Frequently Asked Questions about the Concentration

Q: How do I declare a concentration in English?

A: After consulting the requirements for the concentration and determining that you want to concentrate in English (concentration code ENGL--new), students must file an online Declaration form via the Advising Sidekick (ASK).

Students will be assigned automatically and alphabetically to a department concentration advisor. Next, the student must meet with the assigned concentration advisor during office hours. The advisor will review the concentration declaration and course plan and answer any questions that may arise. Once the advisor has approved the declaration in the ASK system, the student will officially be considered an English concentrator.

Q: How can I get transfer credit for a course I took at another school?

A:  For 2016-17, you must meet with the Chair, Professor Stephen Foley. Only the Chair can approve transfer credit for English courses taken at other institutions. The Registrar's office has a form for both preliminary and retroactive approval. When you meet with Professor Foley to request approval, you must bring with you the Registrar's transfer credit forms, plus the following: (1) a course description that explains in some detail the subject, approach, required reading, and assignments of the course for which you're seeking credit, and (2) an official transcript with grade received (if you've already taken the course). It may be necessary for you to provide the course syllabus and examples of papers written, particularly if you're trying to determine Brown English course equivalents.

Q: Do all of the five courses that must be taken at the above-1000 level have to be English Department courses?
A: No. Courses taken in other departments at Brown that have been approved by your concentration advisor as well as courses taken at other institutions that have been approved by the Chair can be counted as above-1000 level courses. However, only two non-English Department courses overall may be counted toward the English concentration. 

Q: Do courses taken at institutions other than Brown count as English Department Courses?
A: Transferred courses that have been accepted as English Department course equivalents by the Chair (i.e. given an ENGL course number on the transfer credit form) are treated as ones that have been taken in the department. They do not count against the two course limit for non-English Department classes. They can count toward the above-1000 level requirement, if they received approval as 1000-level courses.

Q: What role does the English Department play in administering the WRIT requirement?
A: The Dean of the College, not the English Department, is in charge of determining which courses count for the WRIT requirement. All English department courses, however, are treated by the Dean of the College as WRIT-equivalent courses. All questions about this requirement should be directed to the Dean of the College. 

Q: After I've declared my concentration, how often should I meet with my advisor?

A: You are required to meet with your advisor at least once a year, but it is a good idea to consult with your advisor, at least briefly, before each pre-registration period so that you can be sure that you will fulfill the requirements of the concentration in time to graduate on schedule.

Q: How many courses outside of the English Department can count toward my concentration in English?

A: As many as two courses outside the department may count toward the concentration requirements. Any outside courses must be approved by your concentration advisor. 

Q: How do I apply for Honors in English?

A: Electronic applications are submitted online from the English Honors Program page. You must have already declared a concentration in English. You should complete the application and submit it early in the second semester of your junior year, accompanied by two letters of recommendation from faculty members. You must submit a brief sample of your critical writing (5-7 pages) with your application. More details on the Honors Program page.

Q: How do I apply for Honors in Nonfiction Writing?

A: Electronic applications are are submitted online from the Nonfiction Writing Honors Program page. You must have already declared a concentration in English. You should complete the application and submit it early in the second semester of your junior year, accompanied by three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty members. More details on the Nonfiction Writing Honors Program page

Q: What is the deadline for applying for Honors in English?

A: Early in the second semester of your junior year. Go to the English Honors page for this year's deadline. 

Q: What is the deadline for applying for Honors in Nonfiction?

A: Early in the second semester of your junior year. Go to the Nonfiction Honors page for this year's deadline.

Q: When do I learn if I've been accepted into the Honors Programs?

A: The Honors Committee evaluates the applications and informs students by letter about the decisions during the first week of pre-registration.

Q: I'm interested in taking a writing class to improve my academic writing. How do I decide what course would be appropriate for me to take?

A: Visit "Choosing an Introductory English Course" or see the Nonfiction Courses FAQs.

Q: Does the English Department award prizes?

A: Yes. You can find more information on our prizes page.