the FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.

Advanced Placement Scores — Language and Composition Exam:

  • AP 4 or 5 — Enroll in ENGL 205; 3 hours of credit given and completion of ENGL 205 satisfies the FSE requirement.
  • AP 3 — Enroll in ENGL 105 or ENGL 102*. No credit is given for ENGL 101 or ENGL 102, but the FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.
  • AP 2 — Enroll in ENGL 101 and petition for honors placement. If the petition is successful, it admits the student to ENGL 105 and the FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.

International Baccalaureate Scores:

*If you choose to take ENGL 102, you will need to petition to enroll in ENGL 205 next. You could choose to take ENGL 203, or ENGL 209-ENGL 211, for your required second English course. No credit is given for ENGL 101, but the FSE requirement is reduced to 6 hours.

Departmental First-Year Honors Placement Committee. This standing committee consists of a suitable number of members of the full-time staff. Its members read petitions, consisting of a cover letter by the petitioner, a recommendation from the teacher of the petitioner’s most recent English course (in which he or she must have received an A), and a paper from that course demonstrating the petitioner’s writing ability. These petitions are required of students who request reassignment from ENGL 102 to ENGL 105 and from ENGL 203 (or equivalent) to ENGL 205. The petitions normally are read a few days before the start of the fall semester and a few days before the start of the spring semester. Information and details are available in the First- and Second-Year English office, 3001 Wescoe Hall.

English Courses Required for All Undergraduates

For the B.A. and B.G.S. degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for degrees in the School of the Arts, for the Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications and Social Welfare, and for students in the School of Education concentrating in secondary education, these English courses are required: ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (or ENGL 105 if eligible for honors), and one course chosen from among ENGL 203, ENGL 205 (if eligible for honors), ENGL 209, ENGL 210, and ENGL 211. For B.S. degrees from the College, and for other schools, see school or department listings.

Students should earn credits in the required first- and second-year courses at the earliest opportunity. All new students must enroll immediately and continuously in ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or equivalents, until they have completed this portion of the College requirement. Admission to English courses numbered 300 and above normally is limited to students who have completed the first- and second-year requirements.

Courses for Nonmajors

A list of principal courses appears here. English principal courses under the Literature and the Arts heading are designated HL. Prospective English teachers in the public schools should consult the requirements of the School of Education. Students not required to take a 200-level English course must seek English department permission to enroll in junior/senior English courses.

Transfer Credit

English undergraduate majors may take up to 6 hours out of residence with the prior approval of the director of undergraduate studies.

Double Majors

Double majors within the College or dual-degree programs are encouraged. Interested students should consult the director of undergraduate studies at an early opportunity.

Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a full graduate program, leading to the Master of Arts (3 options), Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with specializations in Literature, Composition and Rhetoric, and Creative Writing.

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