Welcome to English
General Information About the University
Information about the history, academic structure, and policies of Colorado State University as well as financial aid, counseling, career services, registration, medical needs, police, and academic probation is in the CSU General Catalog, or available by phone from University offices listed in the Campus Phone Directory. CSU’s homepage is http://www.colostate.edu.
General Information About the Department
The English department faculty offices are located on the third floor in Eddy Hall. For information about the English department, see the staff in the English Office (359 Eddy), call 970-491-6428, or check the English department website.
Your Academic Support Coordinator and English Department Faculty Mentor
All new English majors (freshmen and transfer students) will be assigned both an Academic Support Coordinator (ASC) and an English department faculty mentor. ASCs will be responsible for providing freshmen and sophomores with their advising code and will review their check sheets and undergraduate degree plans. When you have reached 60 credits (junior year), you can meet with an ASC if you choose, but you will be meeting with your faculty mentor in the English department to plan your schedule and receive your advising code. So, English majors will have both a faculty mentor and an Academic Support Coordinator working with them through graduation. The goal of the ASCs is to help English students navigate their degree plan and get connected with resources across campus that will help them be successful students. A large part of their role focuses on student retention, so they will work hard to reach out to students on academic probation or otherwise struggling at the university and have been trained on how to best connect students with campus resources.
To schedule an appointment with your Academic Support Coordinator (Clark C125), you need to contact Sheila Dargon in our main English office – call 491-6428 or stop by the English Office (359 Eddy). Sheila will schedule your appointment with your ASC.
Approximately mid-October and mid-March, you will be sent a RAMmail message with a link to the RAMBLER, the English department advising and registration newsletter. The RAMBLER includes important advising and registration information. ASCs are available for appointments year-round. You can find your ASC assignment by clicking on the “My Advisors” link under “Registration” on your RAMweb account.
In your Junior and Senior years, you must meet with your faculty mentor during pre-registration advising. To do so, check the relevant dates in the RAMBLER and sign up on the special appointment sheet on your faculty mentor’s office door. At this meeting, you will plan your course schedule and receive the information you will need to register. You should visit your ASC or faculty mentor whenever you have any concerns.
Because your studies at Colorado State can play such an important part in the remainder of your life and career, it’s important to adopt a proactive attitude in your relationship with your Academic Support Coordinator and faculty mentor and toward the requirements that give coherence to your degree. Your advisors can assist you. They may advise about the wisdom of courses you propose, but you are ultimately responsible for taking whatever courses you think best. Your own intellectual and career interests, for instance, may lead you toward selecting a unique minor or second field.
Second Field Requirement
All English majors are required to complete a second field of study. For English Education students this is satisfied by 33 credits of EDUC courses, for Language concentrators by completing two years of one foreign language and one year of another. For all other English concentrations, the second field requirement can be met by completing the second year of a foreign language or by completing 12 upper-division credits in a coherent second field of study outside of English. Your faculty mentor—not your ASC—has the authority to approve a second field comprising courses from different prefixes or departments.
Students who use the second year of a foreign language for their second field should be aware that these credits will not contribute to the University-wide requirement of 42 credits at the upper-division level. You and your faculty mentor should ensure that you are taking enough upper-division credits.
For students selecting a second field of study, the 12 credits for the second field must be upper division, that is, 300 and 400-level classes, in some discipline other than English. A minor in another department will typically fulfill the second field requirement. You can work with your faculty mentor to identify departments which offer advanced coursework to non-majors. Some students will select a topic [e.g., Science of the Environment] and take classes from different majors but that relate to the theme: e.g., BIO 320 (Ecology), CHEM 345 (Organic Chemistry I), PHIL 345 (Environmental Ethics) and PSY 316 (Environmental Psychology). For a topic like “African Studies” students might take upper-division courses in Political Science, Economics, and History. Other topics might be “war,” “European Studies,” and “media.” Another topic could be representations of minorities. Students using this theme could take film courses, sociology courses, courses in Ethnic Studies, History courses, etc.
It’s a good idea to first look at the online class schedule to see what courses departments are offering, especially noting which courses require prerequisites. When looking at the class schedule in RAMweb, clicking on a class title, subject code, or any other piece of information will pull up more course information. As a non-major, you may not be able to immediately register for some classes with registration restrictions. So, as you consider classes for your second field—or for free electives—check for restrictions and consider alternatives.
You may choose to complete a minor (that usually requires 21 credits). For example, for a minor in English, we require 21 credits (12 of those credits must be upper-division). To declare a minor, you just have to go to the Department you’re interested in and fill out a Change of Major/Minor form. One minor to consider is the Linguistics and Culture minor, which includes Anthropology, English, Foreign Languages, and Speech Communication courses. For information about this minor, contact Professor Gerry Delahunty 359 Eddy, 491-1108, email@example.com or the English department main office.
The First Session With Your ASC/Faculty Mentor
Make sure that you understand each of the following:
The English major consists of five different tracks: the English Major with Creative Writing Concentration, the English Major with Language Concentration, the English Major with Literature Concentration, the English Major with Writing, Rhetoric & Literacy Concentration, and the English Major with Education Concentration for teaching English in the public schools. Check sheets with course requirements for each concentration are available from your advisor, the English Office (359 Eddy), or on the Department Website. Some students add more than one concentration (e.g., Creative Writing and Literature).
2. Check Sheet
Keep a copy of your concentration check sheet and monitor your progress toward graduation. It is your responsibility to understand the requirements listed on your check sheet and to make sure you fulfill them prior to graduation. On your RAMweb homepage, under the heading, “Records,” select “My Undergraduate Degree Plan (DARS)” to check on your progress towards graduation.
3. Green Sheet
The English department Green Sheet lists the All-University Core Curriculum (AUCC) requirements and courses acceptable to the English department for satisfying the University’s general Education requirements (Column C on all concentration check sheets). The English department does NOT accept all courses listed under the AUCC requirements in the CSU General Catalog. The English department accepts ONLY those courses listed on its Green Sheet; copies are available from your advisor, the English Office (359 Eddy) or on the Department Website.
4. Outcomes Assessment Requirement
To graduate, you must fill out the Senior Survey and submit a Senior Portfolio. The Portfolio requirement can be fulfilled only by keeping your papers written in upper-division English and Composition courses. The deadline and requirements are available online or at the English Office (359 Eddy). More details are in the “Graduation” section below.
5. Math and CO150 Requirements
All degree-seeking students must satisfy both their 3 credits of math and their 3 credits of CO 150 (College Composition) prior to completion of 60 credits. Students who have earned 60 or more CSU/transfer semester credits and who have not yet taken their math class and CO 150 will have a MATH/COMP hold placed on their registration. Transfer and readmitted students will be allowed the initial term of enrollment before this restriction is imposed.
Information on the Math Placement Exam can be found on the Math Department Website.
Information on the Composition Placement/Challenge Exam can be found on the Composition Website.
6. Policy on Literature Surveys
English department policy requires that all majors and minors take the literature survey courses as required by their concentration (E 270, E 276 and/or E 277) before beginning their junior year. These sophomore-level survey courses lay the foundation for upper-division work, and students are best advised to take them and other English-core courses when they devise their class schedules in their first two years of study. Transfer students should take these courses in their first year of English study. Students are advised to take only one survey course at a time. Since they are survey courses, they cover A LOT of information—these classes will involve A LOT of reading and writing.
The Academic Support Coordinator’s and Faculty Mentor’s Roles and Your Responsibility
Your Academic Support Coordinator and your faculty mentor will help you understand the requirements for graduation; but you, not your advisors, bear responsibility for your completing all requirements for the degree. Keep your concentration check sheet up to date. Use the English department Green Sheet as you fulfill AUCC requirements. Make sure you have waiver and substitution forms properly signed for any approved changes in requirements. Discuss any questions or problems with your advisor. When you make an appointment to see your advisors, be prepared. Come with questions and tentative schedules. Some students find that laying out semester-by-semester and year-by-year tentative course plans is a useful way to draft an interesting and practical overall curriculum plan, especially as graduation nears.
Information About Registration and Courses
1. Information about University courses is available through links on the homepages of the departments offering the courses, or through the CSU Course Catalog, which contains short descriptions of all courses offered by the University (although not all courses are offered every semester).
2. All regular English course descriptions are available through the “Undergrad Courses” link on our website. New or special courses are described in the RAMBLER. A listing of current and past RAMBLER newsletters can be found on the English department “Publications” page under the “Rambler [pdfs]” heading here. Additional information may be obtained from the professor teaching the course.
3. RAMBLER, the English department’s newsletter, is e-mailed to English majors twice a year just before pre-registration, approximately mid-October and mid-March. A listing of current and past RAMBLER newsletters can be found on the English department “Publications” page under the “Rambler [pdfs]” heading here. This newsletter contains updated information about advising, registration, and information about new or special undergraduate and graduate courses. NOTE: Do not filter RAMmail as junk mail, or you will miss receiving the RAMBLER and other important notices from your Department and professors.
Taking Courses In Summer School
Remember that one three-credit course in a four-week summer session involves the same workload as a 15-week course during a fall or spring semester. Taking six credits in the four-week session may be possible, but is not wise. Taking three credits during the eight-week session is roughly equivalent to taking six credits during a fall or spring semester.
If you plan to complete your degree at the end of summer school in your senior year, be certain that the courses you need for graduation will be offered during the summer. Plan ahead so that your graduation isn’t delayed. And don’t trust the CSU General Catalog about courses offered in summer school: SS means that this course is sometimes offered in summer school.
If you plan to earn summer school credits at another institution, see the section titled “Transferring Credits from Other Institutions While at CSU” below.
Careers And Internships For English Majors
With a degree in English, you are qualified for a wide variety of careers and employment opportunities. Because many positions open to English majors are not discipline-specific, English majors often find employment anywhere such skills as close reading, powerful writing, communication, and critical thinking are helpful.
POSSIBLE CAREER TRACKS: A major in English prepares students for education, government, or business careers. Our graduates have found work in copyediting; web designing; sales advertising; publicity and promotion; contracts and permission administration; agency or arts administration; human resources; human services program development; advising; counseling; international business and communications marketing; law; technical writing; teaching; teaching of English as a second language; curriculum development; education administration; and grant writing. And more.
With a BA in English education, you can obtain a license to teach in the public schools at the secondary level (grades 7-12). CSU does not offer licensure for students wishing to teach at the intermediate level, but does offer Early Childhood Education through the Department of Human Development and Family Services.
With a BA in English, one can teach English internationally, from Bangkok to Barcelona, in public schools as well as in private language academies. The world-wide demand, both in the US and abroad, for English Language teachers appears to be accelerating. However, before moving into this world, you should undertake some professional training. A variety of ways are available, from on-line certificate programs to courses offered here at CSU. Consult a member of the TESOL or Language Concentration faculty for specific details.
An MA in TEFL/TESL has become a requirement for quality contract positions in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf as well as in US Intensive English Programs i.e., programs associated with universities and colleges that prepare international students for study in English-medium classes and institutions. Graduates of the CSU MA TEFL/TESL Program currently occupy a broad range of teaching and administrative positions both internationally and domestically.
An MA, MFA, or PhD opens teaching opportunities at colleges and universities. State licensure is not required for teaching in a college or university in Colorado or many—but not all—other states. An advanced degree is also valued by secondary schools and opens further opportunities and salary advancement. A master’s degree is required in some states, but not Colorado.
2. Writing (Technical, Creative, Free-Lance), Editing, Publishing, Advertising
English majors find work with newspapers, publishing houses, and large companies in a variety of editing, writing, advertising, and publications positions.
Many creative writers and free-lance writers do their early work on the side while they pursue careers as teachers of literature and creative writing. Only a relatively small number of writers, however, publish enough to generate significant royalties.
Many recent graduates have found careers in writing and editing for various publishers, trade association or organization magazines, newspapers, or public-relations firms. They report that what they learned about the English language and how to use it properly was the most practical and applicable side of their college education.
3. Graduate Professional Degrees
A BA in English is a good route to law school. High grades, good recommendations, and good scores on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) are required for entry. Students interested in pursuing a career in law are encouraged to meet with the Pre-Law Advisor, Dr. Courtenay Daum, in the College of Liberal Arts – firstname.lastname@example.org, Clark C336B.
While professional health programs require students to have a solid background in the basic biological and physical sciences, they neither prefer nor recommend any particular undergraduate major. Many students who go on to medical programs have undergraduate degrees or minors in non-science disciplines, including English. The set of required prerequisite and recommended courses can be completed in conjunction with the requirements for the English major. If you are considering pursuing a professional health career in human or animal medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, or other health fields you should meet with a health professions advisor in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) to discuss the academic and other factors that can make you a strong candidate for a professional program. You can make an appointment to meet with a health professional by calling CASA at (970) 491-7095. You can also find more information at http://hp.casa.colostate.edu.
As good communication is valuable in attaining and utilizing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a BA in English provides an accepted academic background for an MBA at CSU. You might want to use the second-field requirement for this purpose and minor in Business. If you plan to get an MBA or Masters in Management Practice at CSU, you may save time at the graduate level by taking various undergraduate courses or prerequisites before entering graduate school.
For students with an interest in managing information and data flow through business, the College of Business (164 Rockwell) offers a Master of Computer Information Systems (MCIS). There are no prerequisites for this degree and applicants without a technical background are welcome. To find out more about graduate programs in the School of Business call (970) 491-5643 or visit here.
A BA in English is an excellent preparation for a master’s degree in Library Science. An MLS opens up opportunities in information and book-related fields, including company, public, and academic libraries. If you are attracted to community or academic life, public and academic libraries offer satisfying careers for people who like books.
A BA in English and completion of the Religious Studies Interdisciplinary Program is a good prologue to graduate work in theology or religious education. For further information, see Professor James Lindsay. His office is in Clark B352; office telephone is 491-6217; and email is James.Lindsay@colostate.edu.
4. Civil Service
Good scores on State or Federal civil service exams can open a wide variety of positions to English majors. Specialized Federal exams cover still other areas. The United States Department of State, for example, offers examinations for those seeking a career as cultural attachés in the Foreign Service.
5. The Career Center
A good resource for English majors exploring careers or seeking career counseling is the Career Center (during construction on the Lory Student Center, the Career Center is located in the Mac Gym, east of the Recreation Center). The Career Center provides a wide range of services including career exploration, resume and cover letter critiques, practice interviews, developing job search strategies, providing a variety of workshops and has an extensive career resource library. In addition, students can register with the Career Center online under a system called CareerRAM to have access to internship and job postings, as well as participate in the on-campus interview process. For information or registration, visit the Career Center website or email email@example.com. The College of Liberal Arts has career counselors who are happy to meet with English majors. Students need to call the Career Center at 491-5707 to schedule an appointment with one of the CLA career counselors.
Many English majors find rewarding careers largely by accident. The most mundane first position, if you bring intelligence and dedication to your work, can put you in the right place at the right time for an entirely unexpected and rewarding career.
The English department encourages experiential learning by offering qualified majors and minors up to four hours of elective credit for internships to explore possible career paths before graduation. At least 80% of the intern’s duties should be directly related to his/her degree work and career objectives.
In order to register for internship credits, undergraduate students must be juniors or seniors who have completed all lower-division English and communication skills requirements. They must have a GPA of at least 2.6, minimum English/Writing GPAs of 3.0, and they must have completed CO300 or CO301 with an A or a B. Graduate students must have minimum cumulative GPAs of 3.0. In addition, students must have approval from their academic advisor and internship coordinator, with required documents signed by intern, internship supervisor, and internship coordinator.
A wide variety of experience is possible: designing Web sites, writing articles and book reviews, teaching students in literacy programs, writing and editing newsletters and brochures for non-profit agencies, etc. You may generate your own position in a field of interest, or you may pursue established local, regional, or national internship opportunities. Expect to invest about 40 hours for each credit hour earned. In the case of out-of-department internships, your final grade (S or U) will be assigned by Mary Hickey, Internship Coordinator, in consultation with your on-job supervisor. For internships conducted with a departmental faculty member, that faculty member will assign your grade.
Interns will be assessed for tuition and fees just as they are for academic credits.
For more information, please contact Mary Hickey, English department Internship Coordinator: Mary.Hickey@colostate.edu, 970-491-3418, Eddy 334. Also be sure to check out the internships page on the English department website.
E487B: Internship: Greyrock Review
Students may receive credit (one free elective credit per semester for up to four semesters) for an internship with Greyrock Review, CSU’s undergraduate student-run literary magazine. During this year-long internship, students learn the intricacies of publishing, promoting, and printing a literary journal. As a staff intern, you will be expected to attend weekly staff meetings to discuss advertising, reading and promoting submissions, copyediting, and all aspects of production. Backgrounds in editing and/or creative writing are preferable, though not necessary. Students must be Juniors or Seniors with a 3.0 GPA in English and Composition classes. Qualified students must register for both Fall and Spring semesters. This is a one-year commitment. Interested students should contact Sue Russell (353 Eddy) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 491-1898.
E487C: Internship: Community Literacy Center
E487C provides students with opportunities to blend academic and experiential learning. Interns in the Community Literacy Center gain experience through three primary areas: community-based research, program design and facilitation, and professional development. Each component engages students in developing and applying theoretical practices of literacy learning to campus and community contexts and offers them leadership experience under the close supervision of experienced faculty members and community partners. Site placements include teen rehabilitation centers, GED/ESL learning centers, the local jail, and other not-for-profit organizations in the greater Larimer County community. For more information or to apply for an internship, contact Professor Tobi Jacobi at Tobi.Jacobi@colostate.edu.
E487D: Internship in the Writing Center
E487D provides students with opportunities to blend academic and experiential learning. As they perform Writing Program activities (such as tutoring, curriculum development, research in best practice, etc., for the CSU Writing Center), students will gain opportunities to connect writing theory and practice, to write with and for genuine audiences, and to gain practical experience under the close supervision of an experienced faculty member. This internship culminates in a researched project which will benefit Writing Center consultants and clients. For more information or to apply for an internship, contact Professor Lisa Langstraat at email@example.com.
E384A, E487A and E487B, and E495 cannot fulfill requirements listed in Column A or B of the check sheets. Undergraduates may count a total of only four E487A and/or E487B internship credits toward graduation (however, only 3 credits of E487A will satisfy graduation credits – so, a student could have 3 credits of E487A and 1 credit of E487B or 4 credits of E487B). These credits will count as free electives—not as replacements for other English courses. Students taking E487C and/or E487D may be able to count up to 7 credits of internship toward graduation (E487C or E487D can satisfy 3 upper-division English elective credits in Column A). All students should consult their advisors regarding verification of the number of credits they may count toward graduation.
Scholarships, Honors Program, Honorary Societies and Activities
The English department offers a variety of scholarships to qualified English majors, and the College of Liberal Arts and the University offer still others. A description of exclusively English department awards is available through the Undergraduate/Scholarships link on the English homepage. The CSU Scholarship Application (CSUSA) will be available online on your RAMweb beginning December 1st. The deadline is March 1st at 11:00pm (MST). Go to RamWeb and log in using your eID. Then select the CSU Scholarship Application link under Financial Information. Be sure to complete the College of Liberal Arts section of the CSUSA. The CSUSA is the application for colleges and other departments (like Student Financial Services) to award their foundation scholarships.
To be considered for need-based scholarships through the CSUSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted no later than March 1st.
Creative and Performing Arts Scholarship: This scholarship is not included on the CSUSA. Undergraduate students may submit creative writing from multiple genres to be considered for this award. Undergraduate submissions may include one or more of the following genres: three to five poems, one short story and/or one creative essay. Awards usually are for $500 per academic year in the form of tuition waivers, but a few awards of $1,000–$1,500 for special merit have been given in the past. The submission guidelines can be picked up in the English Office in early September. The deadline is in early October.
2. Honors Program and Honorary Societies
CSU’s Honors Program (B102 Academic Village) features outstanding students and faculty, small classes including interdisciplinary seminars, honors experiences in the major, and a senior honors thesis. Students benefit from a community of support (including the Honors Residential Learning Community), early registration, an Honors scholarship for freshmen students entering in the fall semester, and enrichment awards. Honors designation appears on transcripts and diplomas. Contact Honors on their website, email Honors@colostate.edu, or call 491-5679.
Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society – Membership requirements: Student must be an English Major at CSU with an overall GPA of 3.0 as well as a 3.0 in English courses, must have completed at least 3 semesters of college coursework, must have completed at least two 300-level English courses and must be in the top 35% of their class. Students that meet the requirements submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership requires a $40 membership fee and benefits include access to numerous scholarships, fellowships, publications, and job opportunities, in addition to university involvement. Dan Beachy-Quick is the faculty mentor – Dan.Beachy-Quick@colostate.
If your GPA ranks in the top 5% of the Junior class in the College of Liberal Arts and you have made a professional contribution (published an article, story, or poems) or rendered exceptional service to the University (served on university/college committees, ASCSU, etc.), you are eligible for nomination to ,strong>PHI KAPPA PHI and listing in Who’s Who Among Students at American Universities and Colleges. Nominations for these prestigious honors come from the Department and are reviewed by a College of Liberal Arts committee. The College selects one student for Phi Kappa Phi and four for Who’s Who. PHI KAPPA PHI also invites outstanding seniors to join as well.
Phi Beta Kappa– Membership is bestowed by Delta of Colorado, and is generally limited to the top 10% of the graduating class. Juniors and seniors are screened to be certain that they meet the requirements which are: enrollment in an appropriate liberal arts and sciences major, with at least 75% of all course work or 90 hours in approved liberal arts and sciences courses. Completion of 100 semester hours – at least 50 hours must have been completed at CSU. Transfer students must meet this requirement and also have a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Minimum of 3 credits in Math and nine or ten semester credits of University courses in a single foreign language (or transcript credit by placement). Eligible students will receive invitations to join in spring and invitations are sent only once a year.
Juniors and seniors with GPAs in the top 15% are invited to join GOLDEN KEY International Honour Society, “founded to recognize and encourage scholastic achievement among students from all academic fields.” Members may also join local chapters and take part in campus and community service activities. For scholarship information, go to https://www.goldenkey.org.
Juniors with outstanding academic, service, and leadership records are tapped for MORTAR BOARD, “a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service.” The ten
to forty members of MORTAR BOARD select juniors for membership as seniors. For more information, visit the Student Organizations Office in the basement of Lory Student Center. Students in the top 10% of the College of Liberal Arts graduate with honors. Those in the top 1% of the College graduate SUMMA CUM LAUDE (with highest distinction); those in the next 3% graduate MAGNA CUM LAUDE (with high distinction); those in the next 6% graduate CUM LAUDE (with distinction).
Reading Series: The Reading Series offers a unique opportunity for students to experience the prose and poetry of recognized writers from the United States and abroad, as well as Colorado State faculty and Creative Writing graduate students. We bring fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and poets to campus for readings, workshops, and stimulating discussions throughout the academic year. For the current semester’s reading series schedule, click here.
If you plan to study in another country and would like to receive credit for the courses you will take, attend one of the information sessions for Study Abroad application details. For the session schedule and other details, visit the Study Abroad website, go to Laurel Hall, or call 970-491-5917. Before leaving the country, you will want to meet with your Academic Support Coordinator and/or your English department faculty mentor, and then with the English department’s Key advisor, Dr. Gerald Delahunty (Gerald.Delahunty@colostate.edu – 491-1108 – Eddy 359) to make sure that the courses you plan to take will transfer to CSU as you would like them to.
Transferring Credits From Other Institutions While At CSU
If you plan to take summer courses or enroll in coursework elsewhere, visit U.Select online. This site contains the general transfer policy information, and equivalency guidelines. If you require validation of a course equivalency assigned in transfer, the Transfer Course Equivalency Pre-Approval form can be accessed on the Registrar’s webpage. If you cannot find the coursework equivalency information you need on the U.Select database, e-mail the Transfer Office at email@example.com.
NOTE: At least 15 of your last 30 credits must be taken at CSU in order to receive your undergraduate degree from CSU, but this liberal policy means that you can complete the last 15 credits of your degree at another institution. The Transfer Course Equivalency Pre-Approval form must cover all courses taken at other institutions in order for them to be counted toward CSU graduation requirements and approved by your Major Department/Registrar’s Office.
In order to graduate, students need to have completed 120 credits, of which 42 are upper-division, which must include all university and major course requirements. Students must have a 2.0 or better cumulative CSU GPA in E/CO classes and a 2.0 or better cumulative GPA in 300-599 E/CO courses. Students are required to have completed 30 upper-division credits in residence at CSU and 15 of their last 30 credits must be in residence.
1. Intent to Graduate
You can establish your Intent to Graduate term during Registration Ready. If for any reason you need to change this term, please contact the Registrar’s Office (Centennial Hall) at DegreeOffice@colostate.edu or 970-491-7159, no later than the second week of the semester prior to your graduating semester. Please note that a hold will be placed on a student’s record if the Intent to Graduate is not filed in the appropriate time frame.
2. Contract for Graduation
During the second week of the semester in which you plan to graduate, you must have submitted your Senior Portfolio (see details below) and signed your Contract for Graduation at the English Office (359 Eddy). Sign your contract in the corresponding departments, if you have a second major or any minors. Check to be sure that the spelling of your name on each contract is correct so that your diploma will be accurate.
The English department will review your academic record and list on your contract any unfinished requirements to be completed for graduation.
Seniors completing final course work at another institution must have the Contract for Graduation on file in the Degree Office by the end of the third week of the graduating term.
3. Senior Survey and Portfolio
As part of the requirements for graduation in the English department, every student must participate in the Outcomes Assessment Program. This requires submission of the Senior Survey and Senior Portfolio.
During the second week of the semester you plan to graduate, you will sign your Graduation Contract at the English department office (359 Eddy). You will also submit your Senior Survey and your Senior Portfolio. The Portfolio will
contain three papers in specified categories written in upper-division English or Composition classes. (English Education concentrators can submit their portfolios the semester before they student teach.) These papers must be originals or photocopies of originals, with the professors’ grades and comments. Details about the Portfolio requirements are online.
Applying to Graduate School
Many English majors go on to graduate school, which normally requires an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Most graduate programs also require you to submit your scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Go online, to find out the test dates and times and to register; you can take the GRE here on campus at the computer-based Testing Center, Room 203 General Services (970-491-5060). The English department at CSU requires official scores from the GRE general test, but only for applicants to its Literature program, and suggests that if your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, check with the individual schools to which you intend to apply. The official GRE scores typically take 6-8 weeks to arrive, so plan to take the GRE no later than three months before the application deadline, especially if you are applying for financial aid or teaching/grading assistantships.
Before you apply to graduate school, you should meet with your advisor or other members of the English department to discuss appropriate schools matching your interests. Morgan Library also has resources for selecting appropriate schools. One year before you intend to begin graduate school, research online the universities and programs that interest you, then contact them and ask for information about your program of interest and the application process information. Ordinarily, you will apply to no fewer than three to five graduate programs of varying quality, especially if you need an assistantship to begin graduate school. Pick at least one university from your top range and one from your bottom range so that you increase the possibilities of finding assistance at the best school you can. Applying to more than five graduate programs may occasionally be wise, but be aware that unselective application is expensive. In support of your applications, you will need to arrange for the mailing of your transcripts (call the Registrar’s Office, 970-491-4860) and arrange for three (sometimes four are required) letters of recommendation from appropriate faculty. NOTE: If you expect to enter graduate school at some later date, it is wise to meet with faculty to arrange for recommendations before leaving campus.
Be sure to meet with and discuss your plans with those faculty members you ask for recommendations. Include a resume if your activities or interests would strengthen your application, and be sure to ask your recommenders whether they can write a strong recommendation to the schools that you have chosen. Be sure, too, to give your recommenders the names and addresses required for sending your letters of recommendation, and include a stamped, addressed envelope for their convenience or the online address to which letters can be sent. If you are applying for a Teaching Assistantship, make sure your recommenders speak to the subject of your promise as a teacher. If something about your record is unusual—for example, failing grades in the first year and straight A’s in the last two years—be sure that one or more of your recommenders point out this anomaly so that your record is properly reviewed.
Please give your recommenders adequate time (at least two weeks—though individual faculty members may require longer) to write letters, and follow up to see that the letters have been received by the schools you have chosen. It is polite to thank your recommenders afterward as well as to inform them about whether you have been accepted at the institutions to which you have applied.
Deadlines for applications to graduate school normally range from December 31 to mid-February; but increasingly, especially at the very best graduate schools, December 15 deadlines are possible. Plan to have all of your application documents submitted by the end of fall break or very shortly thereafter.