Frequently Asked Questions

Changes to the English modules

Which modules changed?

The five biggest modules in the program changed. These include:
  • Honors Specialization in English Language and Literature
  • Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature
  • Specialization in English Language and Literature
  • Major in English Language and Literature
  • Minor in English Language and Literature
Smaller modules were also adjusted to account for new course numbers, but they are essentially unchanged:
  • Minor in English for Teachers
  • Minor in General English
  • Minor in Popular Literature and Cultural Studies

How did the modules change?

For details about individual modules, have a look at the new Checklists.

The modules changed to provide you with more choice as you work through your program. Students will still need to cover a broad chronological range of material, but each module now has additional “requirements” which are limited only by the level of the course. These open choices will allow you to follow your own interests and construct a program of study which satisfies your own intellectual curiosity.

To complement these choices, the Department also changed its 3000-level course offerings. The old courses, which were organized around chronological coverage (e.g “Nineteenth-Century British Literature”), are no longer be offered. Instead, our 3000-level courses now focus on narrower themes and issues (e.g. “Romantic Revolutions” and “Sherlock Holmes and the Fiction of Detection”). These courses will be offered in alternating years, so you will have different choices in your third and fourth years of the program.

Why did the modules change?

Periodically, all departments in the university are subject to an IQAP Review (Institutional Quality Assurance Process). The Review asks us to evaluate our programs and assess whether or not they are still meeting the goals we set out for them when they were first developed. As part of our assessment, we decided that the structure of our programs no longer reflected the direction of the field of English studies or the expertise of the faculty now teaching it. The new structure, therefore, still insists that students gain a broad knowledge of the corpus of English literature. Its focus, however, is not on a knowledge of the traditional “canon,” but on the skills necessary to participate in the study of English literature.

I am in first year now and wish to enter an English module: how do these changes affect me?

Anyone who entered an English module during 2017 Intent To Register entered into the new module structure automatically. Be sure to look at the new module Checklist for requirements.

I am an upper-year student currently in a module: can I finish as I started?

Yes, you can finish the module as you started it. In fact, any student who was registered in an English module as of January 2017 will be assumed to remain in the old module (i.e. you don’t need to do anything). This is the easiest option for most students who will be entering their fourth year in 2017/18. The course numbers have changed, so be sure to look at the new version of the Checklists to see how the new numbers can be applied to the old module description.

NOTE: The changes did not affect any student who finished the program in April 2017.

I am an upper-year student currently in a module but I’d like to switch to the new module: can I do that?

Yes, if you are already in an English module as of January 2017, you can opt to change into the new model. This might be particularly attractive for students who will be entering their third year in 2017/18. To switch, simply contact the Chair of Undergraduate Studies (Richard Moll: and ask that you be put in the new model. A note will then be added to your academic record.

If the Department does not hear from you, we will assume that you are remaining in the old module.

I’d like to switch, but I don’t want to lose coursework I’ve already completed. Should I be worried?

No, you will not lose any coursework.

If you stay in the old module, you can simply complete the program as you planned.

If you want to switch into the new version of the module, we will check to ensure that all the coursework you have already completed applies to the new system. Since the changes to the modules generally increase choice, your current coursework will probably fit the new model. There are, however, some conflicts that we know about: Classics 2200, for example, will no longer count towards the Creative Writing and English HSP. If you have already taken Classic 2200, yet still wish to switch, we will write a Special Permission allowing you to do so.

The courses I need for my module are no longer offered: what should I do?

Simply look at the new Checklists for the old module. We have changed the organization of our course numbers, which has resulted in some courses being renumbered, and we have eliminated the 3000-level courses which covered broad chronological ranges. The new course numbers and the new courses can be applied to the old modules.

Can I do 4000-level seminars even though I’m not in an Honors module?

Yes, if you have maintained a 70% average. 4000-level seminars are small classes which focus on a narrowly defined critical issue. They are limited to students in an English module who are in their fourth year of study and have maintained an Honors-level grade average. If you are in a non-Honors program (an English Major with a History Minor, for example) you can still enroll in these courses if you meet the requirements.

I still have questions: who should I talk to?

If you still have questions or concerns do not hesitate to get in touch with the English Department. You can email or Richard Moll (Chair, Undergraduate Studies,