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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate Advising

Students who declare an ETS major will have a mandatory orientation and advising meeting with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies as part of the major declaration process. At that time, each student will be assigned a faculty advisor in the English department for future advising.

The English department is committed to making our students’ experiences of the ETS major personalized and rewarding. Students should not hesitate to contact their faculty advisors with questions, or to make appointments with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Students who believe they are registered as ETS majors should check to make sure they have formally declared their intent. Students can check their major status by consulting their unofficial transcript, available on MySlice. If the major status has a “U” after it, then the student is NOT formally declared as an ETS major. The “U” stands for “undeclared,” and indicates an interest in a field or major rather than a declared major.

Advising and Course Registration: In the first semester after declaring the major, ETS majors are required to meet with their faculty advisors to have their advising hold lifted and to be cleared to register at their earliest assigned time. Students who have been ETS majors for longer than one semester may fill out a registration worksheet (available in 401 HL) and then bring the completed form directly to the Undergraduate Coordinator, who will lift the advising hold. All students at all stages of the major may seek registration advice from their faculty advisors if they wish. Declared ETS majors will have an advising hold in place each semester they are in attendance and will not be able to register until the advising hold has been lifted.

Students will receive an email message reminding them to schedule advising appointments before registration. Students are responsible for contacting their advisors to schedule appointments. Faculty advisors keep their own appointment schedules, so students should arrange meeting times well in advance of the registration period. Some faculty advisors will post sign-up sheets for advising meetings on their office doors. Please note that it may take up to 48 hours after an advisor or administrator lifts a hold for it to be cleared on MySlice.

If a student’s advisor is on leave or is unavailable for a meeting, the student may schedule an advising session with the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students who are pursuing a double or triple major should keep in mind that they will need to have advising holds lifted through each department in which they are a major.

Preparation for an Advising Session:  Preparation is crucial for a successful advising session. Before an advising meeting, a student should review their progress toward the core requirements of their home college and toward the ETS major requirements. Students should present their advisors with a copy of their unofficial transcript (available on MySlice), a prepared list of the courses they hope to take in the coming semester, a list of alternate courses, and a list of any questions they might wish to ask. Students are also encouraged to talk with their advisors about graduate school options and career goals.

Senior Check:  Any student planning to graduate should initiate a Senior Check the semester before their proposed graduation date, both with their home college and with the English department. During the ETS Senior Check, the Undergraduate Coordinator in HL 401 will review the student’s transcript to ensure that they are on-track to complete the requirements of the ETS major. Students should also use the ETS Senior Check to verify that all transfer credit petitions and/or other petitions for ETS credit have been received and evaluated by the department. Please note that transfer credit petitions filed and accepted through the College of Arts and Sciences or any other college do not guarantee acceptance for credit toward the ETS major or minor. Students must petition the English department separately for ETS credit.

Students planning to graduate in a given semester must file a Diploma Request through MySlice.

Graduate Study in English and Creative Writing:  Students interested in continuing their studies in English beyond the undergraduate level—especially students considering a career in college or university teaching—should begin investigating M.A. and Ph.D. programs as early as the fall of their junior year. The Director of Undergraduate Studies can refer students to a faculty advisor who is informed about graduate programs and who can offer guidance on selecting courses, preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), preparing applications, soliciting letters of recommendation, and seeking financial aid. Students interested in graduate study in English are strongly encouraged to participate in the Distinction Program, which will help to prepare them for the kind of work encountered in a typical graduate course.

Students interested in applying to M.F.A. programs in Creative Writing should take a wide range of classes to further their breadth of knowledge. Since graduate programs in creative writing are often based on a workshop model, students will find it useful to take at least one Creative Writing workshop to get a feel for the workshop process. M.F.A. applicants are required to submit a portfolio of creative work, and workshops provide an opportunity to hone skills and understand basic craft issues. Students who are serious about applying to M.F.A. programs and have questions about the process can contact the Associate Director of Creative Writing, Sarah Harwell.

College Advising: Questions about general University and College requirements should be referred to the Academic and Advising Services office in the student’s home college. It is always a good idea for students who are uncertain about their progress toward college requirements, or who are considering changing majors, to meet with an academic advisor in their home college.