Liberal Studies English Student Requirements

All students at IUP take three Liberal Studies English courses.

Please see the current Undergraduate Catalog for the most up-to-date descriptions, or check MyIUP for section availability. Below you'll find information about the three LSE course requirements, as well as information about basic writing and information for multilingual writers and transfer students.

LSE Course Requirements

ENGL 101: English Composition I

ENGL 101 is meant to be taken in a student's first semester at IUP. This course introduces early college literacy skills: students learn how to develop their own writing process, how to be rhetorically flexible in a variety of writing situations, and how to write in a variety of genres, and they begin to learn how to integrate the voices and ideas of others into their own texts.

ENGL 121: Humanities Literature

This course should be taken directly after ENGL 101, preferably in a student's first year. In this course, students learn critical and rhetorical reading skills learn how to think critically about ideas and texts as well as practice close reading and analysis.

ENGL 202: English Composition II

Composition II should be taken in a student's first semester of sophomore year. In this course, students build on the composition and critical reading and thinking skills they developed in Composition 1 and Humanities Literature. They learn to evaluate resources and integrate research to support their own argument and analytical thinking. This course serves as a foundation for the sort of academic and scholarly work they will read and write in their majors courses.

Basic Writing (ENGL 100)

Some students are placed into ENGL 100 Basic Writing after taking an essay placement exam during their IUP orientation. This course offers an additional semester of writing support to students before they enter the three-course LSE sequence. While the course does not count toward Liberal Studies requirements, students do receive three credits for this course and their course grade is counted toward their GPA. At the end of the semester in ENGL 100, students may elect to create a portfolio to try to exempt ENGL 101 and move directly on to ENGL 202. The process is described in this downloadable attachment.

Multilingual Writers

IUP has a world renowned graduate program in TESOL, which means our faculty are well-trained in the teaching of English to multilingual writers. LSE courses (excluding Basic Writing) are frequently offered in separate sections designated as "MLW" for international students. These sections have fewer students and are taught with attention toward global awareness and cultural sensitivity, while still presenting the same academic rigor and challenge as our other sections of composition and literature. Please check with the Office of International Education or ask the English Department secretary about how to get into one of these sections if you have not directly received information on how to do so.

Transfer Students

If you are a transfer or nontraditional student with previous experience in a course similar to ENGL 101 or with workplace writing experience, you may be eligible to exempt ENGL 101. The process is outlined below.

If you have transferred in ENGL 202 credits and not 101 credits, you have some options for earning credit for ENGL 101:

If you earned an A or a B in your ENGL 202 equivalent course, you may waive English 101 and instead take an approved Liberal Studies course. Talk to the A-Dean in your college about this option.

If you earned a C or below in your ENGL 202 equivalent course, you have the following four options for earning 101 credit:

  1. Take and pass ENGL 101.
  2. Take and pass any of the following approved English courses: ENGL 203, 220, 222, 227, or 321.
  3. Take and pass the CLEP offered through University Testing.
  4. Compile an exemption portfolio as described in this downloadable attachment, and then take and pass a Liberal Studies course of your choice. If your portfolio passes the exemption process, you will not need to take ENGL 101, but you will still need to take another three credits in Liberal Studies to fulfill those missing three credits from your Liberal Studies requirements. If you have questions about exempting Liberal Studies English credits, please contact Bryna Siegel Finer (, who can help you coordinate this with your advisor and/or A-Dean.

Questions about Liberal Studies English should be e-mailed to the Liberal Studies English director, Bryna Siegel Finer, at