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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know who my advisor is? What if my advisor is on leave and I need an advisor's signature?

    When you first declare a major, the office staff will tell you who your advisor is. You can also request to have a particular professor as an advisor and the professor’s office hours. If you lose track of any of this information you should always feel free to call the department office and find out what you need to know.

    If your advisor is on leave, you should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in his or her office.

  • How do courses taken abroad count towards the major?

    Each semester you are abroad, you may take up to two courses that count towards the major; no more than four courses taken abroad may count towards the major. Please remember that you may need to make up credit hours for courses taken abroad that do not count for four full credit hours.

    Additionally, at least two of the courses you take for your area of concentration must be taken at Emory University.

  • What should I do when a course requires special permission to register?

    A few courses with limited enrollments, including all Creative Writing courses, require written permission for entry. If you wish to enroll in one of these courses, you should follow the instructions outlined in the course atlas. If no special instructions are given, you should see the professor during the preregistration period.

  • How do I find out my final grade for a course?

    The posting of final grades is not an official college or departmental procedure. The department faculty has voted not to post grades or release grades via telephone or mail. Students receive their final grade report through the Registrar.

  • Can I double major in English and English/Creative Writing?


  • What should I do if I am unable to register for English 205?

    Contact either the Department's Undergraduate Degree Program Coordinator or the Department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. Each semester, we do our best to find places in English 205 for all declared majors and minors who are unable to register for this class. Senior majors who need this course to graduate are always given priority.


    The old major requirements can only be pursued by students who declared a major in English prior to the fall 2022 semester.
  • How do I know if my area of concentration is acceptable?

    You should meet with your advisor to consult on your area of concentration. If your advisor approves, then you are on track.

  • Am I allowed to change my area of concentration? What happens if I do?

    You may change your concentration at any time before the second semester of your junior year when you submit a form finalizing your area of concentration. If you do change, then courses you planned on counting towards the original concentration can be used to fulfill other requirements within the major.

  • What if I cannot find courses to take in my concentration? What if I am counting on a course to complete the concentration and that course gets canceled?

    Generally, your concentration should be broad enough that finding four courses to take will not be difficult. “Victorian novel,” for example, is too narrow – but “history of the novel” gives you many options.

    If you do decide to develop a slightly more specialized concentration that depends on certain courses being offered a particular semester, then you should have a back-up plan just in case a course falls through. For example, you might have a concentration in the twentieth-century novel, but, if necessary, broaden it to include twentieth-century poetry as well.

  • What if I want to do an honors thesis in a field outside my area of concentration?

    You do not have to write an honors thesis in your area of concentration. However, many honors students may find that they want to do so, as they will have that much more background for their chosen topic.

  • Am I allowed to take more than four courses in my area of concentration?

    The department encourages students to develop breadth as well as depth in their study of English. However, as long as you are able to fulfill all of your major requirements, including the distribution requirements, you may take more than four courses in your area of concentration.

  • Am I allowed to take courses in departments other than English as part of my concentration?

    The department strongly encourages students to take courses in other departments that relate to their area of concentration. For example, a student with a concentration in African-American literature may well wish to take courses offered in other departments on African-American history or music.

    With the approval of your facuty advisor in English, one course from outside of the department (that is, a course that is not already cross-listed with English) can be counted toward a concentration. However, this would not affect the total number of required courses for the major.

  • May I count an independent study towards my area of concentration?

    Your area of concentration should be completed through courses offered by the department. Under extraordinary circumstances, you may get permission from the Director of Undergraduate Studies to count an independent study towards the area of concentration.

Photo: Manuscript Qur'an, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library.