Freshman English FAQs
How do I know which Freshman English course I should take?
Every new incoming freshman will take a writing placement test during orientation. Transfer students do not have to take the placement test; their placement is determined based on courses they have taken at their prior institution. In order for courses to meet our Freshman English requirement, transfer courses must be equivalent to our English 101 and 102. On your first day of class in any Freshman English course, you will write a sample essay. Your professor will then determine if you have been correctly placed. You may be required to switch to another section if we determine that you would benefit from it.
What if English is not my first language?
If English is not your first language, your Freshman English course will be determined through a writing placement test. You will either be placed into English 100 courses to prepare for the challenges of Freshman English; or you will be placed into ESL sections of English 101 and 102. These ESL sections of English 101 and 102 will serve your language needs directly; they all meet the same graduation requirements as the other sections of 101 and 102. In some cases you may be placed in non-ESL 101 and 102 sections if the test indicates that their English proficiency is strong.
When should I take Freshman English?
English 101 is usually taken in the first semester of your freshman year, and English 102 is taken in the second semester. This sequence then enables you to take an Intermediate Seminar in your sophomore year.
Can I transfer Freshman English credits from other colleges or universities?
For a non-equivalent course you passed at another university, you may receive transfer credit towards graduation without receiving credit for having met the Freshman English requirement. To satisfy the Freshman English requirement your course at another university needs to be equivalent to our English 101 and 102 courses, bear at least three credits, and be a semester-long course; first-year literature courses from other colleges and universities are not equivalent to our Freshman English courses. To apply for equivalency, you will need to fill out an equivalency form and submit it to the English department. Equivalency application forms are available in the English department, Wheatley 6th floor.
Is it possible to waive out of Freshman English courses? How do I do this?
It is possible to have your requirement for an English 101 or 102 course waived if you have supporting, teacher-marked papers that demonstrate your ability to write at the level that students would ordinarily achieve at the end of these courses. To do so, you will need to apply for a waiver by filling out a waiver form and submitting it to the English department. Waiver application forms are available in the English department, Wheatley 6th floor.
Can I transfer my high school AP credit for Freshman English?
Students with an AP test score of 4 or 5 may place out of English 101, but are still required to take English 102.
Where do I go with questions about Freshman English?
• You may contact any university advisor with general questions about scheduling and placement. For questions about waivers and equivalency, please go to the English Department, 6th floor of the Wheatley Building, Room 052.
• For questions about English as a Second Language courses and placements, please contact Polly Welsh, Academic Support, Campus Center; or Professor Vivian Zamel, English Department, 6th floor, Wheatley Building, Room 30.
• For other questions, please contact Professor Stephen Sutherland, Director of Freshman English, English Department, 6th floor, Wheatley Building, Room 048.