Advising for English Majors
Frequently Asked Advising Questions
What's the easiest way for me to learn more about the activities and opportunities offered by the UW-L English Department?
English Department Pamphlet gives a lot of information in a few pages. It's downloadable as a pdf.
If I'm transferring from another college with General Education courses, how can I determine whether they'll satisfy UW-L's Gen Ed requirements?
Consult UW's system-wide Transfer Information System, which will tell you whether and how a course from another UW campus will transfer to UW-L. If you have credits from a non-UW course, you may need to submit a syllabus to determine which UW-L course, if any, is equivalent.
How can I choose the best 200-level English
course for me to satisfy the "Humanistic Studies" General Ed
Why do some 200-level courses not satisfy this GE requirement?
Some 200-level courses satisfy other GE requirements. For example, ENG 220, Women and Popular Culture, falls under the "Self and Society" category, while ENG 207, 208, 210, and 215 fall under the "International and Multicultural Studies" category.
Can I take a second 200-level course at UW-L, and will it count toward my major (or minor)?
You may take another 200-level course to satisfy a second GE requirement. However, only 300- and 400-level courses count toward majors and minors.
What if a class I want is filled? Can I get an override?
Overrides are granted at the discretion of individual instructors, whose policies vary greatly. For detailed suggestions on how to get an override, see our tips.
Should I consider a major (or minor) in English? How will I know if it's right for me?
Unlike certain majors like Accounting, Nuclear Medicine, and Engineering, English isn't directly a vocational-preparation major. However, English teaches students to think critically about life issues and to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively. What employer would not want to hire someone with those skills? It's much easier to train new employees to use specialized equipment or software than it is to train them to think and write well.
How do I get an English adviser? Can I choose one myself?
Once you do the paperwork to declare yourself an English major, the department will assign you an adviser. However, if you know a faculty member you'd like to work with and he/she agrees, you can request to have this person be your adviser.
May I continue under the "old" graduation requirements for English majors, or am I subject to the "new" system (either Literature or Writing/Rhetoric emphasis)?
Those students who entered UW-L before fall 2005 have the option of continuing along the "old" English major. Those who entered UW-L after fall 2005 must (and others may) elect to choose one of the two emphases within the new major: Literature or Writing/Rhetoric.
Should I take ENG 301 (Foundations of Literary Studies), and if so, when?
Although not required, students in the "old" major are encouraged to take ENG 301.
This course is required of students following either of the two new emphases (Literature or Writing/Rhetoric). It should be taken as soon as possible, because it forms the foundation of all future literary studies.
Why have so many English courses been re-numbered? Is there a difference between courses with 300 numbers and those numbered 400 and above?
Courses have been re-numbered to group them more logically according to subject matter.
Also, most 300-level courses are meant to be foundational. They serve as an introduction to a literary or writing genre, or to a historical period in literature. Most 400-level courses present more advanced topics that build upon one or more 300-level course. This is not to suggest that 400-level courses are "harder," or that they're designed only for seniors. Nevertheless, when preparing a two-year plan for your major, consider starting with 300-level courses (including ENG 301), especially if you plan to take 400-level course in similar areas. However, if a course is only offered in alternate years, you need to grab it when you can.
How and when do I declare a major (or minor) in English?
When you're ready to change your major to English, or to add an English minor, you can get a Change of Program Form from the College of Liberal Studies Office in 235 Morris Hall.
You can file the petition any time before midterm. After that, you'll need to wait until the next semester. Don't feel pressured, however, to declare your major right away. Whereas education, business, and the sciences, for example, require an early decision, you have plenty of time to decide about becoming an English major. As long as you've taken ENG 110 and a 200-level course by the end of your second year, you'll be ready to pursue upper-level studies in English.
Can I take upper-level English courses if I'm not a major?
In most cases, sure. Many upper-level classes have only ENG 110 or a 200-level English course as a prerequisite. If a course piques your curiosity, go for it!
Can I earn English credits for an internship, and how can I find an appropriate internship for me?
To find an internship, check with Career Services, watch for notices on bulletin boards, or even call an employer and offer your services as an intern. If you get an internship that involves substantial writing or other work related to English, you may want to earn credit under ENG 450, English Internship. You need to find a faculty member who's willing to monitor your work and verify that the work produced is appropriate for the number of credits (2-6) agreed upon. Grading for ENG 450 is pass/fail.
When and how should I apply for graduation?
During the semester before you plan to graduate, you need to meet with an adviser in the College of Liberal Studies to go over your SNAP report and verify that you're on target to graduate. You should also visit the graduation requirements site.
Publishing Opportunities for Students
English Majors and Minors at UW–L have an impressive number of opportunities to publish their creative and scholarly work. Here is a list of publishing outlets for undergraduate students.
Steam Ticket is a national literary journal sponsored by the English Department. Students may not only submit creative works, but also serve on the editorial board.
The Catalyst is an online publication for students of the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. The goal of The Catalyst is to spark discussion and critical thinking about important issues of the day. The Catalyst publishes writing (fiction and nonfiction), artwork, videos, and music. The Catalyst is edited and produced by student members of the English Club.
The Racquet is UW–L’s weekly student newspaper.
The Second Supper is an alternative newspaper serving the La Crosse Community. Think of it as a pearl Onion.
Journal of Undergraduate Research is a campus-wide annual journal publishing research performed by UW-L undergraduate students. Note that UW–L often provides grants and other financial support for students actively engaged with research.
The Rectangle is the annual creative journal of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society
The Sigma Tau Delta Review is the critical journal of Sigma Tau Delta.
Search Internships on Eaglenet
An internship can provide valuable experience in a company or other organization related to your future career. Contact Karolyn Bald at UW-L's Career Services office to learn about Eagle Opportunities, the University's online resource for locating jobs and internships.