frequently asked questions


top FAQs

See also English Course Enrollment Policies and Strategies for Completing English Composition.

How can I get into English courses restricted to "English Majors Only" when I'm not an English Major?

Courses that are restricted to English Majors are restricted only during Period I Registration (approximately the first five weeks of pre-registration for continuing students). Once Period II Registration begins, this restriction is lifted, and anyone can register for these courses as long as there is still space available. To find out the dates for Period I and Period II registration, refer to the Academic Calendar.

If no space is available on the first day of Period II, keep watching enrollment: a space may open up for you, as students will be adding and dropping courses on line every day through the first week of the quarter. You can also come in to see an English adviser to talk about options; there may be other, comparable courses that you can take. Finally, you're always welcome to attend class during the first week of the quarter (the beginning of Period III Registration) and check with the instructor about gaining entry into the course. To increase your chances, be sure to be on time for the first class and to ask the instructor about the entry code policy for the course -- and do not miss any class time during the first week.

Unfortunately, there's no way around this restriction. We're sorry if this has made it difficult for you to register for classes you want to take. The restriction is there because students who have already been admitted to the English major need these courses in order to graduate, so they receive first priority. Most UW academic departments have similar restrictions for the same reason.

I'm a prospective student thinking about applying to the University of Washington

If you are considering applying to the UW and pursuing an English major, please see our web page for prospective students.

Can I transfer an English course from another school, taken in the U.S. or internationally?

If you complete an approved English course through a Washington state community college, course equivalencies have already been established. See the Transfer Guide for more information.

Most English literature and writing courses taken at two- and four-year colleges and universities within in the U.S. will transfer to the UW if they are (a) college level, and (b) not designed for non-native speakers of English (not ESL/ELL). How these courses transfer is determined by UW Admissions.

If you believe that an English course you took elsewhere should have transferred to the UW, or should have transferred as a different kind of credit, please speak with an English adviser. We will need to see a copy of your transcript from the school where you took the course as well as a course syllabus. In some cases, we may ask you for course materials (assignments you completed, papers you wrote, etc.).

If you completed the English course outside the U.S., please be aware that

(a) the UW Admissions Office must first determine if the course was taken at an accredited/recognized college or university abroad and is eligible for transfer, and

(b) you will need to have an English Department adviser evaluate the course for transfer, and we will ask you for a copy of your transcript and a syllabus (and, sometimes, for course materials such as assignments you completed or papers you wrote), and

(c) the course must have been taken in one of these countries: Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia.

Unless English courses were taken in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia, they are not eligible for transfer as English literature or composition credit at the UW, even if the course was taught in English, was taught by a native speaker, etc.

The only possible exception is for Advanced Level (A-Level) certificates that students earned through British A-Level exams in international schools in countries such as India or Singapore that follow the British system.

How can I tell if a course qualifies as Pre-1900 Literature?

We do not maintain a list of these courses, both because content can vary from one quarter to the next and because we expect students in the major to be able to identify (or research) where particular authors and themes fall within the spectrum of literary history. We do have a Pre-1900 page that offers some practical information and advice.

How can I get into a Creative Writing class (ENGL 283, 284, 383, 384, 483, 484, etc.)?

ENGL 283 and 284: Beginning Verse and Beginning Short Story:

These classes are typically open to English majors only during Registration Period 1 (though check the course's Time Schedule notes for the particular quarter in case there are variations). Once Registration Period 2 begins (about five weeks into the pre-registration process), those classes are open to non majors. You can register through MyUW if there is space available; no entry code is needed.

These courses are never open to students with senior standing (students who have already earned 135 credits or who will earn 135 credits by the end of the current quarter), even if there is space available. They are designed for freshman, sophomores, and juniors; seniors will not be admitted.

If these courses are full, you should keep watching enrollment through MyUW to see if someone drops and a space opens up for you. There are typically no overloads in any Creative Writing classes.

If you are not currently a matriculated UW undergraduate student, these classes are not available to you except during Summer Quarter. They are offered, however, through UW Online Learning. There are other writing resources that are available at the UW and in the community at large. Click here for more information about creative writing courses and programs.

ENGL 383 and 384: The Craft of Verse and The Craft of Prose:

These classes are sometimes restricted by add code and reserved for Creative Writing Majors only for the first ten days of Period 1 Registration. (Creative Writing is a competitive-admission major with a formal application process. More information can be found on our creative writing application pages.) Once all Creative Writing Majors have had an opportunity to register, the restriction is lifted and all students can register provided they have completed the course prerequisites. No entry code is required and registration is through MyUW. To view the registration restrictions, see the course notes in the Time Schedule.

The prerequisites for either of these courses are *both* ENGL 283 and 284. In other words, both of the 200-level beginning courses must be completed before you can move on to either the 300-level intermediate courses. We do not waive prerequisites.

If these courses are full, you should keep watching enrollment through MyUW to see if someone drops and a space opens up for you. There are typically no overloads in any Creative Writing classes.

There are other writing resources that are available at the UW and in the community at large. Click here for more information about creative writing courses and programs.

400-level Creative Writing Classes (advanced verse and short story, novel writing, playwriting, screenwriting):

These courses are available to students in the Creative Writing Major only. Students who have not already been admitted to the Creative Writing Pathway in the English major (a competitive-admission program) may not take these courses. Except in the case of ENGL 487, Screenwriting, which is sometimes made available to Cinema Studies and Drama majors, these courses are always restricted.

Students in the Creative Writing Major can request add codes for these courses provided that they have completed their 200- and 300-level prerequisite course work in creative writing (ENGL 283, 284, etc.). See the Time Schedule for instructions on how to request add codes.

There are other writing resources that are available at the UW and in the community at large. Click here for more information about creative writing courses and programs.

How can I get in touch with an English instructor?

Consult the English Department's people directory for contact information for English faculty and TAs.

The English course I want to take is full. Can I request an add code?

For complete information, see English Course Enrollment Policies and Strategies for Completing English Composition.

For ENGL 111, 121, and 131, no add codes are available. No exceptions. Instructors will not have add codes, and there are no overloads by Expository Writing Department policy. If the class is full, keep watching enrollment through MyUW to see if a space opens up for you. If not, consider taking a different composition course (ENGL 197, 198, 199, 281, C LIT 240, etc.). Please feel free to consult an English adviser for recommendations.

For other 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-level classes, add codes are issued by instructors at their own discretion. During pre-registration, it's best to continue to watch enrollment and hope that a space opens up for you. If no space becomes available, you may as the instructor for permission to overload. This is best done by attending class on the first day.

Most classes that require an add code do so only after classes have started for the quarter. Do double-check the notes in the Time Schedule: many courses say "Add Code PER 3." This means that during pre-registration (PER 1 and PER 2), an add code is not required. PER 3 does not begin until the first day of classes. If it's PER 1 or PER 2, and the class is not full, you can register as usual through MyUW.

Certain specialized classes, such as The Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing (ENGL 471) or 400-level creative writing classes, require add codes during Periods 1 and 2 as well. The Time Schedule notes will indicate who can take the course, and where an add code can be requested. Example:

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How can I find out who is teaching/will teach/taught a particular English course?

Quarterly course descriptions are available on our undergraduate course schedule. This site includes current and upcoming course descriptions as well as historical descriptions and faculty assignments going back to 1997.

Does the English Department offer a Minor in English?

The English minor will be available beginning in autumn 2014.

Where can I find English course descriptions?

Please see the English Course Offerings page for detailed descriptions of current and upcoming classes as well as historical course descriptions back to 1997.

The UW Course Catalog also lists courses along with brief, general descriptions.

Where can I get information about writing courses or writing programs?

For detailed information about Writing Classes and Writing Programs at the UW and in the community, click here.

The Department of English offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing (electives in the English major are distributed among creative writing classes), which selects applicants on a competitive-admission basis. The Department of English also offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing. Other academic departments that offer writing courses include the Department Human Centered Design and Engineering (technical writing), the Department of Communication (journalism), and the School of Drama (play writing). The University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education offers writing courses and writing certificate programs both on campus and through Distance Learning. Writing courses are also taught through the UW Women's Center, the UW Experimental College, and through various community organizations.

I'm not a UW student. Can I still take UW English classes?

If you're not a UW student, there are a number of ways that you can take classes at the UW as a non matriculated student:

Courses in literature and writing are offered through UW Online Learning.

Credit and non-credit Courses are offered through UW Professional and Continuing Education Classes.

During the academic year, courses offered as part of regular UW matriculated English programs are available to non matriculated students on a stand-by registration basis with instructor permission. There is no pre-registration for non matriculated students during the regular academic year (autumn through spring quarters), and stand-by registration is offered on a space-available basis. It can be difficult to access some English courses as a non matriculated student, especially composition courses, creative writing courses, and literature courses that are popular or are required by the matriculated program. Autumn quarter is an especially difficult time for non matriculated students seeking access to English courses. Students who wish to take courses need to register through the UW Professional and Continuing Education office.

Registration will occur on the fourth day of instruction for the quarter, with the instructor's permission, and provided that there is space available. To seek an instructor's permission and signature on the non matriculated enrollment form, plan to attend the first day of class. After the instructor has signed, you can request a departmental signature from the English Advising Office beginning on the third day of classes for the quarter.

Courses are offered through UW's Summer Quarter to non matriculated students, and pre-registration for courses is available. Preregistration is possible and in general instructor permission is not required.

Individuals who already have bachelor's degrees can apply to the UW for post baccalaureate ("fifth year") matriculated status and become matriculated UW students this way. Admission is very competitive. Click here for information about admission to the post baccalaureate program.

The Access Program for Older Adults waives tuition for individuals who are 60 years of age or older who'd like to audit UW courses on a non matriculated, space-available basis.

Where can I find information about graduate programs?

General information about graduate study, about preparing for graduate study, about preparing application materials (including the statement of purpose), and about applying to graduate school, can be found on the English advising graduate school pages.

Information about graduate programs offered by the UW English Department can be found at the English Graduate Programs website.

Information about all University of Washington graduate programs can be found at the UW Graduate School site.

Where can I find out about becoming an English teacher?

Information about pursuing a career English teaching (in the K-12 system, at the college level, or abroad) can be found on our teaching webpages.

I'm applying to the UW Master in Teaching program. How do I obtain an evaluation of my coursework for the English Language Arts secondary teaching endorsement?

The English Language Arts secondary teaching endorsement requirements are located on our endorsement page.

Instructions for requesting an evaluation are also located there, for prospective MIT students as well as for certificated teachers seeking to add a teaching endorsement.

What can I do with an English major?

The range of possibilities is staggering! A plethora of information about the graduate and career options for English majors can be found on the English Advising career pages.

Does the English Department offer scholarships?

Yes! Information about our annual scholarships in English and in creative writing can be found on our scholarship pages.

I took a transfer course that I think should be listed as "W" Writing credit. How can I get it changed to a "W" course?

English majors: see an English adviser. We may ask you for syllabi and course materials.

Other majors: see the adviser in your own major department or, if you don't yet have a major, an adviser in the Undergraduate Advising Center in 171 Mary Gates Hall. (You do not need to see an English adviser for this: any campus adviser can "flag" your transfer course as "W" credit if s/he deems it appropriate.)



questions about admission to english

How can I become an English major (language & literature or creative writing)?

Information about admission to English can be found on our application website. We accept applications to the major on a rolling basis from applicants who have already completed both ENGL 301 and ENGL 297 (a paired set of prerequisites). A separate, additional application is required for the competitive-admission creative writing pathway.

If you are transferring to the UW from a two-year community or junior college, there are no course equivalents for ENGL 301 and 297; however, we save spaces in this pair of courses (which must be taken concurrently) for new transfer students every quarter. New students are then ready to apply to the English major during their second quarter at the UW upon successful completion of the prerequisite courses.

If you were already an English major at another four-year college or university, and you think you may have taken courses equivalent to ENGL 301/297 at that school, check in with an English adviser. Normally, there are no direct equivalents, but there are of course exceptions. In most cases, all new transfer students must complete ENGL 301/297 during their first quarter at the UW.

How competitive is admission to the English major or the Creative Writing pathway?

Admission to the English (language & literature) major is not competitive at this time. All applicants who meet the minimum requirements (a grade of at least 2.0 in both ENGL 301 and 297, an overall GPA of at least 2.00, and an overall English GPA of at least 2.50) will be admitted.

Admission to the creative writing pathway in the major is competitive, based on the writing sample that applicants submit in prose and poetry; however, odds of admission are very good: the program has traditionally admitted between 60 and 80 per cent of all applications upon their first application.

Can I double-major in English literature and English creative writing?

Unfortunately, no. The UW will confer just one major/degree in English, and a student must choose one of the two pathway options (language & literature or creative writing). This isn't to say that you can't pursue coursework in both pathways if you have sufficient electives available, but when it comes time to graduate, you must choose and complete one path.

Can prospective students be "pre-admitted" to the English major while they are applying for admission to the UW?

The English Department accepts applications to the major only from matriculated UW students. We are not able to pre-admit, directly admit, or screen applicants who are not already regularly-admitted UW students.

We do reserve spots for new transfer students in our prerequisite courses (ENGL 301 and 297, a pair that must be taken concurrently) each quarter. Once new students have successfully completed these courses, they may apply to the English major at the beginning of their second quarter at the UW.

Even before you've been admitted to the UW, however, you are welcome to speak with an English adviser. We're happy to discuss your plans and your application with you.

I'm a prospective transfer student. What should I know about admission to the English major?

Do I need to apply to the English Department before/when applying to the University?

No. In fact, the Department of English accepts applications only from matriculated University of Washington students. If you're a newly-admitted transfer student coming from a two-year junior/community college, you'll want to meet with an English adviser during your new student orientation to enroll in prerequisite courses (ENGL 301 and 297) for your first quarter at the UW. If you're transferring from a four-year college or university, please feel free to contact an English Adviser at 206/ 543-2634 or engladv@u.washington.edu about English course work you've completed elsewhere that may be applicable for departmental admission purposes. In general, however, there are very few equivalents to our prerequisite courses, so all new students should plan to take ENGL 301 and 297 during their first quarter at the UW.


I'll be applying to the UW as a transfer student. What courses does the Department of English recommend that I take before I transfer?

The Department of English resides in the College of Arts and Sciences, which has a foreign language requirement for graduation purposes. If you did not complete at least three years in high school of the same foreign language (e.g., three years of high school French is good, but two years of French plus one year of Spanish won't suffice), then you'll be subject to the UW's requirement for foreign language. If possible, it is a very good idea to complete a year of college-level foreign language (two semesters or three quarters) with a grade of 2.0 or above ("C") in the final quarter or semester. This is especially true if your intended foreign language for graduation purposes is Spanish: it is extremely difficult for non freshmen to access 100-level Spanish courses at the UW during the regular academic year. There are other ways to satisfy this requirement, for example, you may be able to pass a proficiency exam in another language or establish yourself as a literate native speaker of a language other than English. For details, please consult the College of Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements.

If you are trying to plan ahead, you may also wish to complete some applicable natural sciences courses toward the fulfillment of the UW's distribution requirement, called the Areas of Knowledge. For details, please consult the College of Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements. If you'll be transferring from a Washington community college, you can check the UW Transfer Guide to see whether or not your science courses will transfer to the UW as Natural World courses toward the satisfaction of this requirement.

One thing we recommend that you avoid is taking too many English courses at the sophomore level. The English major at the UW allows no more than 15 credits (on the quarter system) in freshman- and sophomore-level English courses to apply toward the English major (this includes one of our prequisite courses, ENGL 297); the remaining English major credits must be taken at the junior and senior levels.


May I seek advice from a UW English adviser before I'm officially a UW student?

Absolutely! The best times to come by in person are during quarter breaks, but you are welcome at any time. We recommend that you avoid the first three weeks of the quarter, as these are very busy times when our office is crowded with UW students. Click here for information about how, where, and when to find us.

I'm a prospective post baccalaureate ("fifth year") student. What should I know about admission to the English major?

Do I need to apply to the English Department before/when applying to the University?

No. In fact, the Department of English accepts applications only from matriculated University of Washington students. If you're a newly-admitted student, you'll want to meet with an English adviser during your new student orientation to enroll in prerequisite courses (ENGL 301 and 297) for your first quarter at the UW. If you believe you completed equivalent courses during the course of your first bachelor's degree, please feel free to contact an English Adviser at 206/ 543-2634 or engladv@u.washington.edu to find out if you can be exempted from these prerequisites. In general, however, there are very few equivalents to our prerequisite courses, so all new students should plan to take ENGL 301 and 297 during their first quarter at the UW.


My post baccalaureate admission application says that I need a recommendation from the UW academic department that houses the major I'm interested in.

This statement is somewhat misleading. You actually do not need a recommendation from the English Department in order to apply for post baccalaureate admission. (In fact, it will be difficult for us to recommend you for admission if we don't know your academic history.) You should always feel free, however, to see an English Undergraduate Adviser to talk about your eligibility for the major. You can reach us at 206/ 543-2634, or by e-mail at engladv@u.washington.edu.

On your post baccalaureate admission application, you should list English as your intended major. The UW Admissions Office will then send a referral form to our department, asking us if you're eligible for admission to the English major. We will give one of three answers:

  1. You're eligible, based on the prerequisite requirements for the major.
  2. You're not eligible at this time, but there is strong potential for your admission. (We will give this response if you have completed some English courses successfully, or if your English and/or cumulative GPAs make you a competitive applicant.)
  3. You're not eligible at this time. (We will give this response if you haven't taken English courses, or if your English or cumulative GPAs do not make you a competitive applicant.)

The admission decision is ultimately made by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and not by the English Department. You may be admitted (or denied admission) to UW regardless of the response we provide in this admission referral.


May I seek advice from a UW English adviser before I'm officially a UW student?

Absolutely! The best times to come by in person are during quarter breaks, but you are welcome at any time. We recommend that you avoid the first three weeks of the quarter, as these are very busy times when our office is crowded with UW students. Click here for information about how, where, and when to find us.

Can I substitute other courses for the English major prerequisite pair, ENGL 301 and 297?

Unless you have taken a similar course at another four-year college or university that has been deemed equivalent by UW English advisers, you must complete ENGL 301 and 297 (which must be taken concurrently) before you will be eligible to apply to the English major. There are no substitutions, and there are no transfer equivalents from two-year junior/community colleges. Although it's unlikely, it is possible that students transferring from four-year colleges or universities, who were already English majors at their prior schools, may have taken courses that we would deem equivalent to ENGL 301 and 297. Check with the English Advising office for more information.



questions about english classes/credits

Where can I find English course descriptions?

Please see the English Course Offerings page for detailed descriptions of current and upcoming classes as well as historical course descriptions back to 1997.

The UW Course Catalog also lists courses along with brief, general descriptions.

How can I get an add code for an English composition class?


For complete information, see English Course Enrollment Policies and Strategies for Completing English Composition.

ENGL 111, 121, and 131 have a strict no-overloads policy. The Department does not have add codes, and the instructor does not have add codes. All registration is through MyUW. If the course is full, keep checking enrollment; a spot may open up for you. Otherwise, you'll want to choose another course, or plan to take it in a future quarter. There are no exceptions.

For all three of these courses, the "freshman and sophomores only" restriction is strictly enforced. If you are a junior or senior, you cannot take one of these classes. You will need to choose another course, or plan to take the course in spring or summer quarter, when these courses are open to all undergraduates.

If the class is part of a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) and you are not signed up for the FIG, you cannot take the class. You will need to choose another course or take it in a later quarter.

If you have already taken one class from the group of ENGL 111, 121, or 131, the registration system will not allow you to sign up for a second one. If this applies to you, you'll want to choose another class that fulfills the English Composition requirement (ENGL 197, 198, 199, C LIT 240, ENGL 297, 298, 299, ENGL 281 or 381).

ENGL 197, 198, 199, 297, 298, 299 are offered by the Interdisciplinary Writing Program (IWP). These courses are not "free standing" -- they are writing links that are paired with other courses across the curriculum, so must be taken concurrently. Examples are ART H 201 paired with ENGL 197, or HIST 111 paired with ENGL 198. Students must take both courses in the pair. All registration is through MyUW.

If an IWP course you want to take is full, check with the instructor to see if overloads are possible. This is best done by attending class on the first day.

ENGL 281, 381 are the intermediate and advanced composition courses. It's assumed that students who sign up will already have completed freshman composition and/or have had significant academic writing experience. Registration is through MyUW. If the course you want to take is full, check with the instructor to see if overloads are possible. This is best done by attending class on the first day.

What does the note "PLUS 1 HOUR" mean in the Time Schedule?

The designation "PLUS 1 HR" means that the course may require additional meetings outside the regularly scheduled class times posted. How (and if) this time is used is up to individual instructors, who may want to use additional time outside of class for student conferencing, writing/study groups, etc. These things, if the instructor chooses to implement them, would be scheduled around your other classes. Check with your instructor on the first day of class.

What does "Computer Integrated" mean in the Time Schedule?

The designation "COMPUTER INTEGRATED" means that it is part of the Computer Integrated Classroom (CIC) program. The CIC program is dedicated to developing innovative computer-integrated approaches to teaching argumentative writing, literature, critical thinking, and research skills. A CIC course covers the same material as conventional 100-level writing courses, but it combines the best of traditional instruction with the benefits of computer-aided writing.

Students spend time debating, writing, and working through material BOTH in the face-to-face environment of a conventional classroom and through independent and collaborative work in/on a computer network. Specific computer experience is not required. CIC instructors are prepared to teach students with diverse levels of experience with computers. Inexperienced students will find that the technology is easy to learn and that the program provides a well trained and accessible support staff to help them become comfortable in a computerized environment. For more information about CIC classes, visit the CIC web site.

What does "Service Learning Component" mean in the Time Schedule?

Service Learning is a program directed by the Edward E Carlson Public Service and Leadership Center that provides the opportunity to bring so-called real world experience to academic learning. Your course's Service Learning component can include projects in community, government, and not-for-profit organizations that fulfill a need of the organization while advancing your understanding of your course goals and objectives. Traditionally, participation in a service-learning component requires approximately twenty hours per quarter of service at a specific site. The Carlson Center arranges placement at these sites. For more information, visit The Student Guide to Service Learning.

What is a "Freshman Interest Group (FIG)" or a "Transfer Interest Group (TRIG)"?

FIGs and TRIGs are groups of 20 to 25 new UW freshmen or transfer students with similar academic interests who are enrolled in the same schedule of classes during their first quarter on campus. Even though many FIGs and TRIGs include English composition courses, the English Department does not administer FIGs. Visit First Year Programs for information about FIG content and FIG registration. If an English composition course is part of a FIG, students who are not enrolled in the FIG generally cannot take the course. For more information, contact First Year Programs at 543-4905 or fyp@u.washington.edu.

I took a transfer course that I think should be listed as "W" Writing credit. How can I get it changed to a "W" course?

English majors: see an English adviser. We may ask you for syllabi and course materials.

Other majors: see the adviser in your own major department or, if you don't yet have a major, an adviser in the Undergraduate Advising Center in 171 Mary Gates Hall. (You do not need to see an English adviser for this: any campus adviser can "flag" your transfer course as "W" credit if s/he deems it appropriate.)

How can I set up an independent study (ENGL 492, 493, or 499)?

ENGL 499, 492 - Independent Study, or Advanced Expository Writing Conference:

Note: If you are considering an independent study, you should have a specific, advanced academic project in mind, and it should be one that cannot be completed in a regularly-offered English course. Independent studies (also referred to as undergraduate research experiences) are for advanced students only; they are not substitutes for regular classes.

To set up an independent study, approach the faculty member with whom you'd like to work and ask for permission to study independently with him/her. It is best to approach faculty who know you; they are more likely to agree to work with you, being familiar with your work and your academic capacities.

It is also important to approach a faculty member whose own academic interests relate to your project (e.g., if you're interested in researching and writing about a particular Shakespeare play, approach someone who teaches Shakespeare or who specializes in Elizabethan literature). For a list of English faculty with their academic interests, click here. All regular faculty members and acting instructors can supervise independent studies; TAs cannot.

For more information, visit our Undergraduate Research page.

ENGL 493, Advanced Creative Writing Conference:

These independent creative writing conferences, supervised by individual Creative Writing Program faculty members, require special permission. Approach the Creative Writing faculty member with whom you'd like to work and ask for permission to arrange an independent conference. These independent studies are generally reserved for students who've been accepted for admission to the creative writing pathway in the English major, and they are for advanced students only.

How do I set up Internship credit (ENGL 491)?

Instructions for enrolling in ENGL 491 internship credit, along with a listing of current internships, can be found on our Internship pages.

How can I tell if a course qualifies as Pre-1900 Literature?

We do not maintain a list of these courses, both because content can vary from one quarter to the next and because we expect students in the major to be able to identify (or research) where particular authors and themes fall within the spectrum of literary history. We do have a Pre-1900 page that offers some practical information and advice.

What credit will I receive for AP or IB exam scores?

AP Credit: Students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP English Language test will receive 5 credits in ENGL 190. Students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP English Literature test will receive 5 credits in ENGL 191. AP English credit, ENGL 190 or 191, counts toward the Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts requirement (VLPA). It does not count toward the English Composition requirement. See the IB Credit Policies page for more information.

IB Credit: Students who score a 5, 6, or 7 on the IB English A exam will receive 5 credits in ENGL 193. (No credit is conferred for the IB English B exam.) IB English credit, ENGL 193, counts toward the Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts requirement (VLPA). It does not count toward the English Composition requirement. See the AP Credit Policies for more information.

Scores for both the AP and IB tests are submitted by the student to the UW Admissions Office, which posts the applicable English credit to the student's record.

Can I transfer an English course from another school, taken in the U.S. or internationally?

If you complete an approved English course through a Washington state community college, course equivalencies have already been established. See the Transfer Guide for more information.

Most English literature and writing courses taken at two- and four-year colleges and universities within in the U.S. will transfer to the UW if they are (a) college level, and (b) not designed for non-native speakers of English (not ESL/ELL). How these courses transfer is determined by UW Admissions.

If you believe that an English course you took elsewhere should have transferred to the UW, or should have transferred as a different kind of credit, please speak with an English adviser. We will need to see a copy of your transcript from the school where you took the course as well as a course syllabus. In some cases, we may ask you for course materials (assignments you completed, papers you wrote, etc.).

If you completed the English course outside the U.S., please be aware that

(a) the UW Admissions Office must first determine if the course was taken at an accredited/recognized college or university abroad and is eligible for transfer, and

(b) you will need to have an English Department adviser evaluate the course for transfer, and we will ask you for a copy of your transcript and a syllabus (and, sometimes, for course materials such as assignments you completed or papers you wrote), and

(c) the course must have been taken in one of these countries: Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia.

Unless English courses were taken in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia, they are not eligible for transfer as English literature or composition credit at the UW, even if the course was taught in English, was taught by a native speaker, was part of a study abroad program, etc.

The only possible exception is for Advanced Level (A-Level) certificates that students earned through British A-Level exams in international schools in countries such as India or Singapore that follow the British system.

How can I find out about taking classes for English Language Learners (ELL / ESL / EFL)

ELL/ESL courses providing English language instruction to non native speakers (ENGL 101, 102, 103, 104) are not administered by the Department of English. These courses are offered through the University of Washington Educational Outreach programs. Visit the English Language Programs web site. They can be reached at (206) 543-6242.

There are several support programs for English language learners who are working toward the English composition requirement and seeking additional support:

Linked English 103/131
These linked courses are designed for non-native speakers of English, and are available to any student who would like support in English 131. The instructors work together to help students understand 131 readings, outline 131 assignments, and enhance overall academic English skills. Students receive 5 general elective credits for English 103 and 5 composition credits for English 131. Please note that English 103 has a course fee of $1,451. To register for the link, contact Amy Renehan (arenehan@uw.edu).

"ESL Studios"
These are designed for non-native speakers of English, and are available to any student who is taking an Expository Writing Program (ENGL 111, 121, 131, 281) or Interdisciplinary Writing Program (ENGL 197, 198, 199, 297, 298, 299) composition course and would like additional ESL support. Students sign up for a 2-credit (C/NC) studio course, General Studies 391, that meets two days a week for 50 minutes. In the studios students build advanced vocabulary skills, focus on reading skills to help comprehend and analyze complex texts (specifically those from your writing class), and review and analyze grammar structures, focusing on how they apply to organization and produce different effects in academic writing. See the Time Schedule for registration information for these GEN ST 391 ESL studios.

“ESL 131” and “ESL 109/110”
These courses offer an opportunity for International and ELL students who would like to complete a composition course with classmates who are also multilingual non-native speakers of English (“ESL”). All ‘ESL” sections of Expository Writing Program courses are taught by EWP teachers who also have expertise in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

ESL 131 sections are offered every quarter; ESL 109/110, the two-quarter composition course, are offered in Winter (109) and Spring (110). Students must complete both 109 and 110 to fulfill the “C” (composition) requirement. These sections will be marked in the online UW time schedule “ESL STUDENTS ONLY, SEE INSTRUCTOR FOR ADD CODES.” The instructor’s email address will be linked to the time schedule so students can request codes.



questions about graduation

How and when should I apply to graduate?

When you are within two to three quarters of completing all degree requirements, you should see an English adviser and complete the application paperwork for graduation. This process takes about 20 minutes, but can be as short as 10 minutes if there are no unusual circumstances. Applying early (more than two quarters in advance) provides you with Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) for registration purposes. The latest that you can apply is the third Friday of the quarter in which you intend to graduate -- but applying this late doesn't give you the opportunity to take advantage of early GSP registration for your final coursework.

I applied to graduate, but now I need to postpone my graduation. How do I do that?

Contact an English adviser at 206/ 543-2634, or e-mail us. Please tell us when you are now scheduled to graduate, when you'd like your new graduation date to be, and why you're postponing. If your postponement won't cause you any problems with the UW's Satisfactory Progress/Maximum Time Frame policies, we will ask the Graduation Office to move your application.

How can I sign up to participate in the annual Commencement exercises and the English Department Graduation Ceremony?

Students who graduate in autumn and winter quarter, or who are scheduled to graduate in spring or summer quarter, may participate in the June ceremonies: UW Commencement and the English Department Graduation. (In order to participate, spring/summer graduates must file a graduation application by the third Friday of spring quarter.) The two ceremonies require separate RSVPs. More information, including dates for the ceremonies, is available at our Graduation page.

Where do I get my cap and gown, tickets for the ceremony, graduation announcements, class rings, etc?

At the Commencement website, you can get information about garments, tickets, graduation announcements, class rings, disability accommodations, parking, and so on. You can also call 206/ 543-2592 or e-mail commence@u.washington.edu.

When will I receive my diploma?

Your diploma will be mailed to the address you specify through MyUW about four months after your degree is granted. Your degree will be granted between one and four weeks after your grades for your final quarter have been posted, and your degree will be backdated to the last day of final exams week. To check or change your address(es), visit MyUW. If you can't access MyUW, you can call 206/ 543-3868 to change your address.

If you're curious about whether your degree has been granted yet, you can use the online Degree Validation website. Note that you must have selected the "Yes" option for UW directory release in order for your degree information to be available on this site. You can change your directory release option through the MyUW system. You can also see if your degree is granted by viewing your unofficial transcript (also available through MyUW).

I never received my diploma. Why not?

Have at least four months elapsed since your official graduation date? (This has nothing to do with when you participated in the commencement ceremony but rather with the quarter when you completed your final degree requirements.) If you graduated in June, for example, you should expect your diploma to arrive in the mail some time in October. If you need proof that your degree has been granted before your diploma arrives, you can obtain a Degree Certification document from the Transcript Office.

If at least four months have elapsed, there are three common reasons why students don't receive their diplomas:

1. Your address was not up to date with the UW student database. To check or change your official UW address, visit MyUW. If you can't access MyUW, you can call 206/ 543-3868 to change your address. If you believe your diploma was sent to the wrong address, you may call the Graduation Office at (206) 543-1803 to see if the post office has returned it to the UW.

2. You have a financial balance owing with UW, and there is a financial hold on your record. The Graduation Office will not issue diplomas when there is money owing to UW. To find out if you have financial holds on your record, check your student account balance through MyUW, or call or e-mail the Graduation Office: 206/ 543-1803 or e-mail ugradoff@u.washington.edu.

3. Your degree was not granted because you have incomplete degree requirements. When this is the case, the Graduation Office sends e-mail messages to students to let them know that there is a problem with their graduation applications. If you did not receive this notice, check your transcript through MyUW to make sure that your degree was actually granted. If it was not granted, check in with an English adviser to find out what has happened and what you need to do.



english as a second/international language (esl / ell / efl)

Where can I find out about taking basic English classes designed for English Language Learners (ESL, EFL)?

ESL/ELL courses (ENGL 101, 102, 103, 104) are not administered by the Department of English. These courses are offered through the University of Washington Professional and Continuing Education programs. Visit the English Language Programs website.

Are there special courses or resources for English Language Learners taking English composition?

Yes: there are several support programs for English language learners who are working toward the English composition requirement:

Linked English 103/131
These linked courses are designed for non-native speakers of English, and are available to any student who would like support in English 131. The instructors work together to help students understand 131 readings, outline 131 assignments, and enhance overall academic English skills. Students receive 5 general elective credits for English 103 and 5 composition credits for English 131. Please note that English 103 has a course fee of $1,451. To register for the link, contact Amy Renehan (arenehan@uw.edu).

"ESL Studios"
These are designed for non-native speakers of English, and are available to any student who is taking an Expository Writing Program (ENGL 111, 121, 131, 281) or Interdisciplinary Writing Program (ENGL 197, 198, 199, 297, 298, 299) composition course and would like additional ESL support. Students sign up for a 2-credit (C/NC) studio course, General Studies 391, that meets two days a week for 50 minutes. In the studios students build advanced vocabulary skills, focus on reading skills to help comprehend and analyze complex texts (specifically those from your writing class), and review and analyze grammar structures, focusing on how they apply to organization and produce different effects in academic writing. See the Time Schedule for registration information for these GEN ST 391 ESL studios.

“ESL 131” and “ESL 109/110”
These courses offer an opportunity for International and ELL students who would like to complete a composition course with classmates who are also multilingual non-native speakers of English (“ESL”). All ‘ESL” sections of Expository Writing Program courses are taught by EWP teachers who also have expertise in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

ESL 131 sections are offered every quarter; ESL 109/110, the two-quarter composition course, are offered in Winter (109) and Spring (110). Students must complete both 109 and 110 to fulfill the “C” (composition) requirement. These sections will be marked in the online UW time schedule “ESL STUDENTS ONLY, SEE INSTRUCTOR FOR ADD CODES.” The instructor’s email address will be linked to the time schedule so students can request codes.

Where can I find information about becoming an ESL/ELL teacher?

The Department of English offers a Master of Arts for Teachers (of English to Speakers of Other Languages) MATESOL degree program. This program is primarily designed for those who teach or plan to teach ESL at the college or university level, or for those who are already certificated teachers in the K-12 system; the program does not provide K-12 teacher certification.

The UW's College of Education offers curriculum satisfying the requirements for a K-12 supporting endorsement in Teaching ESL, an option for certificated teachers or for candidates to the College of Education's Master's In Teaching (MIT) program, which provides K-12 teacher certification.

You can find more information about TESL/TEFL certification and teaching opportunities on our Teaching English Abroad webpage.

Those interested in careers in ESL/ELL teaching are welcome to come and speak with an English adviser. Volunteering with the UW's Language Exchange Program is also a good way to explore the field and get some experience.

Where can I find out about teaching English abroad?

See our Teaching English Abroad webpage.



miscellaneous questions

Do I have to complete an internship?

Internships during the course of your undergraduate study, while not required, are highly recommended! Recent research has indicated that out of all new college graduates securing entry-level professional jobs, 70 per cent completed internships during their course of study. Sometimes, an internship turns into a job. More often, the intern is able to add skills to his/her resume, make contacts and network, get referrals and recommendations, and find out more about a particular career pathway.

Some internships are offered for as few as 3 hours per week. Nearly all internship sponsors are willing to work around a student's academic schedule. See the English Department's internship listings to view recently-advertised intern positions.

More comprehensive information about internships can be found on the English Department's internship pages.

Where can I find out about intern and volunteer opportunities?

Volunteering and service learning is an important component of your education and your investment in your community. It can also serve as an important resume-builder for new college graduates.

The UW's Carlson Leadership Center has information about volunteer and service learning opportunities.

The English Department has internship listings.

A great source of information about volunteer opportunities in the non profit sector is the Idealist.org website.

Does the English Department offer Study Abroad opportunities?

Yes! We offer several programs each year in literature and in creative writing. Visit our study abroad pages for more information.

I'm going to be studying abroad with a non UW program. How can I have my courses evaluated for UW equivalency?

Students who will be studying abroad should first make their arrangements through the UW Office of International Programs and Exchanges. BE SURE TO REQUEST TO HAVE YOUR COURSES PRE-APPROVED BEFORE YOU LEAVE. Not all English classes taken abroad are eligible for UW credit.

If you'll be taking English courses, please see an English adviser to find out how those credits will be credited on your UW transcript once you return.

While you are studying abroad, be sure to save all course materials: syllabi, assignment schedules, exams you took, papers you wrote, etc. These materials may be needed when UW academic departments evaluate your courses for credit upon your return.

When you return, visit the appropriate academic department to request that your courses be evaluated. Visit English Advising for an evaluation of English courses.

Note: Unless an English course was taken in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia, it is not eligible for UW English credit unless it was completed through a UW Direct Exchange program. Direct exchanges may be eliglble, but must be approved by an English adviser.

No credit is awarded for English composition ("C" credit) taken abroad, though credit may be available in some cases (with approval) for English literature.

Are there undergraduate student groups or publications that relate to the English major?

Yes! Student groups include Sigma Tau Delta (the local chapter of the International English Honor Society), WriteAway (a student writing group), Bricolage (the student-run undergraduate literary arts magazine), AU (the student-run speculative fiction journal), and others. See our student groups webpage for more information.

Where can I find out about becoming an English teacher?

Information about pursuing a career English teaching (in the K-12 system, at the college level, or abroad) can be found on our teaching webpages.

I'm applying to the UW Master in Teaching program. How do I obtain an evaluation of my coursework for the English Language Arts secondary teaching endorsement?

The English Language Arts secondary teaching endorsement requirements are located on our endorsement page.

Instructions for requesting an evaluation are also located there, for prospective MIT students as well as for certificated teachers seeking to add a teaching endorsement.

Where can I find information about undergraduate research and English honors?

The English Department Honors Program webpage has information about honors applications and requirements.

The English Undergraduate Research page has information about projects and some student profiles with examples of research by undergraduates.



If you have questions that haven't been answered, please contact us! engladv@u.washington.edu, 206/ 543-2634

 

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