The College sets aside two weeks in the spring, the "Major Declaration Period," during which sophomores declare their majors. At that time, faculty meet with students to declare the major.
F & M offers two majors in English: the literature track and the creative writing track. The requirements for each major appear in the Catalog or can be accessed online from the English Department website [follow the link "curriculum" on the left side of the screen]. Once you are ready to declare your major, you may select any continuing English Department faculty member to serve as your adviser [visitors and part-time faculty do not serve as academic advisers]. Only those students planning to undertake a joint major are required to declare the major with the department chair. Otherwise, students may select their academic advisers, regardless of which track they wish to pursue. That is, you're not required to declare the creative writing track with a creative writer and the lit track with a lit professor: any continuing faculty member in English can advise you on either track. Typically students like to select a professor they know, one with whom they've undertaken coursework.
You should visit the professor during his or her office hours [which are posted on our doors and are available from our department coordinator, Megan, at x4058]. Or you can make an appointment with the professor if you're not free during his/her posted hours. Please bring to that meeting a copy of your degree audit report [your "Progress Toward Graduation," available on your page of the Diplomat Information System] and the appropriate declaration form and worksheet, available in the English Department office.
The major declaration meeting is the time at which you'll discuss with your new adviser your ideas about competing the Explorations component of your requirements. Explorations are fulfilled in one of three ways: by taking a cluster of courses [either suggested clusters, that you can find in the Catalog, or a cluster that you and your adviser design]; by declaring a minor in another department; by declaring a second major. If you are planning to undertake a cluster exploration, you and your adviser will enter that on the DIS later in the semester, when you meet with him/her during preregistration, at which point your adviser will have access to your screen on the DIS.
The meeting to declare your English major is also a good time to talk about plans or thoughts you may have for off-campus study. The English Department encourages students to study off campus, and we work hard to help you make it work. Generally speaking, it's easiest for us to substitute courses taken off campus for your English electives. We do, however, make substitutions for the 201-210 sequences where the course material is similar. We require students to take their 400-level seminars/advanced creative writing workshop in residence here at F&M. The chair of the department authorizes the actual substitutions the semester before you leave; all the paperwork is available at the Off-Campus Studies office, from Dean Sue Mennicke with whom you'll meet first to plan off-campus study. It's a good idea, however, to chat with your major adviser about your off-campus plans, even if they're still tentative; it will help your adviser in planning with you your movement through the major.