Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions


How do I declare a major and what are the course requirements?

  • Email your campus Associate Chair to set up a meeting to discuss declaration of major.  You can find the list of contacts here.
  • Fill out the Contact Information form for majors located here and bring this to your meeting with your campus Associate Chair.  Course requirements are here.

How do I declare a minor and what are the requirements?

The minor in English consists of any six English courses beyond the freshman-level core English requirements (ENGL 1102 and ENGL 2000), one of which may be a sophomore literature course and at least four of which must be literature courses. Courses in which a student receives a D or F will not count toward the minor.

  • Email your campus Associate Chair to set up a meeting to discuss declaration of major.  You can find the list of contacts here.
  • Fill out the Contact Information form for minors located here.


How do I declare a creative writing minor and what are the course requirements?

For English Majors

The Creative Writing minor for English majors allows a student to take 4 creative writing classes.  This increases the total number of required courses for the English Major from 10 to 14. A typical course of study for this option is:

  • 1 Theory course
  • 3 Pre-1800 courses
  • 4 Creative Writing courses (at 3000 level or above).  For policy on cross-listed Communications writing courses, click here.
  • 6 Literature Electives (At 3000 level or above.  2 of these courses may be Cognate Courses.

For Non-English Majors

The minor in Creative Writing, available to students in majors other than English, will consist of:

  1.  Four (4) four-credit courses which must be drawn from 3000-level and above English Creative Writing courses.  For policy on cross-listed Communications writing courses, click here.

Independent studies, approved by the Director of Creative Writing, are also accepted.  

Please note:  Students minoring in Creative Writing may count no more than 2 courses [or 8 credits] applicable to the Creative Writing minor for their major.

   2. Two (2) advanced courses (3000-level and above) in Literature offered through the English department. Cognate Courses (3000-level and above) and meeting literature requirements in the Classics department, the Literary Studies program or the Modern Languages department may be utilized to fulfill this requirement.

How to Declare Creative Writing Minor

 Fill out the "Intention to Declare CW Minor" form located here.

Contact your class dean (for example: the LC Associate Dean for seniors) for permission.


How many creative writing courses can apply toward the English major?

English majors may take up to 2 creative writing courses (in place of electives). A typical course of study for this option is:

  • 1 Theory course
  • 3 Pre-1800 courses
  • 2 Creative Writing courses (At 3000 level or above)*
  • 4 Literature Electives (At 3000 level or above.  2 of these courses may be Cognate Courses.

*Students may only count one of the following courses toward the Creative Writing requirements for the English major and the Creative Writing minor

  • COMM 3081: Interviews and Profiles
  • COMM 3084: Writing for Magazines
  • COMM 3405: Screenwriting I

Students may count the following class up to 4 times toward the Creative Writing requirements for the English major and the Creative Writing minor

  • COMM 2211:  Journalism Workshop


Should I take the theory course first?

First, there is no fixed rule. You can take it first, last or anywhere in between.  We recommend you that you make theory your second, third or fourth course in the major.  Sections are offered every term.  The Comparative Literature Theory course also counts for this requirement.


Which pre-1800 courses should I take?

First, this is NOT a requirement to take any specific courses, but a distribution requirement designed to ensure you study a range of literary texts in your major. Second, don't treat this like a core requirement you have to check off. Depending on how one counts, there may be three or four times the number of centuries of English literature before 1800, and this period includes authors most English majors are happy to study, including Chaucer and Shakespeare.

You could in fact satisfy this requirement by taking three different Shakespeare courses (though that is not the spirit of the requirement). So just pick courses that interest you, with some attention to the history and variety of the discipline you have chosen as your major, and this requirement will take care of itself.

On a practical note, the English Department Courses webpage located here indicates which courses are pre-1800.


How do I get credit for courses I took elsewhere?

The official transcript from the other institution needs to be sent to your class dean. Once the course shows up on your MyFordham transcript, you can take or send the catalogue description (syllabus is better) to the Associate Chair who can tell your class dean whether or not it can count toward the major. (Of course you can go first to the Associate Chair with a description to find out if the course will count before you sign up for it.)  Bring a copy of the Cognate course form for the Associate Chair to sign.  You can access this form here.   You are restricted to two cognate courses during your course of study in English. 


Can I take a course elsewhere in the summer and have it count for my major?

Take the catalogue description of the course to the Associate Chair at your campus for approval before enrolling in the course. You must make sure that the course applies to the major and does not duplicate work you have already completed.  Bring a copy of the Cognate course form for the Associate Chair to sign.  You can access this form here.  You are restricted to two cognate courses during your course of study in English. 


Will I be able to satisfy EP3, ICC and Senior Values with courses that count for the major?

Ordinarily yes, and it should become easier to do so over time as the department brings more of these courses on line.  But these courses have limited enrollment, so looking to sign up early in each registration period and as early as possible in your major, is not a bad idea.  We expect to offer at least one Senior Values course every term.


How do I plan for Study Abroad? 

Before you go meet with your Associate Chair to discuss the classes you are planning to take when you are abroad.  If these classes change once you arrive you can inform him or her through email. For an English major you can get two approved for credit toward the major and one towards the minor.

After you return, make sure your transcripts are sent to the ISAP office. The registrar posts these grades as transfer credit. Make sure that your courses are placed in the proper allotment for Degree Works.  If they are not, please contact your Associate Chair. Notify us which courses should be allotted to the major and the semester in which you took them. We will report this information to the registrar and make sure that they are properly credited.