Regarding some changes you might see to course numbers for Spring 2015:

Hi everyone, I don’t yet have the info on when the spring registration opens (when I do find out I will post the date and precise minute it opens here on this blog). But I will share with you in the next blog post the seven courses we will be running for the Spring 2015 semester. First though, as some changes are scheduled to be implemented before the spring, let me here share with you some information about what you might see, and why.

Currently the curriculum and requirement structure looks like this:

  • ENGL 500: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism (required)
  • ENGL 501-502: British Literature pre-1700 courses
  • ENGL 503-504: British Literature Post-1700 courses
  • ENGL 505-509: Eligible as electives
  • ENGL 510: Theory and Practice of Expository Writing (required)
  • ENGL 511, 512, 513: American Literature
  • ENGL 514: Major Author Shell (in which runs any new author-specific course on an experimental basis
  • ENGL 515 Topic Course Shell (in which runs any new course on an experimental basis)
  • ENGL 516: Thesis Seminar (required)

As you can see, all of the courses are tightly packed together from 500 to 516. This has worked well up to now but moving forward we wanted to open up the numbering a bit so that the curriculum could grow, and so that related courses would remain close to one another while doing so. The Registrar has allowed us to expand our graduate catalog range throughout 500-599. In the spring, then, catalog numbers and groupings will look like this:

  • ENGL 500 stays the same.
  • ENGL 505-510, and 517, are now together considered the “Writing and Literary Forms” grouping.
  • ENGL 514 and 515 remain as shells in which to run experimental courses. Courses running with these codes will default to electives, or can, as applicable, be slotted to work for degree requirements. So for example the Afropolitanism course running as a 515 in the spring will default to an elective, but I can easily (and am happy to) make it count for a Literature Group 2 requirement in the new structure (see below), or an American requirement in the old structure. Sames goes for the spring 515 James and Lawrence, which I could make count as either a Group 1 or Group 2 requirement (again, see just below for an explanation of these two groups). Substitutions like that can happen simply by asking me.
  • ENGL 521-540. Literature Group 1. Courses in Group 1 will tend toward British and European literature but not be bound by this, and can involve other literatures as well. And no course in this group is necessarily bound by era anymore. So a course such as Tragedy can cover materials from Classical to Modern eras and still make sense within this grouping. (The existing ENGL 501, 502, 503 and 504 will be renumbered to fit into this group as ENGL 521, 522, 524, and 526).
  • ENGL 541-560. Literature Group 2. Courses in Group 2 will tend toward American literature but not be bound by this, and can involve other literatures as well. And so courses that study Caribbean literature, or which mix American and Japanese literature, might fit well in this group. (The existing ENGL 511 and 512 will be renumbered to fit into this group as ENGL 541 and 542).
  • ENGL 561-598. Courses with these numbers will be eligible for electives.
  • ENGL 516 Thesis Seminar becomes ENGL 599 Master’s Thesis Tutorial. Other than the number and title the course functions in exactly the same way as it always has. In this way the culminating course in the program is 599, the last course in the graduate level 500-599 course number range.

The ten-course degree audit, meaning the chart of the 10 course requirements you would need to fulfill to complete the MA degree, will look like this:

  1. ENGL 500
  2. ENGL 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, or 517
  3. ENGL 521-540 (any course in this range)
  4. ENGL 541-560 (any course in this range)
  5. ENGL 521-560 (any course in this range)
  6. Elective (any course from 501-598)
  7. Elective (any course from 501-598)
  8. Elective (any course from 501-598)
  9. Elective (any course from 501-598)
  10. ENGL 599

There will be some adjustments behind-the-scenes here during the change-over as I go through your transcripts and make notes on how your courses work toward your degree. As I’ve said, you will lose absolutely nothing, and will if anything find your progress to the degree easier and filled with more choices. As a final note, all of this is contingent upon these changes actually being implemented in time for spring. We have been told that it will. Your graduate advisors won’t yet know about this or how it will play out, so you should contact me with any questions.