Advising Tips for Spring 2018

Here are some tips for registering for your Spring 2018 classes as English majors and minors. Please note that these can’t offer the level of detail that a full, in-person advising meeting would, but we hope you’ll find this page useful.

STEP ONE: Information about your current status

The first step to planning is knowing where you are. Make sure that you know your concentration in the English major: Literature, Creative Writing, or Secondary Teaching Preparation (a.k.a. “English Education Concentration” a.k.a. “English Subject Matter Waiver Program.”) If you are a minor, there is only one minor program and there are no “concentrations” in the minor. You need to fill out a form to add the major, but you can change your concentration freely by calling the English department office, 707-664-2140. See below about new and old (expiring) programs before you change your concentration.

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.

Instructions For Accessing and Reading Your ARR

New and Old (Expiring) Programs: In Fall 2017 the English department established a new program with updated course requirements for the Literature and Creative Writing concentrations. Note that there are no changes for the Single Subject Concentration or the English Minor (besides some superficial course number changes). If you are a junior, senior, or transfer student in the Literature or Creative Writing concentrations, you might be in the old 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. You will fully be able to complete your old program requirements, although be sure to check in with advisors since in some cases forms will need to be used to correctly track course equivalents.  Note that if you change your concentration, you have to 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.)

Program Information on English Department Webpage.

Program Information on English Department Section of SSU University Catalog.

You can also find paper copies of advising worksheets at the department office.

STEP TWO: Choosing 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. You are not required to receive advising before you sign up for courses, though we strongly recommend that you meet with an advisor every semester. The Single Subject concentration is especially robust and articulated, so we strongly recommend that Single Subject concentration students 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. 

Faculty Office Hours For Drop-in Advising Are Listed Here

Additional Advising About GE and General Requirements

Courses to Consider, Year By Year

Before looking at this list, get 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:

English Department Major and GE Courses

First-year Student

You might already be in English 160A/B which fulfills the “Introductory Course” requirement for Literature and Creative Writing Concentrations and fulfills Area A3 and C3 GE. 

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 the English 236 later survey course. If you feel you are ready for advanced work, you could consider English 201, key to the major, or English 207, an Introductory Creative Writing class that also fulfills GE Area C1.

Second-year Student

Continue working on your GE pattern.

  • You may already have been enrolled in English 235 in the fall. Continue on to English 236, Later Survey, in the spring. Both surveys 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.
  • If you have not already taken English 201, you should definitely sign up for it. It’s a core introductory course and required for all tracks in the major. Two sections are offered.
  • If you have further space in your schedule you could consider English 339.
  • If you are a Single Subject concentration student and you have space in your schedule, you could consider 339 and 314. 

Junior Student or Transferred in as a Junior

As soon as you attain junior status, begin to address the university-level upper division requirements: 

  • The GWAR writing requirement (fulfilled through passing the WEPT test or taking specially designated courses)

    GWAR Writing Requirement WEPT Test

  • Every student needs 9 units of upper division GE, begun when a junior. These should 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 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:

    English in Spring 2018 Courses

  • 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 university catalog:

Information on University-level Requirements and Policies

As you handle these university-level requirements, you can also pick up the fun stuff: your advanced English-major course content. 
Work through the upper division core requirements for English, especially considering the Shakespeare requirement (339 or 439) and the Survey in a Distinct Ethnic Tradition Requirement (350). You could also consider taking the Theory course offered this semester, English 403, though that could be done senior year. 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. 

Literature Concentration

If you are in the Literature concentration, take English 385 Junior seminar as your first priority if you have not already. Also, look out for 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 Spring 2018, Wandling’s 448 and Wo’s 485 both count as Pre-1914 400 level literature courses for the old program in literature. For Literature, courses available include: 448 “Transgressive Comedy – Lord Byron to W. H. Auden” (British Literature requirement; Pre-1914 requirement for Old Program), 482 “African American Poets” (American Literature Requirement), and also 485 is a senior capstone but could count if you need a British Literature requirement or A Pre-1914 Requirement for the Old Program. 

Creative Writing Concentration

If you are in the Creative Writing concentration, prioritize upper division creative writing courses. On offer Spring 2018 are 407 (Short Story and Novel Writing), 418 (Poetry Workshop), and 430 (Memoir).

Single Subject Concentration

If you are in the Single Subject concentration, be sure to take 379 and English 492 and to think about courses in your Strand. You will choose either Strand I or 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. 

Graduation-ready Seniors

If you plan to graduate at the end of spring 2018 or end of Fall 2018

  • 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. 
  • For Literature, courses available include: 448 “Transgressive Comedy – Lord Byron to W. H. Auden” (British Literature requirement; Pre-1914 requirement for Old Program), 482 “African American Poets” (American Literature Requirement), and also 485 is a senior capstone but could count if you need a British Literature requirement or A Pre-1914 Requirement for the Old Program. 
  • Sign up for the required capstone experiences in your track: Creative Writing: English 435; Literature: English 485; Single Subject: English 496.  
  • 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.