Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

Degree candidates in English may develop one of several specializations for a conventional degree in British or American literature or may design a personalized and less traditional course of study. Some students may wish to select courses especially helpful to classroom teachers. Others prepare for careers in writing and editing by taking courses offered by English and other UIS departments. Courses include expository writing, journalism, feature writing, and creative writing (novel, poetry, short story, play writing) and creative non-fiction. Students interested in writing and editing may take basic courses in other departments in fields that generate publications (e.g., communications, environmental studies, political studies, and economics). Students interested in teaching English at the secondary level may seek Illinois state teacher certification; information can be obtained from the teacher education program.

Departmental Objectives for English Majors

By the time students graduate, they should:

* exhibit critical thinking through the analysis and interpretation of language and literary works in such areas as American literature, British literature, and multicultural literature and non-fiction texts;
* express complex ideas for a specific audience and purpose;
* employ research tools for writing and other modes of understanding;
* connect texts with their historical, cultural, critical, and rhetorical contexts;
* interpret existing and student-generated texts effectively using a variety of critical and theoretical approaches;
* work collaboratively to analyze and interpret texts and to improve writing skills;
* employ technological tools and resources for research, collaboration, and the writing process;
* employ invention strategies to generate texts;
* differentiate and employ macro and micro revision processes and techniques.


Entrance requirements for the English Department
The English B.A. is open to all UIS students and transfer students who qualify for admission to UIS.
Further entrance requirements for the program include:
* a minimum of 30 successfully completed hours at the lower-division (first- and second-year levels);
* a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale;
* two courses in English composition with the second English composition course passed with a grade of C or better;
* completion of two literature courses with a grade of C or better.

Online English degree
The Online English degree, which is identical to the on-campus degree except for entrance requirements, allows students to participate actively in dynamic, diverse, and interactive online learning communities and to complete their coursework in their own time and pace within the particular course and semester timeframe. The online format enables them to complete coursework using the latest networked information technologies for increased access to educational resources, advisor, and materials.

Entrance requirements for the online English degree
In addition to the English Department entrance requirements, online English students are required to have access to the Internet and the computer skills necessary to study online.

Technology needs for online students
Minimum specifications for using BlackBoard on both PC and Mac platforms can be found at the web site for the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (see http://otel.uis.edu/Portal/blackboard/support/hardware.asp). Some software and applications may require more advanced specifications, and UIS Technical Support suggests the following:

Windows XP or higher / Mac OS X
1.5Ghz processor or higher
1Gb of RAM
Broadband internet connnection (cable/dsl)
Sound card and headset
Video card with minimum resolution of (1024×768)

Online ENG 201 and ENG 311 deferral policy
If an online English student enrolled in ENG 201 or ENG 311 experiences an unforeseen circumstance – such as military service or medical emergency – that prevents him or her from completing the course, the student may apply to the online English committee for a one-year waiver. If the waiver is granted, the student may retake the course online the following year. Only those students called to active duty with the military will automatically receive a waiver. For all others, waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be granted only to students with emergency situations.

Because a wide range of courses are offered with relative freedom from requirements, the English Department assigns undergraduate majors to faculty advisors. Advisors assist students to develop appropriate, individualized courses of study. Students should consult with advisors regularly, especially before enrolling for their first and last semesters. Students may choose a different advisor at any time to ensure they are fulfilling all degree requirements.

Graduation requirements for the English major
In addition to fulfilling UIS graduation requirements, English majors must complete:
ENG 201 Exploring Literature 3 Hrs.
ENG 311 Literary Study and Research 4 Hrs.
At least one course in British literature 4 Hrs.
At least one course in American literature 4 Hrs.
At least one ENG course ending in 50-89 (writing and other courses) 4 Hrs.
ENG electives 12 Hrs.

ENG 201 Exploring Literature and ENG 311 Literary Study and Research are required of all undergraduate majors. Students must take ENG 201 during their first semester in the program and ENG 311 during their second semester. In order to enroll in ENG 201, students must have completed ENG 102 with a grade of C or better. Capital Scholars Honors students must have completed CAP 111 Honors Composition and CAP 115 Interdisciplinary Writing with a grade of C or better. Transfer students who have completed a course that is equivalent to ENG 102 must have completed that course with a grade of C or better. In order to enroll in ENG 311, students must have successfully completed ENG 201 with a grade of C or better. Students must complete ENG 311 with a grade of C or better before enrolling in 400-level courses, with the exception of one 400-level course that may be taken concurrently with ENG 311.

Juniors are expected to enroll in 300- or 400-level courses; however, seniors may petition instructors for admission to select 500-level English courses.

English students are expected to develop research, analytical, interpretive, and writing skills; all English courses are opportunities to acquire and to refine these skills. Students who are deficient in writing skills may be required to take additional courses, such as ENG 375. Transfer credit is evaluated case-by-case through the student petition process; up to 12 credit hours of English transfer courses may be accepted, provided the courses are upper-division and the student earned a grade of B or better in each. One- and two-hundred level courses will not be considered toward departmental requirements. Students wishing to transfer credits in English must petition the English Department.

Students should consult with advisors in the major for specific guidance regarding completion of general education requirements. Eight hours of general electives must be in areas distinctly outside English.


English majors can be certified to teach at the elementary or secondary level. Students must apply separately to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) and should consult the teacher education section of this catalog. Students seeking certification will be assigned both an English advisor and a TEP advisor, whom they should consult regularly to make sure they satisfy requirements for both the major and certification


ENG 201 Exploring Literature 3 Hrs.
ENG 311 Literary Study and Research 4 Hrs.
One British literature course 4 Hrs.
One American literature course 4 Hrs.
One writing and/or other course ending in 50-89 4 Hrs.


Entrance requirements
Students with baccalaureate degrees in English from accredited colleges or universities may be accepted into the M.A. program after an examination of their applications by the English Graduate Admissions Committee. If the committee requires further evidence of competency, the student may be admitted on a probationary basis after successful completion of additional graduate-level course work or other stipulated requirements.

An applicant with an undergraduate degree in a field other than English must take additional course work — generally the equivalent of the English minor — before matriculation at the graduate level to gain the endorsement of at least two full-time faculty who teach the completed courses. Those faculty members report their estimates of the student’s potential for success in the graduate program. The graduate committee then makes a decision regarding matriculation into the English Graduate Program.

All applications for admission into the English master’s degree program must include a formal letter of application, complete transcripts, GRE scores in the general examinations, and a sample of analytical writing. The applicant must fill out a program application and return two program recommendation forms, each completed by someone of the applicant’s choice who is familiar with the applicant’s academic competencies.

The Graduate Admissions Committee will mail all program forms to interested candidates, make decisions at the completion of application files, and promptly notify applicants of their status.

Because the English Department offers a wide range of courses, an academic advisor is assigned to assist students in developing appropriate courses of study. All students should consult their advisor before enrolling in each semester of study. Students may choose a different advisor at any time.

Grading policy
Courses in which English students have earned a grade of C+ or below are not accepted toward the M.A. degree in English.

Course numbering
Depending on the closure option, graduate students should complete at least 20-24 hours in colloquia, seminars, or thesis (including ENG 572) at the 500-level in the English Department. In addition, graduate students taking 400-level courses are required to do extra work, such as a critical paper, oral report, or additional reading in primary and secondary sources.

Communication skills
Completion of ENG 572 Graduate Colloquium Research Methods satisfies the UIS communication skills requirements. In exceptional cases where the program committee waives ENG 572, students must make alternate arrangements with the program committee to fulfill the communication skills requirement.

Program requirements
For students choosing the thesis or creative writing closure option.
ENG 572 Graduate Colloquium Research Methods 4 Hrs.
*ENG electives (see below; at least 12 hours must be at the
500-level in colloquia or seminars) 32-48 Hrs.
ENG 589 Thesis/Creative Writing Project 4 Hrs.
*Varies based on undergraduate preparation in the field of English language and literature.

For students choosing the comprehensive examination closure option.
ENG 572 Graduate Colloquium Research Methods 4 Hrs.
*ENG electives (see below; at least 16 hours must be
at the 500-level in colloquia or seminars) 36-52 Hrs.
ENG 587 Comprehensive Examination 1 Hr.
*Varies based on undergraduate preparation in the field of English language and literature.

Students should work closely with their advisor to ensure that graduate course work does not duplicate undergraduate work. All M.A. candidates are required to take ENG 572 Graduate Colloquium Research Methods and should do so as early as possible in their graduate study in English at UIS. The colloquium, offered each fall, introduces the master’s candidate to graduate study in English, basic literary concepts and terminology, and critical theories and practices. ENG 572 may be waived only by a majority vote of the program committee.

All M.A. candidates in English must complete at least five 500-level courses (colloquia, seminars, or thesis), including ENG 572. Candidates choosing the comprehensive examination as their closure option must complete six 500-level courses. In addition, students must take 1) at least one course that covers a major literary period in British or American literature, 2) at least one course that focuses on a major literary figure, and 3) at least one course that deals with a major literary genre (such as the novel, short story, poetry, or drama). These distribution requirements can be met at the 400 or 500 level.

Depending on their academic history at the time of admission to the program, graduate students are assigned the number of English electives (32-48 hours) they must take. The range reflects the heterogeneous undergraduate preparation of incoming students and allows the graduate committee to assist students in overcoming deficiencies.

Master’s degree tutorial credits
Graduate students are limited to 8 tutorial hours. Students are allowed to take tutorials only if a seminar they need to graduate is not being offered within a reasonable time span.

Master’s closure
The master’s degree program in English offers graduate students three closure options: the traditional thesis; the creative writing project; or the comprehensive examination.

Thesis or creative writing project Students choosing to write a thesis or creative writing project must enroll in ENG 589 Thesis or Creative Writing Project (1 to 4 Hrs.). This course may be repeated for a maximum of four credit hours. After initial registration in ENG 589, students must maintain enrollment in this course until they accumulate four hours in this course. If the thesis or creative writing project is not completed by the time four hours of ENG 589 are accrued in continuing enrollment, students must register for ENG 590 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) in all subsequent fall and spring semesters until the thesis or creative writing project is completed.

Comprehensive examination Students must enroll in ENG 587 Comprehensive Examination (1 Hr.) to prepare to take the examination. Should a student not complete the examination that semester, the student must then enroll in ENG 588 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each fall and spring semester until the comprehensive examination is successfully completed.


Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Undergraduate Minor


Barbara Burkhardt, Donna Bussell, Sara Cordell, Lan Dong, Tena Helton, Ethan Lewis, Karen Moranski, Livinus Odozor, Jim Ottery, Rosina Neginsky, Nancy Perkins, Annette Van Dyke
Associated Faculty: Kandice Biggs, Kemau Kemayo, Larry Shiner
Emeritus Faculty: Dennis Camp, Judith Everson, Norman Hinton, Jackie Jackson, John Knoepfle, Charles Schweighauser, Richard Shereikis


Phone: 217/206-6779
Email: eng@uis.edu
Website: www.uis.edu/english/