How can I prepare for an English degree?
If you are coming out of high school with a passion for reading and writing, you are already well prepared to launch into an English degree at UTSC!
As you begin to think about your university courses, we recommend taking our A-level introductory classes in close reading and critical writing as soon as possible. ENGA01 What Is Literature? And ENGA02 Critical Writing about Literature will be launching in Fall 2018 and will lay an excellent foundation for more advanced work in our programs.
If you are thinking about our Literature & Film minor, check out ENGA10 and ENGA11 “Literature and Film for Our Time” and consider taking ENGB70 "How to Read a Film" as early as possible in your university studies.
And students interested in Creative Writing should have a look at our introductory B-level classes in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
Beyond that, let your curiosity guide you and sample a range of B-level courses that pique your interest. All are open to first-year students.
At what stage can I expect to learn how to write university-level essays?
Although many courses, especially at the A and B levels, will offer instruction on certain elements of essay construction and expectations, ENGA02: Critical Writing About Literature is the only course specifically dedicated to teaching essay writing. The course is organized as smaller workshops, and peer review and discussion are integrated components. You are encouraged to take ENGA02 in the first year of your undergraduate education. This course should provide a solid writing foundation for your other classes, whether in English or beyond. That said, it is never too late to take ENGA02! All university students, regardless of their preparation level, are welcome to take the course.
We also encourage you to make use of the Writing Centre as soon as possible and as frequently as necessary throughout your time at UTSC. They have extensive resources available to you, as well as one-on-one counseling appointments available. You can find them online at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/twc/ and in person in AC210, across from the library.
I’m switching into English after starting in another program. Which course calendar should I follow to complete my program requirements?
Students must follow the calendar year relative to the year they added an English program or POSt (Program Of Study) to ACORN/ROSI.
If for instance, you started in the 2015-16 academic year but added an English POSt in 2017-18, the 2017-18 calendar is the one you will follow to complete your program requirements. If, however, a later year calendar works better for your program requirements, you may choose to follow that year
Make sure you check out the Curriculum Changes page to see what's new for 2018.
Where can I find admission details or find help with tuition?
You do not have to apply separately to the English Department — once you are admitted to UTSC, our programs are open to you. For admission details to the university, you will want to get in touch with the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment. They have almost everything you need to know on the web at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/admissions/applying
The Registrar’s office is who to contact about tuition issues, including options for financial aid. Many of your questions can be answered on their website in the “Finances” section: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/registrar/finances
Is there a difference between degree requirements and program requirements?
Yes there is. Degree requirements are what you need to fulfill in order to graduate from the University of Toronto. These include 20 credits, a minimum cGPA, breadth requirements, etc. (please consult the course calendar for further details). Program requirements are what you must fulfill in order to complete your program of study, and they can be found in the UTSC timetable, as well as on the English department website in the “Programs and Courses” menu: www.utsc.utoronto.ca/engdept/programs.
How does registration work? What determines if I will get into a specific course or not?
Registration dates for students are tiered. The Registrar’s Office will set dates as to when you may log into ACORN/ROSI to view your day and time for enrollment. On the day and time indicated, you will log into ACORN/ROSI to add your courses. Some courses may have enrollment controls on them, giving students in certain programs or years of study preference for enrollment. All of this can be viewed on the web timetable at www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~registrar/scheduling/timetable.
Can I take a course at the St. George campus or at UTM? Will they count toward my degree?
Yes you can. If the course you intend on enrolling in at St. George or at UTM is to be used in place of a program requirement for one of our English programs, you will need permission of the Associate Chair or Program Supervisor, depending on the program. If the course is strictly to be taken out of general interest (as an elective), no permission is required but it is still recommended you clear this with the Associate Chair or the Undergraduate Assistant.
What do I do if I don't have the pre-requisites for the courses I want to take?
Pre-requisite courses are important, and courses that list them may build on knowledge or experience gained in that pre-requisite course. But if you wish to take a course for which you do not have the prerequisite, it is possible to be admitted with the permission of the instructor. This admission would be at the instructor’s discretion.
I have studied elsewhere before. Is this program right for me? Can my previous credits count toward this program?
All students that have transferred to UTSC (whether from another campus or another institution) have to undergo a transfer credit assessment through the Admission Office. The assessment will determine which courses from previous institutions may be awarded credit at UTSC. Ordinarily no more than two (2) writing courses from previous universities will be awarded UTSC English Department credit.
How can I prepare myself for entrance into graduate programs?
If you are considering graduate study in English, consider moving into upper-level courses (C- and D-levels) as soon as you are eligible, since these are important preparation for graduate study. D-level seminars especially will give you a taste of the kind of work you might expect to encounter at the graduate level.
We also recommend enrolling in ENGC15 “Introduction to Theory and Criticism” and our year-long capstone seminar, ENGD98.
Get to know your professors, since you will need strong letters of recommendation. Pay attention to what kinds of classes and essay topics you find yourself gravitating towards, since this will give you a sense of what area of study you might want to build on as a graduate student.
And make sure you plan carefully: the application process begins early in the fall and is very time-consuming. The Program Supervisor and your professors are excellent resources for advice about graduate applications and funding opportunities.
Why should I choose this program?
Your degree from the University of Toronto will be recognized and respected across Canada and internationally. The UofT English department ranks highly both in Canada and in the world, and your professors are the top-rated scholars and teachers in their fields. According to the QS World University Rankings (2016) the tri-campus department of English at the University of Toronto is the 13th ranked English department in the world, 9th in North America, and #1 in Canada. Your.
UTSC enables students to access the resources of this larger department, but it also has the atmosphere of a much smaller university. Students and alumni often say that their favourite part of studying at UTSC English was the sense of community. UTSC English students have the opportunity to talk to their professors one-on-one, to join student groups such as SELF, to come to coffee hours and mixers, and to be part of a small and friendly community.
What career options are there for English graduates? Will an English degree increase my chances of employment?
Some English specialists and majors choose career paths in fields such as education, publishing, journalism, and writing; others find their English skills transferrable to any number of other fields, including law, business, marketing, communication, and medicine.
Any English degree, whether a specialist, major, or minor, opens many doors. It is recognized as excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers and further post-secondary programs.
Some sample entry-level jobs for English grads include:
• Author/Writer/Artist in Creative Industries
• Social Media Manager (e.g., Marketing Agencies)
• Public Relations Specialist (Corporate Industries and Non-Profits)
• Market Research Analyst
• Education Curriculum Developer
• Teaching English Internationally
• Policy Analyst (Government or NGOs)
• Technical Writer
• Communications Assistant
• Event/Convention Planner
• Software Developer
And some of the graduate programs of study that draw from English undergraduate degrees are:
• English (M.A./PhD)
• Law School (J.D.)
• Journalism (Diploma or M.A.)
• Education (B.Ed or M.Ed)
• Library & Information Sciences (Master’s)
• Publishing (Diploma or Graduate Certificate)
• Public Relations (Post-Graduate Certificate)
• Marketing (Post-Graduate Certificate)
• Medical School (M.D.)
What skills can I gain from studying English? How transferrable will they be?
Some of the highly transferrable skills that you will acquire as an English student (whether specialist, major, or minor) are:
- Develop expository, persuasive, and creative writing
- Use grammar, syntax, vocabulary correctly
- Adjust style to rhetorical context
- Analyze and interpret text (close reading and analysis)
- Understand concepts of genre and form in writing
- Develop critical thinking
- Engage in creative problem solving
- Influence and persuade (argumentative writing and communication)
- Make oral presentations
- Conduct research and evaluate evidence
- Synthesize and communicate ideas
Can I concentrate my English studies around specific fields or certain kinds of literature?
Yes! It can be extremely rewarding to pursue specific interests, from certain genres to a specific historical period, in depth and detail. Our website includes suggestions for "routes and threads" that you can follow through the program, each of which is organized around a specific field: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/engdept/routes-and-threads-through-english-program. However, these routes and threads are just a beginning. You may have your own research interests and your own questions that you'd like to explore. You might find that courses that initially seem uninteresting turn out to transform your interests. For all of these reasons, you should feel free to be creative in choosing and combining courses. It's a great idea to talk to your professors in office hours as you're trying to choose courses-- we want to help you get the most out of the program!
Can I combine an English program with one in another discipline?
Yes! The Major in English Literature, the Minor in English Literature, the Minor in Creative Writing, and the Minor in Literature and Film Studies can all be combined with a major in another discipline. Combined with another degree in the humanities, an English program can offer an opportunity to develop an intense study of a particular question or research area. On the other hand, combined with a degree in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences, English offers the opportunity not only to enhance research, writing, and speaking skills, but also to think from new and different perspectives. The study of English literature helps us think critically about the written word, from ad copy to email to instruction manuals. It also helps us empathize with characters and writers from different times and places, and so broaden our perspectives.
Can I complete the Creative Writing or Lit & Film Minor alongside the Specialist?
Yes, these are considered 'niche' programs and can be considered independent of the Specialist, Major, and Minor in English Literature.
If you chose to combine one of these minor programs with a Specialist or Major, we ask that at least 1.0 credit in the minor program be independent from the Specialist or Major.