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FAQ for undergraduate students

Find answers to your questions about the Department of English

Frequently asked questions

Which 200-level English course should I take?

ENGL 203 is the recommended first-year course for those enrolled in the English Major and for anyone seeking an enriched experience focused on reading, writing, and talking about literature. This course is a great place to meet your fellow English students and interact with faculty members in a seminar setting. Future English majors, minors, and honours students may pair this course with their choice of any other 200-level course, although ENGL 253 is the pathway for those wanting to pursue advanced studies in English. Students looking for a breadth requirement often start with ENGL 251, Literature and Society, and go on to sample a wide-range of courses available at our 300-level. Students with an interest in creative writing may start their studies in ENGL 265 under the guidance of our distinguished creative writing faculty. 

Who is the English Honours program for? What does it involve, and how do I get into it?

Are you thinking about graduate studies in English? Are you seeking an enriched capstone experience and the opportunity to pursue independent creative or critical research projects? If so, the Honours program may be for you. This program requires you to complete more courses in English than regular majors, including further studies in literary theory and pre-1850 historical literature courses. It also requires a 40-page Honours thesis, either creative or critical, under supervision of a faculty member in the department. If you have a GPA of at least 3.3, and wish to pursue an Honours degree, contact the Undergraduate Program Director for further information. Note that applying for Honours will begin by requesting a change in degree program in your Student Centre in the MyUCalgary online system. The deadline each year to make that request is February 1.

Which courses count towards the Embedded Certificate in Creative Writing

All creative writing courses, excluding ENGL 265, count towards the six half-course equivalents necessary for completion of the Embedded Certificate in Creative Writing.  A creative Honours thesis will complete two of these half-course equivalents.

A course I want to take is full. How do I get onto the waitlist?

The Registrar's Office has instructions. Essentially, you click on the box marked ‘select’ to the right of the course, and after choosing a tutorial section (if applicable), you click on another box marked “Wait list if class is full.”

Find more info on registration »

View waitlist instructions

What grading rubric is used in the Department of English?

The Department of English uses the following standardized percentage conversion scale for grading:

90 + %         A+  4.0           67 – 69 %    C+    2.3
85 – 89 %    A    4.0          64 – 66 %     C     2.0
80 – 84 %    A–  3.7          60 – 63 %     C–    1.7
77 – 79 %     B+  3.3          55 – 59 %     D+    1.3
74 – 76 %     B    3.0          50 – 54 %     D      1.0
70 – 73 %     B–  2.7            0 – 49 %      F        0


300-level courses

When can I take a 300-level course in English?

You can take a 300 level course in English once you have completed any six half courses at the university level. Generally, what this means is that you can start taking 300 level courses in the spring term of your first year.

Do 300-level courses have prerequisites?

Most of them do not. Some courses--like ENGL 302, 305, and 307--require two previous courses in English. Non-majors can also take our advanced creative writing courses, such as ENGL 436 and 594, as entrance to these courses is based on admission by portfolio and consent of the instructor.

Find more information in the university calendar View calendar

I'm unsatisfied with my grade on an essay. How do I appeal it?

You should read the rules for appeals in the university calendar, especially about deadlines (appeals must be made within fifteen days of the assignment being returned).

The first step is always to speak with the professor. Maybe the professor will take another look at the essay and reconsider your grade. If you don't get satisfaction there, you need to fill out a form requesting Reappraisal of Term Work, which can be obtained at the English Department office (Social Sciences 1152). Fill it out and return it to the English office, along with the original essay, as marked, and a clean copy of the essay.

The unmarked copy of your essay will be given to another professor who will suggest a grade for it. The Department Head looks at the two marked copies and makes a final determination. You will be informed of the decision by a letter from the Registrar.

You should be aware that your mark could actually go down as a result of the reappraisal – and it has happened!


Associate Head (Undergraduate Student Affairs)

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Dr. David Sigler 

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