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Frequently Asked Questions about the Newly Revised English B.A. Program

I was already an English B.A. major before this year; do I have to switch over to the revised program?

No. If you were an English major before Fall 2009, you can continue on under the program with which you began. But you may very well be interested in—and able to complete—the revised program, so read on!

I’ve been an English B.A. major for over a year, but I’m really interested in the revised program’s Track offerings; can I switch programs?

Yes, you can. Talk to your advisor about how such a move might affect your graduation date. Unless you’re planning to graduate in 2009/2010, though, chances are good that you won’t need extra credits to declare the revised program since it requires 36 credits, like the old program. The following example demonstrates how you could easily switch from the old to the revised program without taking any more courses.

Say that under the old program, your courses look like this:

Completed (15 credits) Still need (21 credits)
  • ENGL 210, ENGL 211 (surveys
  • ENGL 208 (Art of the Film Cat. B)
  • ENGL 348 (African-Am Lit, Cat. C)
  • ENGL 220 (Adv Comp, Cat. F)

 

  • ENGL 212, ENGL 213 (surveys)
  • Cat. A
  • Cat. D
  • Cat. E
  • 6 credits of Cat. G

If you were to switch to the revised program, all those courses would still count; the following also describes what else you would need:

Core (15 credits) and requirements:
  • Completed (9 credits)
    • ENGL 210, ENGL 211 (surveys)
    • ENGL 220
  • Still need (6 credits)
    • a Core language course
    • ENGL 484
  • Track course requirements (15 credits) and English Electives (6 credits)

The distribution of credits here depends on the track you declare. However, since you can use both courses you’ve already taken—ENGL 208 and ENGL 348—toward fulfilling either a track requirement or an elective, you would need 15 credits no matter which track you chose.

Thus, for either the old program or the revised program, you would need 21 credits to complete the English major.

How do I declare the revised program?

If you’re beginning as an English major in Fall 2009, you’re already under the revised program, so there’s no need to do anything until you’re ready to declare a track. If you’re choosing to switch to the new program, a form will be available from your advisor or in the English office (see below).

How do I declare a track?

A form will be available from your advisor or in the English office beginning mid-semester Fall 2009.

I’m really interested in the Literary, Textual, and Cultural Studies Track, but there are so many courses in the track that I don’t know how to decide what to take. How should I be making my choices?

While you can take whatever courses you want in that track, we highly recommend that you consider “concentrating” your studies within a particular area. Here are some examples (keep in mind that ENGL 308 Critical Theory is required for the track).

  • Example 1: If you’re interested in global literature, you can choose four of the following: Survey of Global Lit, Lit of Emerging Nations, Global Genres, Global Authors, Topics in Global Lit and Film.
  • Example 2: If you’re interested in traditionally marginalized groups, you can choose four of the following: Intro to Lit by Women; Ethnic-American Lit; African-American Lit; Gender and Sexual Orientation in Literature, Theory, and Film; Environmental Lit; Advanced Studies in Women’s Lit; and Lit of Emerging Nations.

These are only examples since there are so many possibilities; you should follow your own interests and design your own area with the help of your advisor.

I’m really interested in the Writing Studies Track (WST), but not necessarily creative writing; will this track work for me?

Yes! The revised program can prepare you for writing on the job in practically any career. In addition, several Writing Studies courses can give you the credentials for many professional writing careers. Here’s what such a track might look like:

  • Two Craft and Genre courses: Tech Writing and Digital Writing
  • One Forms and Theories course: Critical Theory
  • Two Studio/Portfolio/Career Prep courses: Professional Writing, Editing, and Publishing; and three credits of an internship requiring writing and/or editing work

I can’t decide which track to choose; what should I do?

  • ENGL 122 Intro to English Studies (formerly called “Literary Analysis”) now includes a unit on the different areas of English Studies—Film Studies, Language Studies, Writing Studies, and Pre-law Studies—while maintaining a focus on analysis that is an essential part of Literary, Textual, and Cultural Studies. Thus, if you’re a new major, you’ll be getting an introduction to all the tracks right from the beginning.
  • We’ve designed the core course requirements to give every student a taste of most of the tracks. So, for example, if you’re not sure what the Language Studies Track involves, your required core language course should give you that taste.
  • Since two English electives are required (any course with the ENGL prefix except for ENGL 102, 122, and 202), you can use those courses to check out, for example, Intro to Film Studies or Law and Literature.

Is it possible to declare more than one track?

Yes! In fact, if you can complete two tracks without extending your graduation date, this is a great route to go. While you must complete five core courses, there are many track courses that can do “double duty” in multiple tracks. The following are examples of double-tracking for 24 credits total:

  • Example 1: Film Studies (FS) and Literary, Textual, and Cultural Studies (LTCS)
    • FS: Intro to Film Studies, Film Genres, and Film Theory
    • LTCS: Critical Theory, Contemporary Brit Lit, and Major British Authors
    • FS and LTCS: Gender/Sexual Orient in Lit/Th/Film, and Topics in Global Lit and Film
  • Example 2: Language Studies (LS) and Pre-law Studies
    • LS: Intro to Language Studies; Structure of English; and Gender, Language, and Society
    • Pre-law: Law and Lit, Adv Comp, and Lit of Emerging Nations
    • LS and Pre-law: Rhetorical Trends and Traditions; and Persuasive Speaking and Writing

These are only examples; be sure to talk with your advisor about other possible combinations. And keep in mind that your transcripts will include any tracks you officially declare.

I’ve heard that I need to complete a portfolio for the revised major; what does that entail?

English majors who have taken ENGL 122 Intro to English Studies (the old “Literary Analysis”) since Spring 2009 have heard about the need to save their work from English major courses since this will comprise the material for the required portfolio. If you’re switching to the new program, you should collect your essays from English courses from now on. The actual creation of your portfolio will be a part of your experience in the required Core Capstone course ENGL 484. Check back to this website in the coming months for more information about the portfolio.

  • English Department
  • Leonard Hall, Room 110
    421 North Walk
    Indiana, PA 15705-1094
  • Phone: 724-357-2261
  • Fax: 724-357-2265
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.