TFDL at UCalgary

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 and either 251 or 253 (we recommend 253 for majors) is required for English majors and Honours students as the first courses in the Foundation Program, so if you are considering majoring in English take two of those. If you are pretty certain you don't want to major in English (and we have had some success in turning students to the dark side), consider taking ENGL 251 or 253.

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

If you wish to pursue more intensive studies in English, the Honours Program is for you. We recommend the Honours Program if you plan to pursue studies at the graduate level. The 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 Associate Head (Undergraduate) for further information.

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.

What is the Foundation Program?

It is a sequence of courses designed to give students an excellent foundation for senior English classes:

  • ENGL 251 or 253
  • ENGL 305/307
  • either ENGL 302 or 303 and another theory course

While we encourage students to complete 300 level courses in their 2nd year, they may choose not to. These courses are required, which means they must be completed over the course of their degree, but are not pre-requisites for 400 level courses.

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. Our foundation courses ENGL (302, 305 and 307) have first-year pre-requisites, and creative writing courses ENGL (436 and 594) are 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)

Ask me about courses and the English program.

Dr. David Sigler

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