Welcome SSU English Majors and Minors! Here are tips for registering for your fall 2018 courses. Please note that this page can’t offer the level of detail that a full, in-person advising meeting would, but we hope it'll point you in the right direction. Try to come see an advisor in office hours. Current faculty office hours and email addresses are here on our Advising page.
STEP ONE: Check your progress
The first step to planning is knowing where you are. Make sure that you know your concentration (a. k. a. "track") in the English major: Literature, Creative Writing, or Secondary Teaching Preparation (this third track has a couple names; it's also called “English Education Concentration," or “English Subject Matter Waiver Program," or just "Single Subject.") If you are a minor, there is only one minor program and there are no “concentrations” in the minor. If you want to be an English major or minor but you are not yet one, come by the office and fill out a "change of major" form. If you are already an English major and want to change your concentration, you can do that easily by calling the English department office, 707-664-2140. See below about new and old (expiring) programs before you change your concentration. The notes below are based on what year you are in and what concentration you are in.
As you progress to graduation, be sure you check your online SSU Academic Requirements Report (ARR). The ARR lists all graduation requirements as you fulfill them over the years. First it lists University requirements, such as total number of units and GE, then it lists requirements for all major(s) and minor(s) you’re officially enrolled in. If you do not see a concentration listed for English, contact the English department office and you can sign up to have your concentration officially listed, 707-664-2140.
A Note on Current Program versus Expiring Program: In Fall 2017 the English department established a new program with updated course requirements for the Literature and Creative Writing concentrations. Note that were no changes for the Single Subject Concentration or the English Minor (besides some superficial course number changes). If you are a junior or senior in the Literature or Creative Writing concentrations, you might be in the old, pre-2017 program, which will expire as soon as all enrolled students graduate. If you want to check for sure, go to your ARR. Near the top, you will see a listing with your “Program” and your “Requirement (Catalog) term.” If your catalog term is Spring 2017 or earlier (Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2015, etc.) then you are on the old program. Do not worry: You will fully be able to complete your old program requirements. Check with advisors to see which current program courses fulfill the old requirements. You can also opt in to the new program if you would like. Note that if you change your concentration, you will automatically switch into the new program.
You can learn about all the requirements for the English major and minor and the various concentrations on the English department webpage and in the course catalog. (All of this information is for the new Literature and Creative Writing tracks.)
You can also find paper copies of advising worksheets at the department office.
STEP TWO: Choose Your Courses
The English department does not restrict you to one officially assigned advisor. Instead, we recommend that you come in to see advisors in your track whose office hours you can attend. We also offer group advising by the chair of the department. You are not required to receive advising before you sign up for courses, but we strongly recommend that you meet with an advisor every semester. We very strongly recommend that you come in for advising if you are in the Single Subject concentration. The Single Subject concentration is robust and articulated to meet state standards, so be sure to check in with advisors often, and always before registering. Note that for Single Subject students to receive the waiver, their 14 single subject courses must feature an average GPA of 3.0 or higher. Note that no course in the major can be taken CR/NCR to count for the major.
Courses to Consider, Year By Year
The department makes available a condensed advising schedule of major courses and their titles, days, and times. You can find a paper copy outside of the office and a link here. Before looking at this list, consult the spreadsheet of all English courses with days/times. The spreadsheet showing all English department major and GE courses is downloadable from the page at this link. You can of course also search for courses on peoplesoft. Check out course times in relation to the advice below, and see what works for your schedule for Fall '18 semester.
[note that the above link is a tentative schedule subject to change and that more courses may be listed on peoplesoft]
If You are a First-Year Student (not Transfer)
If you're arriving at SSU as a first-year English major in Fall 2018, welcome! Be sure to come by and say hi at the department office when you get to campus. Be sure to very strongly consider English 160A (a year-long course that continues as 160B in the Spring). This course, taught by Prof. Wandling, is "Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Identity," a perfect first-year course for English majors that fulfills Area A3 and C3 GE and also fulfills the "Introductory Course" requirement for the Literature and Creative Writing Concentrations. (Note that English 160A/B is not a first-year composition course; be sure to take 100A/B or English 101 to fulfill your composition requirement.)
In the first year, we strongly recommend that you focus on your GE pattern and your required Composition and Math courses.
If you do have spare time in your schedule, you could consider taking an English survey course: 235 in the fall or 236 in the spring. If you feel you are ready for advanced work in the spring semester of your first year, you could consider taking English 201 in the spring. Another option for the spring (or the fall if you have a very open schedule) is English 207, an Introductory Creative Writing class that also fulfills GE Area C1.
If You are a Second-Year Student
In your second year, continue working on your GE pattern.
For Fall 2018, second years should make sure to sign up for English 235, the Early British and American survey, required of all majors. Both surveys (Fall 235 and Spring 236) are required for all concentrations in the major.
You could consider English 273 SYRCE, which fulfills the “Introductory Course” requirement for Literature and Creative Writing and fulfills GE Area C2.
Definitely sign up for English 201. It’s a core introductory course and required for all tracks in the major. Two sections are offered. If you can't get a space in the fall, you can get a space in the spring.
If you have further space in your schedule you could consider English 339 or, if you're a Creative Writer, English 207 - or other courses that especially appeal to you.
If you are a Single Subject concentration student and you have space in your schedule, you could consider 339 and/or 314.
If You are a Junior or Transferring in as a Junior
As soon as you attain junior status, you'll begin to address the university-level upper division requirements and you'll start some really serious work with English major courses.
Keep these university requirements in mind:
- The GWAR writing requirement (fulfilled through passing the WEPT test or taking specially designated courses)
- Every student needs 9 units of upper division GE, begun when a junior. These must be officially listed GE courses (not just courses which “sound” like they should be GE) and must be at the 300+ level. Note that the 9 units must be in at least two different areas. English in Spring Fall 2018 offers some courses that count for Upper Division GE and also count in other ways, especially for the Single Subject Program: 314 and 315. GE courses across the university are listed by number and topic here – any 300+ numbered course is upper division:
- Consult your ARR for further details on GE requirements, including the Ethnic Studies requirement.
For complete and exhaustive information on university-level requirements and policies, you can check the following section of the university catalog:
As you handle these university-level requirements, you can also pick up the fun stuff: your advanced English-major course content.
English Major Courses for Juniors - By Concentration
In your junior year, you get to really explore the upper division core requirements for English. Keep in mind the Shakespeare requirement (339, offered once every semester) and the Survey in a Distinct Ethnic Tradition requirement (English 350), both required for the Literature and Creative Writing tracks. Look out for any literature or creative writing courses that especially match your passions and interests -- we rotate topics all the time, so it's worth trying to take a course even out of sequence if it matches your interests (these courses can count for the "Advanced/Experiential" requirement for Lit or CW). Consider 487, studies in rhetoric, which fulfills the Theory requirement for the Literature and Creative Writing concentrations. Note that the department will always offer at least one 339, one 350, and one Theory requirement course every semester. Note that students in the old (expiring) program for literature and creative writing will have different core requirements. If you've transferred in, check to see if you already have your English 201, English 235, English 236, and any other requirements done; if not, plan to address them.
If you are in the literature concentration, plan to take English 385, Junior Seminar, in the fall or spring of your junior year. For Fall 2018, the Junior seminar is taught on Mondays 2-5:40 by Prof. Goldman on the topic "Approaching Emily Dickinson." Also, consider the 481 and 450 courses - every literature concentration student needs one course in American Lit. and one course in British lit. at the 400 level before they graduate. Be sure to take any 400 level courses that are especially interesting to you – we change topics and instructors every semester so if you see a topic you like you should try to take it now. Note that students in the old (expiring) program for literature will need two Pre-1914 400 level literature courses; in Fall 2018, the 485, 481, and 450 courses can all count as Pre-1914 courses for the expiring literature program (if the ARR does not show this, no worries - an advisor can fill out a form to make them count).
Creative Writing Concentration
If you are in the Creative Writing concentration, prioritize upper division creative writing workshop courses. Some courses on offer in Fall 2018 include 307 (Intermediate fiction) with Prof. Kiesbye, 352 (Personal Essay) with Prof. Goldman, and 430 (Creative Nonfiction) with Prof. Oxenhandler. Keep English 368 Zaum in mind as an additional possibility, a fantastic and distinctive hands-on class that any major can use for the "Advanced/Experiential" requirement.
Single Subject Concentration
If you are in the Single Subject concentration, be sure to take 341 and English 343, only offered in the fall. Keep in mind the course in your strand. You will choose either Strand I or Strand II. Note that any upper division literature course can count for Strand I and many Creative Writing Courses, including 307 and 352 on offer in Fall, can count for Strand II. Note also the collateral requirements (314) and, if you’re heading for a credential, note EDUC 417 and EDSS 418. Check in about your required Fieldwork in Secondary Education.
If you plan to graduate at the end of Fall '18 or Spring '19.
- Make sure all university-level requirements like upper division GE are fulfilled.
- Make sure your English requirements for your concentration are fulfilled, including the theory requirement. and take any additional needed courses, focusing on 400-level courses in your concentration.
- Literature students must take a 485 course: in Fall 2018, Prof. Wandling is offering the 485 on the topic of "Living Romanticisms." 485 can also count for various requirements for students in the old program.
- Literature students must have one American and one British 400-level course before graduating. In Fall '18 450 is an American lit. course and 481 is a British lit. course.
- Single Subject students on their way to graduating in Spring 2019 should take English 49.
- Sign up for the required capstone experiences in your track: Creative Writing: English 435; Literature: English 485.
- If you are in Literature or Creative Writing, consider which of the many options you will use to fulfill the “Advanced/Experiential Course” requirements, including English 368 (Zaum), additional 400 level literature or creative writing courses, taking a 500-level MA course with instructor’s permission, doing research assistantships or teaching assistantships (with instructor’s permission), or doing 4 units of approved internship.
- Check in with an advisor or the department chair to make sure your coursework is all lined up, and plan to submit a graduation application form by the appropriate deadline (September 1 2018 is final deadline for Fall '18 grad; Feb 1 2019 is final deadline for Spring '19 grad). See more information here on the Admissions and Records site "How to Apply for Graduation" page.