Frequently Asked Questions
We are located in the Jacobson Faculty Tower (JFT), Seventh Floor, Room 714. Here is a campus map showing the location of JFT.
Come to the English Department and fill out a Declaration or Change of Major/Minor Form. Go here for more details about becoming an English major.
You must see your advisor every semester! You will need to receive a number from him or her in order to register for classes. It is equally important that you receive guidance and advice about selecting courses, taking courses in the proper order, and completing your major requirements.
Advisor meetings typically happen in October-November during the fall semester and March-April in the spring, but you can talk with your advisor at any time!
There is also a directory posted outside of the English department (714 JFT).
Follow these links for the Elementary Education and Secondary Education major plans. Please note that you must meet with BOTH your English and your Education advisor each term, and that the School of Education requires you to meet with your English advisor FIRST.
Advanced registration begins in November (for the spring semester) and April (for the fall semester). Please refer to the Academic Calendar for specific dates. Your specific registration time is based on the number of credits you have earned and can be found in my.newpaltz.edu.
By the beginning of each registration period, the English Department will post detailed course descriptions. Please see "Current Courses" under the "Courses" menu on the above right of the screen.
You should regularly view your Progress Report, available through my.newpaltz.edu. This lists the General Education (GE) requirements for your degree, the requirements for your major(s) and minor(s), as well as the courses you have completed. It is your responsibility to keep track of your progress through the program, using your advisor for guidance and advice.
First, be sure that you have sent copies of your OFFICIAL transcripts to Records and Registration (Haggerty Administration Building Room 19, basement). If you have already submitted your transcripts, check with Records and Registration to make sure they have been received (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If your transcripts have been received, but the courses have not been applied toward your major or general education requirements, talk to your Advisor. He or she will help you to make sure these credits are properly applied.
For the MA program, applications will be considered up until two weeks before the beginning of the semester. But we recommend that you apply before October 15 for spring admission and before March 15 for fall admission. If you do not submit your application by the recommended date, you will not have an admission decision by the opening of the registration period for the following semester, and some courses may consequently be filled when you become eligible to enroll.
For the MAT and MSEd programs, inquire with Secondary Education about deadlines.
Why is there a foreign language requirement for the English MA and what is it?
It is important to place English literature in its larger European context, and though most canonical European literature has been translated into English, it is always better to read literature in the original language. Also, some criticism is not available in English translation.
You must demonstrate intermediate-level competency in a European language other than English (e.g., French, Spanish, Italian, German). This can be done by passing 9 credits of undergraduate course work in one language or 3 credits at the intermediate level (if, for example, you had AP credit for a year at the elementary level). Or you may take a translation exam. The foreign language requirement must be fulfilled by the end of your first three semesters in the MA program. To enroll in undergraduate foreign language courses, contact the Foreign Language Department; to sign up for the translation exam, contact the English Graduate Director.
Why is there an English language requirement for the English MA and what is it?
It is important to understand how the English language has changed over the course of the English literary tradition, and some canonical authors, such as Chaucer, cannot be fully appreciated without study of the language in which they wrote.
One of the two required pre-1800 courses must study the history of the English language or literature written in pre-Shakespearean English. These courses include ENG501, 502, 503, and 527, as well as 572 when the topic is appropriate; they fulfill both the English language requirement and a pre-1800 requirement.
May I write a thesis?
Thesis in English (ENG590) is an option and not a requirement for the English MA. The option is generally not available for MAT and MSEd students. The thesis may fulfill one of the MA historical distribution requirements.
Note that if you do not complete work for Thesis within the enrollment semester, you will receive an 'H' for the course and will not be granted your degree until you complete Thesis and your instructor submits a letter grade (even if you have fulfilled all other requirements, including 30 credits of course work). You will be charged for one credit of Continued Registration each semester until a grade is submitted.
What is the Comprehensive Exam? When is it given and how do I sign up?
The Comprehensive Exam is an "exit" requirement for the English graduate programs. There are actually two different Comprehensive Exams, specific to the MA and MAT/MSEd programs, and both are described on the English Graduate Community site on Blackboard. The MA exam should not be taken before the completion of 24 credits; the MSEd exam should not be taken before the final semester of course work; the MAT exam should be taken in the semester before student teaching.
You sign up for the exam by enrolling in ENG599, a zero-credit, zero-content, zero-cost "course." This "course" does not actually meet and only exists as a device for enrollment in the Comprehensive Exam. If you are not enrolled in 599, you will not be allowed to take the exam.
The exam is given twice a year, near the beginning of November and the beginning of April (generally the first Saturday of those months).