This year, academic advising will once again be in effect at Towson University.  What this means to you as a student is that you won’t be able to pre-register for classes without meeting with your advisor.  There will be a bar placed on your student account in PeopleSoft that only your advisor will be able to remove, and he or she will remove it only after you have attended the mandatory advising session.  While these rules may seem just another unnecessary hoop to jump through in your quest for a diploma, they may well save you time toward graduation since not a semester passes that students fail to graduate because of a course they didn’t take or because of a requirement they overlooked or neglected. 

As a result, the English Department asks that all English majors visit this advising webpage, read the information and/or watch the videos pertaining to them.  Then, before pre-registration, you will meet individually with your advisor in his or her office to get your bar removed.  Your advisor will be listed on your student account in PeopleSoft, and he or she will get in touch with you by e-mail shortly after the beginning of the semester, so you can ask questions or make an appointment for an office visit.   

Before you meet with your advisor:

  1. Get the undergraduate catalog for the year you entered Towson.  It contains all the information you need about requirements for graduation with a bachelor’s degree.  Print copies are available from Enrollment Services, or you can access electronic versions from the TU website.  Just enter ‘undergraduate catalog’ in the Search blank.  Make sure you’re using the right catalog since requirements can change from one year to the next, and one catalog may not show the same requirements as another.  The catalog is like a contract in the sense that what its fine print says is what you and the university go by to determine if you’ve fulfilled all your degree requirements.  If you’re a transfer student, you can, by filling out a form, petition to use the catalog that was in effect the year you first entered a university or community college. 
  2. Check your degree progress via your PeopleSoft account, and print off your unofficial transcript to bring with you to your advising session.  Note especially anything written in red as it indicates a lack of some sort, usually an unfulfilled category or area.  Note: If you don’t know how to check your degree progress, just follow the instructions below.
  3. Create a tentative schedule for the upcoming semester with courses that fulfill general education, major, or minor requirements.
  4. Jot down and bring with you any questions you may have for your advisor. 


How to check your progress toward a degree by using the Degree Progress Report.  

Through PeopleSoft, Towson now makes available a degree progress report for each student.  Here’s how to access yours:

  1. Go to
  2. Choose Towson Online Services (in the right-hand column).  Login with your TU username and password
  3. Click on the following choices in order: Self Service > Student Center > other academic> Degree Progress Report (For Report Type, select Degree Progress Report)

The Degree Progress Report will show you the following:

  1. Your unofficial transcript, a semester-by-semester listing of all the courses you’ve taken at TU and elsewhere.
  2. Your upper-level credits – Courses at 300 level and above.
  3. Your progress in fulfilling your General Education requirements (Gen Eds)
  4. Your overall credits – 120 required for graduation
  5. Your overall G.P.A.
  6. Your progress in fulfilling your Major requirements

There are three distinct English majors, and the one you use depends on the year you entered Towson. 

1. Before Fall 1999.   If you entered TU before Fall 1999, your major requirements differ from those who entered more recently.  Follow all the directions as they are given, making sure you complete all the courses required of each category.  If you have any questions, please ask your advisor.

2. Fall 1999-Summer 2005.   Most of our current English majors began at Towson between Fall 1999 and Summer 2005.  Toward the end of every semester I get office visits from unhappy students who have just received a notice from Enrollment Services that they aren’t graduating because they have yet to full one or another requirement.  The one most frequently cited is Core Requirement I.B. which calls for two courses, one of which must be in a course on pre-1798 British literature.  Since such courses are marked with an asterisk in the catalog, this requirement is often referred to as the asterisk requirement.  Although this requirement is clearly stated in the catalog and on the website, there are still students who routinely overlook it—much to their dismay.  The Department can accept a pre-1798 I. C. or non-Shakespearean Major Figure (e.g., Chaucer or Milton) course to fulfill the asterisk requirement, but in such cases the student must still take two courses listed under I.B. to fulfill the I.B. Period requirement. 

If you are on the Writing Track, you should know that it’s o.k. to mix and match courses from the various emphases for the Writing Track.  Even though the catalog states that “students will select one of three areas of emphasis and take three courses within that area of emphasis,” we have learned that in many cases students were unable to get the course they needed in a given semester, and a writing course from a different emphasis was allowed as a substitute.  This substitution has happened often enough that now we’ve adopted this allowance as a general policy. 

3. Fall 2005-Present.  Starting with students entering TU in Fall 2005, the English Department has instituted new requirements for completion of the major.  One of these is a mandatory introductory course called ENGL 200 – Introduction to the Study of English.  It is important that students take this course as early as possible since it includes the starting of an electronic portfolio that they will build during the course of their college careers and complete with the capstone course taken at the end of their major.  It is also important that students take ENGL 300, (formerly ENGL 361) early.  This course, entitled Literary Research and Applied Criticism, teaches bibliographic and research methods that will benefit the student greatly in all the upper-division English classes.  Although this new major, unlike the previous one, requires the Introductory & Capstone courses, it more than makes up for the requirements by allowing the students more electives and flexibility than the previous major. 

To become an English major at Towson University, you need to complete a Change of Major form (formerly known as a Declaration of Major form).  This form is located on the  Registrar's Office website   In completing this form, you will also be required to declare one of the three tracks, or specializations, within the major: the Literature Track, the Writing Track, or the Secondary Education Track.  If you choose the Secondary Education Track, you’ll need to have two advisors: an English advisor and an Education advisor. 

No matter which track you choose, you’ll need to fulfill the Core Requirements of the English major as well as the requirements of your selected track.  Please carefully read the requirements for each category since failure to do so could lead to an oversight that delays your graduation.




Towson Prize for Literature: Deadline June 15, 2008



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