Current Student Information | College of Arts

Current Student Information

All English majors and minors in the Honours program and general degree students who are looking to complete an area of concentration need to complete courses that fit the requirements of their program. In addition to enrolling in specific literature courses, they will also have the opportunity to take courses within the broader field of literary studies that speak to their own personal or research interests. Whatever pathway a current student takes, we do all that we can to help them pursue course options that fulfil their degree requirements and peak their intellectual curiosity. 

Here’s how we help:

First, we provide undergraduates with a checklist to help guide them while they complete their studies (English major, minor, or area of concentration). These checklists include specific courses that students are required to take in order to complete their degree and can be downloaded (see: below) or picked up from the English department office. Over the last few years, the program has become more committed to helping those enrolled by responding to changing student demand and making it easier for them to complete their given program requirements on-time. 

If you entered the program before Fall 2018, you should use the 2013 ENGLISH MAJOR/MINOR/AOC CHECKSHEETS.

If you entered the program in Fall 2018, or if you have filed a Schedule of Studies Change request to change your calendar to 2018-2019, you should use the NEW ENGLISH MAJOR (2018-2019) CHECKSHEET or the NEW ENGLISH MINOR (2018-2019) CHECKSHEET linked below .

Second, we provide students with detailed course descriptions before their course registration period begins. (If a course is scheduled before an instructor has been assigned, it is likely there will be no specific course description available.) These descriptions provide a general idea of what to expect from a given course -- including the texts that will be read, the overarching issues (social, political, etc.) that will be covered by the course material, and an assignment breakdown. 

Third, each semester, we compile a list of courses that fulfill the various distribution requirements for the English program. Please note that some of the core seminar courses (ENGL 2120, 2130, 3940, and 3960) will fulfill distribution requirements. Only the section designated in the distribution requirement for a given semester’s list fulfills the specified distribution requirement.

Fourth, we offer students the opportunity to consult with one of our experienced faculty advisors. These professors know the English program well and are able to provide tailored advice to those who are looking for academic guidance or help. If a student has questions about courses outside the English department, they should consult with the counsellors who work in the BA Counselling Office. These qualified academic advisors can help students choose courses that fulfill their university graduation requirements and can also answer questions about everything from deferred conditions to changing programs. 

During course selection periods, our advisors schedule extra hours for advising. They are also available at other times during the semester to discuss career options and academic difficulties.  Advisors’ office hours are posted in the English program office, on the 4th floor of the MacKinnon Building.

Fifth, we provide some general guidance to students about their course selection at different points throughout their undergraduate career:

For example, English major's should follow something close to the schedule below:

YEAR ONE  - one ENGL course each term
           First semester: ENGL 1080 onlySecond semester: ENGL 2080 only (But if you do very well in ENGL 1080,  you may want to register as well for ENGL 2120 or ENGL 2130.)

           YEAR TWO – two ENGL courses each termFirst semester: ENGL 2120 or 2130 AND ONE 2000- OR 3000-LEVEL LECTURE COURSESecond semester: ENGL 2120 or 2130 AND ONE 2000- OR 3000-LEVEL LECTURE COURSE

           YEAR THREE – three ENGL courses each term, making sure to fill most or all distribution requirementsFirst semester: ENGL 3940 or 3960 AND TWO 3000-LEVEL LECTURES Second semester: ENGL 3940 or 3960 AND TWO 3000-LEVEL LECTURES

           YEAR FOUR – ALL REMAINING COURSES, including 4000-level seminar courses(1 for students who entered Fall 2013 or after, 2 required for studentswho entered before Fall 2013)

If students have declared an English major later than their first year, they are welcome to consult with an academic advisor who will help them figure out a plan that will get them through their courses as efficiently and successfully as possible.

There is more flexibility in the English minor/area of concentration, but in general those minoring or concentrating in English should plan to register for ENGL 1080 in their first semester and ENGL 2080 in their second semester and then take one or two English courses each semester after that.

Skills and Learning Outcomes 

Our department does its most to offer English courses that provide academic and professional skills that can be applied across disciplines and fields — whether it be within the academy or in a professional workplace. 

In the table below, we have listed the specific skills students can expect to acquire while enrolled in our English program. The table also includes learning outcomes that can be utilized following undergraduate study. 





GATEWAY COURSES: 1080 & 2080

  • how to close read (1080)
  • how to integrate others’ ideas (2080)
  • essay writing (esp. 1080)
  • range of genres/periods/national literatures
  • intro to literary terms & theory


CORE SEMINARS: 2120 2130 3940 3960

  • essay writing
  • presentation skills
  • application of theory
  • disciplinary debates & developments


2000- and 3000-LEVEL LECTURES

  • reading intensive
  • general survey within stated period & issue
  • distributed over key historical periods






  • reading, writing & presentation intensive
  • research component à research essay
  • ability to contextualize argument
  • draws on all skills established earlier