For questions concerning Faculty or University policies and procedures, see also the FAQ PAGE ON THE ARTS & SCIENCE WEBSITE. If your questions about the English Department's undergraduate program are not answered here, please direct them to the Undergraduate Secretary, Sherril Barr. If you didn't find what you are looking for, please send suggestions to the Undergraduate Chair (see CONTACTS).

List of Topics

Academic Advising

Academic Marks


Advanced Placement Credits

Bader International Studies Centre (BISC), Herstmonceux Castle, UK

Composition Courses

Contact Information

Correspondence Courses

Course Descriptions and Current Course Offerings

Course Schedules

Creative Writing Courses

English as a Second Language

English Units


Graduate School


Honours Essay

International Baccalaureate

International Exchange Programs

Letters of Permission (LOPs)
(for taking courses at other universities)

Marks: see Academic Marks

Plans and Degree Programs

Preregistration for Courses

Preregistration for Courses (Non-ENGL Students)


Programs: see “Plans and Degree Programs”

Researching Essays

Second Year of the Program

Spring/Summer Courses

Transfer Credits

The Writing Centre

Writing Requirements for English Courses

Academic Advising

I need to talk to someone about my academic program. Whom should I ask?

For academic advising on issues under the authority of the University or of the Faculty of Arts and Science, see the Faculty of Arts and Science web pages on Academic Advisement in SOLUS. For advice on English courses or issues concerning your program in English, contact the Undergraduate Secretary, Sherril Barr. For further references see Contact Information.

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Academic Marks

How does the marking system work in the Department of English?

Academic Regulation 18 explains the system of numerical marks used in the Faculty of Arts and Science as well as the system for marks given in special cases where work cannot be completed by the end of a course.

What if one cannot finish course-work by the end of a course?

In special cases where illness or emergency prevents students from completing a course on schedule, they may apply to the instructor or the Associate Dean (Studies) for special arrangements as follows. Note especially that arrangements for IN and ED marks must be made with your instructors in advance of the relevant completion dates.

  • IN (incomplete) marks: Students may request a mark of IN (“incomplete”) from the instructor if they can write the final exam but cannot complete other course-work. Requests for marks of IN should be made before the end of the course (i.e., by the last class meeting) and should ordinarily include documentation of the special circumstance that necessitates delayed completion (e.g., a medical note). The student and instructor should agree beforehand on the due date(s) for all outstanding work and should both sign a PERMISSION FOR AN INCOMPLETE MARK FORM (PDF 000KB). The revised due date(s) should ordinarily be set for the near future, and if possible they should fall before the beginning of the next term in order to avoid interference with subsequent courses. In no case can a mark of IN stand for over a year. The instructor submits a mark of X / IN, where X equals the student’s final mark as it would stand if no further work were submitted. If the work and the revised mark are not submitted within the year, the registrar’s computers will automatically revise any mark of X / IN to X, which will stand as the student’s final mark for the course.
  • ED (exam deferred) marks: Students may request permission from the instructor to write a deferred exam, ordinarily for documented medical reasons, and to receive a mark of ED (“exam deferred”). A deferred exam must be arranged before the normal exam date (students who fail to show up for the exam without previous arrangement receive a mark of NW, which means “not written” and counts as a course-failure). The student and instructor should agree beforehand on the date for the deferred exam and should both sign a PERMISSION FOR DEFERRED EXAM FORM (PDF 000KB). Since success in an exam depends in part on memory, the deferred exam date should be set as early as possible. If the exam is not completed within a year, the registrar’s computers will automatically revise any mark of ED to NW, which will stand as the student’s final mark for the course.
  • AG (aegrotat) marks: Aegrotat marks are granted only in the most extraordinary circumstances. As Regulation 18 explains, “Students who, because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond their control, are unable to complete all the work of the course, particularly the final examination, must appeal in writing to the instructor and to the Office of the Associate Dean (Studies) for aegrotat standing. Normally at least 60 per cent of the work to be evaluated in the course ... must be completed....”

How do I calculate my cumulative “GPA”?

The Faculty of Arts and Science provides detailed information about the new grading system, based on letter grades and a GPA, including a GPA Calculator.

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What are the requirements and procedures for admission to Queen’s as an undergraduate student in English?

Admissions are not handled directly by the Department of English but by Admission Services.

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Advanced Placement Credits

Can I get credit for Advanced Placement?

The English department does not assign ENGL credits for Advanced Placement or A-levels, but you may be able to get unspecified credits toward your degree. The University policy is stated on the Admission Services web site, and reads, in part,

a maximum of 3.0 credits may be granted for Advanced Placement examinations passed with a grade of 4 or higher. Official examination results must be forwarded to Admission Services.

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Bader International Study Centre (BISC), Herstmonceux Castle

What English courses are available at the BISC?

Courses offered at the Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, UK ordinarily include courses at the 100, 200, and 300 levels, and the upper-year courses may be in accelerated format (full-year credits in half-year deliveries) to make it possible for students traveling abroad to fulfill the English curriculum requirements on schedule. For a current listing of these course offerings, see the BISC Calendar. Courses taught at the BISC have V suffixes.

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Composition Courses

Does the English Department offer courses in composition?

No, but the Writing Centre does. For course descriptions, see the Arts and Science Calendar.

Most of our first-year English courses include training in the writing of critical essays; the English Department recommends that all instructors of ENGL 100 devote about 3 weeks of class time (or the equivalent thereof) to teaching compositional skills. (For information on the English Department’s recommended grammar and composition handbook, see also Handbooks, below.)

Do WRIT courses count as credits toward an English degree?

No, but they do count as University credits (i.e., as electives). And Creative Writing (CWRI) may be counted toward an English degree (see Creative Writing, below).

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Contact Information

Department of English Contact Information

General information about the undergraduate programs is available here.

For undergraduate queries, please contact Sherril Barr, the Undergraduate Secretary (phone 613-533-2153). In e-mail correspondence, please state your last name and student number in the subject line; in the body of the email, please include your first and last name and student number and refer to courses by course numbers.

Faculty of Arts and Science Contact Information

Faculty of Arts and Science

Academic Advising

Student Services, F200 Mackintosh-Corry Hall; 613-533-2470

Admission Services Contact Information

Admission Services, Richardson Hall; phone 613-533-2218; admissn@queensu.ca

Registrar Contact Information

University Registrar, Gordon Hall

Continuing and Distance Studies (CDS) Contact Information

Continuing and Distance Studies, F100 Mackintosh-Corry Hall; phone 613-533-2470; fax 613-533-6805; cds@queensu.ca

International Study Centre (Herstmonceux Castle) Contact Information

International Study Centre, B206 Mackintosh-Corry Hall; phone 613-533-6000, ext. 32815, iscinfo@queensu.ca

ISC Calendar

International Programs Office Contact Information

International Programs Office (IPO), B206 Mackintosh-Corry Hall; phone 613-533-6000, ext. 32815

Writing Centre Contact Information

The Writing Centre, Stauffer Library, 613-533-6315, writing@queensu.ca

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Correspondence Courses

Can I take correspondence courses for credit even if I am attending University on campus?


What courses are available by correspondence?

Queen’s offers correspondence versions of several ENGL courses (e.g., 100/6.0, 222/3.0, 237/3.0, 256/6.0) and CWRI 295/3.0. The composition courses offered by the Writing Centre (see Composition, above) are also offered by correspondence.

Not all of these are available in a given term; for general information on Correspondence Courses and for offerings in the present or upcoming term, consult the Continuing and Distance Studies (CDS) web site.

Note: Correspondence courses are designated S (e.g., 100S), and online courses are designated U (e.g., CWRI 295U).

Why doesn’t Queen’s offer 400-level correspondence courses in English?

400-level English courses are seminars in which active participation is required; they therefore cannot be taken by correspondence.

Can I take correspondence courses available elsewhere for credit towards my Queen’s English Degree?

Yes, with certain limits: 60% of your English credits must come from Queen’s, and correspondence courses external to Queen’ cannot count as 300- or 400-level courses. For information on how to register for such courses, see Letters of Permission, below.

Can I take correspondence courses elsewhere to raise my English average?

No. For this purpose you must take courses from Queen’s, whether by correspondence or on campus. Courses taken elsewhere may earn credits but the marks do not show on your transcript or count in your English average.

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Course Descriptions and Current Course Offerings

How do I find current course offerings and descriptions?

For a list of the current year’s undergraduate course offerings in English, with the instructors’ descriptions, see Course Offerings.

For a fuller list of all undergraduate English courses taught from time to time (including courses not being offered in the present year), see the Arts and Science Calendar. Note that the course descriptions in this list are generic, i.e., that they fit all variants of each course rather than describing the course’s present version in detail.

See also Creative Writing course offerings and course offerings in other subjects.

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Course Schedules

How do I find out the scheduling information for an upcoming course?

For on-campus courses, go to the Registrar’s time-table site and enter your course number (and section, if applicable).

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Creative Writing Courses

Does Queen’s offer creative writing courses?

Yes. The Department of English offers four half-year Creative Writing courses, taught by Carolyn Smart: CWRI 293/3.0, 294/3.0, 295/3.0, and 296/3.0. For fuller information see Creative Writing and the Arts and Science Calendar.

Do CWRI courses count toward an ENGL degree?

Yes, within limits. The CWRI credits can be counted as “courses in other subjects” toward the requirements for an English concentration; see PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE.

How do I register for CWRI courses?

CWRI courses are available by permission of the instructor only (permission depends on submission of writing samples). You cannot add CWRI courses by SOLUS; if you are admitted by the instructor the course will be added for you in the Department and will show up among your registrations on SOLUS. For further information, see the instructions for individual courses.

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English as a Second Language

Does the Department of English teach ESL?

ESL is taught by the School of English (SOE) rather than by the English Department, which teaches literature.

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English Units

What are “units”?

All Degree Programs in Arts and Science require a certain number of units in order to complete the degree. These include both electives and the specific requirements of the Plan(s) in which you are registered. Once you have completed enough units, you have satisfied one of the requirements of your Degree Program. (Note that in addition to a sufficient number of courses, you must also maintain a minimum cumulative GPA to graduate: 1.60 for General degrees, and 1.90 for Honours Degrees.) Full-year English courses earn 6.0 units, while half-year courses earn 3.0; the number of units a course confers is usually listed after the course number (e.g., ENGL100/6.0).

What are “English units”?

English units count toward an English Plan. For a BAH Major in English, for instance, you must complete 60.0 English units in a specific distribution. For full details of English Plans, their required number of units, and distribution requirements, see the PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE.

Not all of your units in an English Plan must come from English courses, however; each plan includes a number of free credits, and courses from other departments can count toward an English Plan. For full details, see the these credits must be for English courses, however; see the PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE.

May I take extra ENGL credits, i.e., beyond the number required for my program?

Yes, although enrolment in upper-year courses is limited, and priority will be given to students requiring these courses to meet their program requirements.

Which courses in other subjects may be counted as ENGL credits?

A student may count towards a minor or a medial Plan in English up to 6.0 units, and towards a major Plan in English up to 12.0 units, from specific courses in other departments. For a list of the courses that can count toward an English Plan, see the PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE. Note that despite their course number, these courses count as 200-level ENGL courses, and do not count toward the requirement for ENGL courses at the 300-level or above. Only courses with the ENGL prefix can count toward this requirement.

Do these courses count in one’s ENGL average?

No. They count as ENGL credits but are not counted in the English grade point average.

Can I take more units than are required for my concentration (i.e., 60.0 for the Major, 42.0 for the Medial, or 30.0 for the Minor)?

Yes—and you can count the extras as electives toward your degree.

Can I take more than the 114.0 units total required for my Major?

Yes—and your average will be calculated on the basis of the best marks that fulfill your program.

How many courses may I take during a term?

Ordinarily, you should take five full-year courses (ten half-courses), or four in your fourth year; you can pre-register for five in any given term, and you can take up to six. For more detail, see Arts and Science Regulation 2, Number of Credits in a Term or Session.

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How can I find information about the English Professors at Queen’s?

Information on instructors is available at the FACULTY & STAFF LISTING. For information from USAT returns, see the AMS web site.

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Graduate School

I’m interested in applying to Graduate School once I finish my undergraduate degree. Where do I begin?

For information on admissions to graduate schools at Queen’s, see the School of Graduate Studies and Research’s Prospective Students page. For information about applying to the Queen’s English Department, see the APPLYING TO QUEEN'S PAGE; for information on applying to graduate schools elsewhere, see the APPLYING ELSEWARE PAGE.

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Does the English Department have a handbook explaining its courses and programs for undergraduates?

Yes. Our updated undergraduate handbooks, including “English at Queen’s,” are available in the English Office (411 Watson Hall) and online: ENGLISH AT QUEEN'S(PDF 2.3MB) describes our undergraduate programs, lists and describes current fall-winter course offerings, and answers frequently asked questions.

Does the English Department have a required or recommended grammar and composition handbook?

Yes: the most recent edition of Diana Hacker’s A Canadian Writer’s Reference (Bedford / St. Martin’s) is required in all sections of ENGL 100 and recommended for all English courses where such a handbook is wanted. Copies are available in the Campus Bookstore and on reserve in Stauffer Library.

See also the interactive web site for CWR, which includes writing and grammar exercises, extensive advice on MLA-style documentation, and further resources such as sample essays.

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Honours Essay (ENGL 590)

What is the Honours Essay and who is eligible to write one?

Students in the fourth year of an Honours BA program with a major or medial in English may include ENGL 590/3.0, the Honours Essay, as an option in their Plan if they meet the prerequisites (see Prerequisites, below). This option involves consulting with two faculty supervisors and completing a 7500 to 10 000-word research essay on a subject of special interest to the student (e.g., on a particular author, work, or group of works).

How do I register for ENGL 590/3.0?

You cannot add ENGL 590/3.0 in SOLUS; admission is by permission of the Undergraduate Chair. Interested students should read the RULES GOVERNING THE WRITING OF AN HONOURS ESSAY (PDF 000KB) and consult with the Undergraduate Chair and potential supervisors at the end of their third year. Once you have been admitted the course must be added for you in the Department office and will show up among your registrations on SOLUS.

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International Baccalaureate

I’ve been granted IB credit for first-year English, so do I still need to take ENGL 100/6.0 to qualify for upper-year courses?

Yes. The credit granted at Queen’s for IB English is usually unspecified—it will count as a first-year course toward your university degree but not as units in English. So you will still need to take ENGL 100/6.0 (receiving a grade of C or better) to qualify for 200-level ENGL courses. A maximum of 18.0 units may be granted for International Baccalaureate examinations passed with a grade of 5 or higher. For complete information, visit the Admission website.

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International Exchange Programs

Does Queen’s offer International Exchange Programs?

Yes. In fact, Queen’s has exchange programs with universities in countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

In the exchange program, you spend your third year at an overseas university but pay Queen’s tuition and residence fees. If you are interested in this opportunity, you should complete an application in second year. For more details, consult the section on International Exchange Programs in the Arts and Science Calendar or contact the International Programs Office (IPO). Working together, the English Department and IPO seek to encourage and facilitate overseas study while ensuring that your exchange courses fit with your English degree requirements.

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Letters of Permission (LOPs) to Take Courses for Credit Elsewhere

How can I get Queen’s credit for courses taken at another university?

To take courses (including correspondence courses) elsewhere for credit, you must apply to the Faculty of Arts and Science for a Letter of Permission (LOP). You can download the application form from the Arts & Science Website. Note that a fee is payable for LOPs. For full details, see the Arts and Science web site.

Can I use LOPs to complete my degree elsewhere?

An Honours degree must ordinarily be completed at Queen’s. To complete it elsewhere, you must get permission from your department and the Associate Dean (Studies); see Arts and Science regulation 7.

Can you tell me which courses at other Universities are equivalent to which Queen’s courses?

No, the English department cannot tell you this. The Arts and Science Faculty Office has a list of “previously approved transfer credits” which you can view. This may give you a starting point in finding an equivalent course. But if course descriptions change (either at Queen’s or at the other university), the transfer credit may no longer be approved. We suggest that you use Google to reach the respective university web sites and compare the course descriptions.

In many cases there is no exact parallel at Queen’s for English courses taught at other universities. In some such cases you may still take the course for credit, but it will show up in your transcript as “UNS” for “unspecified.” Thus, a year-long 200-level university course on American drama is not exactly equivalent to our ENGL 216/3.0, but it might be assigned a credit as ENGL 2UNS (1.0) (group 7).

Can I use LOPs to raise my grade average?

No. Because it is too difficult to work out the equivalents between various universities’ marking systems and standards, transfer credits will show up on your transcript without grades. All that can be seen is that you passed a given course. Therefore an LOP can be used to fulfil a particular requirement (e.g., for a course in Renaissance literature), but not to bolster your grade average.

For further information, see also Transfer Credits, below.

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Plans and Degree Programs

What are Plans and degree programs, and what degree programs are available in English?

A Plan is a course of study in a particular academic department, such as English Language and Literature, or History. A program is a particular number and pattern of courses with one or more Plans leading to a particular type of academic degree. There are four degree programs involving an English concentration; each requires a different number and pattern of courses.

  • The BA Honours Major (BAH MAJ ENGL) in English is a four-year degree program; it requires 114.0 units total including 60.0 in English. 24.0 of the ENGL units must be taken at the 300 level or above.
  • The BA Honours Medial (BAH MED ENGL) is also a four-year degree program; it requires 114.0 units total, including 24.0 units in each of two Plans. 12.0 of the English units must be taken at the 300 level or above.li>
  • The BA Minor (BA MIN ENGL) in English is a three-year degree program; it requires 90.0 units total including 30.0 in English. BA MIN students do not need (and are not eligible to take) 400-level courses.
  • The BAH Major-Minor (BAH MJM) combines a Major in one Plan with a Minor in another. It is a four-year degree program with 114.0 units total. One may do the MJM with either the Major or the Minor in English.

Each of these programs also requires particular distributions of units within the English curriculum. For full details see the Program Overview. The program requirements differ depending on whether you registered for an English Plan before or after May 2011; be sure to select the correct registration date in the menu at the top of the page.

Note that no course may be counted toward two concentrations simultaneously: e.g., CLST 203/3.0 may be counted in an English degree program (see the PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE, under “courses from other departments”), but when it is applied toward the requirements for an English Major it cannot be counted also toward the requirements for a Classics Minor, nor can it be counted toward both sides of a BAH MED in English and Classics.

When and how do I select or change a Plan?

First-year undergraduates in Arts and Science must participate in the Plan Selection Process in the SOLUS Student Centre in late May. Upper-year students wishing to change their Plan may place a request on the Change of Plan Request page on the Arts and Science web site. In either case, admission into Plans can be competitive, so students must ensure that they have the required prerequisites and meet the acceptance criteria for their chosen Plan (in the case of English, a minimum grade of C in ENGL 100/6.0). For full information about choosing or changing Plans, consult the Arts and Science web site.

If I have been refused admission to an English Plan, may I be readmitted, and how?

When program applications are refused, it is usually on the grounds that the student does not have the prerequisites necessary to proceed to the next stage of his or her program. Thus, students with a D in ENGL 100/6.0 may be denied admission to an English Plan on the grounds that they do not have the prerequisite to take 200-level English courses. In these cases, it is possible to be (re-) admitted for the English program upon achievement of the relevant prerequisites. For instance, a student may re-take ENGL 100/6.0 to achieve the requisite C. Because English Plans have specific required courses in the second year, it is extremely difficult to enter an English Plan without having successfully completed ENGL 100 in the first year. Students wishing to retake ENGL 100 are strongly advised to do so in the summer between first and second year.

If you have been refused a program request and wish to try for it again, you should contact the Undergraduate Chair to discuss your options.

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Preregistration for Courses (for students following an ENGL Plan)

When and how should I preregister for fall-winter ENGL courses?

When you register depends on your year in the program. Preregistration for fall-winter courses begins in July. Because upper-year students need certain courses to complete their programs, 4th-year students are allowed to preregister first, then third-years, and then second-years. In the final week of preregistration, courses are opened to all students, including non-degree and post-degree students and students not following an English Plan. Within the window for your year, assuming that you have the prerequisites for the courses you want (see Prerequisites, below), the preregistration process is first-come-first-served, so it is wise to preregister early.

Students register for courses using the SOLUS Student Centre. The Faculty of Arts and Science publishes separate instructions for students entering second year, and students entering third or fourth year.

What if a course that I want or need for my program is full by the time I get to register?

All of our courses have enrolment limits which are determined by factors ranging from pedagogy to TA resources and available room size. As such, they are pretty inflexible; while we can sometimes add one or two students over the limit in the faith that one or two other students will almost inevitably change out of it, we cannot fit students into a course that is already over-booked.

If you are a 4th-year student and find yourself unable to preregister for a course that you absolutely need to finish your program, contact the Department; we can usually help you resolve the problem.

If you are a 2nd or 3rd-year student, the problem is likely that a popular course has been filled with students who were before you in line for it. In this case, keep in mind that you will have higher priority next year and may be able to take the course then; or you could try to add the course during the Open Enrolment Period, which begins early in September. But if you have an urgent need for the course, contact the Department.

Should I contact the professor for permission?

No. Please do not contact instructors with requests for permission unless you are explicitly told otherwise (as in the case of CWRI courses). Preregistration depends on information that instructors ordinarily do not have about enrolment numbers and students’ records, prerequisites, and program requirements.

Can I be put on a waiting list for a course?

No: the Department does not have the resources to keep waiting lists for its courses. Therefore if you ask for a course before the appropriate period, we will ask that you send your request again at the proper time.

What if I am blocked from preregistration because I am waiting for a prerequisite credit to come through (e.g., because I took a summer course which ends just as preregistration begins)?

In this case, contact the Department. We may be able to register you pending the credit—i.e., if the necessary credit does not materialize, you could be bumped out of the course again.

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Preregistration for Courses

(for students NOT following an ENGL Plan)

I am not registered in an English Plan, but I have the 100-level prerequisite for 200-level courses. Which courses may I register for?

Students not registered in an ENGL Plan may enrol in most 200-level ENGL courses, but note the following exceptions:

  • ENGL 200/6.0 History of Literature in English: Enrolment preference is given to ENGL Majors, Medials, and Minors.
  • ENGL 290/3.0 Seminar in Literary Interpretation: Open only to ENGL Majors and Medials.
  • ENGL 292 Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory: Enrolment preference is given to ENGL Majors and Medials.

Note that all 200-level ENGL courses have limited enrolments, and students registered in English Plans have priority over those taking these courses as electives.

Students not registered in an English Plan are not eligible to take 300- or 400-level ENGL courses.

I am a non-English concentrator without any 100-level English credits. Are there any courses for which I may register?

The English Department offers ENGL 160/6.0 Modern Prose Fiction exclusively for students not registered in an ENGL Plan; preference is given to upper-year students. This course may not be used as a foundation for an ENGL Plan or a prerequisite for upper-year ENGL courses.

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What are the prerequisites for admission to ENGL courses?

200-Level Courses: A minimum grade of C in ENGL 100/6.0.

ENGL 200/6.0: ENGL 100/6.0 and registration in an English Plan.

ENGL 290/3.0: ENGL 100/6.0 and registration in an English Plan as a Major or Medial.

Note that courses at the 200 level have limited enrolments. Students registered in an English Plan applying to take these courses have priority over those applying to take them as Electives.

300- And 400-Level Courses: To take 300- and 400-level English courses, one must:

  1. be enrolled in an ENGL BAH program (Medial or Major), and
  2. have successfully completed ENGL 200/6.0 and ENGL 290/3.0
  3. have obtained a minimum GPA of 2.60 or better in 18.0 previous English units.

Minors with a minimum grade of B+ in at least 18.0 previous English units may take 6.0 units at the 300 level or above, if space permits.

Note that courses at the 300- and 400-levels have limited enrolments. Students registered in an English Plan applying to take these courses as Core courses have priority over those applying to take them as Option courses.

ENGL 590/3.0 Honours Essay: Permission of the Department and a minimum GPA of 3.50 in 24.0 previous English units. The 3.50 GPA requirement may be waived in exceptional cases by request of the essay’s faculty supervisor.

What are the prerequisites for admission to Creative Writing Courses?

CWRI 293/3.0, 294/3.0, 295/3.0, and 296/3.0 have limited enrolments and require permission of the instructor. In addition, admission to CWRI 296/3.0 requires successful completion of one of CWRI 293/3.0, 294/3.0, or 295/3.0. Admission is determined by the instructor’s evaluation of a portfolio submitted in early summer. A previous credit in a 100-level English course is recommended but not required. More information on the submission process is available on the Creative Writing web page.

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Researching Essays

Where can I find advice on how to research an undergraduate essay?

Not all undergraduate essays require or allow research; check with your instructor if you are in doubt. Your instructor or TA can also offer advice about finding secondary material suitable for your assignment. You can also find extensive guidance on research and research tools on the Research Guide page of the Queen’s Library web site.

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Second Year of the Program

How many (and which) courses should I take for the second year of my BAH Major or Medial?

The usual load in ENGL for year 2 is 18.0 200-level units for a Major (although where possible, the department recommends taking 21.0), or 12.0–18.0 for a Medial. ENGL 200/6.0 is a required course for all students registered in an English Plan (Majors, Medials, and Minors), and ENGL 290/3.0 is required for Majors and Medials. Since these courses are prerequisites for 300- and 400-level ENGL courses, they must be taken in second year.

Our undergraduate handbook ENGLISH AT QUEEN'S (PDF 000KB) will answer many of your questions. You may also find useful the PROGRAM OVERVIEW PAGE and the Program Assessment Forms for the MAJOR (PDF 000KB) and MEDIAL (PDF 000KB). See also our CURRENT COURSE OFFERINGS.

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Spring-Summer Courses

What Courses Are Available?

Some English courses are offered on campus and by correspondence in the Spring and Spring-Summer terms; the specific offerings are not determined until February or March of the relevant year. They are offered under the auspices of Continuing and Distance Studies (CDS); for current course offerings, consult the CDS website.

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Transfer Credits

How do I apply for transfer credits (for courses that I took before I came to Queen’s)?

If you have taken courses at another university before you became a Queen’s student, you can usually get some of those courses counted as Queen’s courses. Some transfer credits for which there is no close equivalent at Queen’s have a general or “unspecified” designation, such as “UNS 1UNS (6.0)” (a totally unspecified first-year university course) or “ENGL 2UNS (3.0)” (an unspecified 2nd-year English half-course). Other transfer credits are designated as equivalent to a particular Queen’s course.

Here is the procedure:

  1. Go to the Arts and Science Faculty Office and fill out a form describing the transfer. Be prepared to provide a calendar description of course(s) you took at other institutions.
  2. The faculty office sends the information to the relevant academic departments.
  3. Each department decides whether to award units in its area and how many units are most appropriate. All English transfer-credit decisions are made by the Chair of Undergraduate Studies.

Please do not forward course descriptions directly to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies with a request for evaluation. For more information, consult the Faculty of Arts and Science Transfer Credits page.

Is it possible to get transfer credits for courses at CEGEP?

Yes, this can be done in some cases. Use the procedure outlined above to apply for transfer credit. The English Department ordinarily allows 4 CEGEP English credits to be transferred as the equivalent of 6.0 100-level English units (i.e. as ENGL 1UNS (6.0)). However, this credit does not allow students to take further courses in English, the prerequisite for which is a minimum grade of C in ENGL 100.

The Department requires that CEGEP students who wish to register in an English Plan begin with ENGL 100, the 100-level course required for all ENGL Majors, Medials, and Minors. In this case their CEGEP credit (ENGL 1UNS (6.0)) will not count as ENGL units (since only one 100-level ENGL course is counted toward any ENGL Plan) but as an elective (i.e., it will count as 6.0 of the 90 or 114 credits required for the Minor, Major, or Medial).

How many transfer credits can I apply toward my Queen’s English degree?

According to Arts and Science Regulation 27, “Students must complete a majority of the credits required for both the concentration and the degree program through the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s.” See Regulation 28 for the detailed specifications for particular degree programs.

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Writing Centre

What is the Writing Centre?

The Writing Centre is a facility established in 1986 to offer support and instruction in writing to Queen’s students and faculty across the curriculum. It sponsors a range of writing courses by correspondence (see above under “composition courses”) and offers one-to-one tutorials, free of charge, to anyone enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program of study at Queen’s.

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Writing Requirements for English Courses

How much writing should I expect to do for my English courses?

See the handbook ENGLISH AT QUEEN'S (PDF 748KB), p. 4.

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Page last updated June 22, 2011