Declaring the English Major
Once you are ready to declare a major in English (or even if you are still trying to figure out if English is right for you), you should first meet with the Undergraduate Chair (Jean-Christophe Cloutier) or Associate Undergraduate Chair (Deborah Burnham) during our office hours (whether in-person or remotely via Calendly). It’s always a good idea to email either of us for an appointment. In lieu of a meeting, we can also communicate and complete this pre-declaration process remotely over a series of email. We also encourage you to talk to the professors teaching your current English courses to learn more!
During our pre-declaration meeting, we will help you choose from among the Standard Curriculum and the versions of the English major that emphasize Creative Writing and Cinema Studies. We will also go over the possible concentrations that are open to you beyond the Standard (or “Non Designated”) Major in English. Note that you can always add or change your concentration at a later date after declaration.
When you are ready to declare the major, you must initiate the process in Path@Penn by using the “Declare/Update Field of Study” form:
- Go to the Path Forms page: https://srfs.upenn.edu/registrar/forms
- Click on the “Declare/Update Field of Study” link. A pop-out page should bring you to a page with clear Instructions to follow.
- Select the appropriate request and complete the form: if English is your first major, please click on the “Declare/Update Field of Study” link. If English is an additinal major, please click on the "Add an additional Major/Concentration or Minor" link.
Once you complete the form it will be sent to the department for approval and then onto the College Office.
Choosing a Faculty Advisor
During the declaration process, you and the Undergraduate Chair or Associate Undergraduate Chair will work together to choose a faculty advisor. Your relationship with your Faculty Advisor is an important component of pursuing the English major. Your advisor can be one of your best resources for selecting courses, concentrations, and even second majors. Whenever possible, your advisor will be a professor who knows your work and specializes in the area of literary study that interests you most. You may wish to consult the Index of Majors' Faculty Advisors to find a faculty member who seems particularly congenial to you.
As an English major, you should keep in regular contact with your advisor and meet at least during every pre-registration period. Your advisor will guide you in your course choices, and you might also find your advisor to have excellent and even creative ideas about courses outside the department that are perfect for your interests.
If at any time you wish to change your advisor, please notify the Undergraduate Chair or the Associate Undergraduate Chair and we will help you make the transition.