Department of English


Professor Shelton Waldrep, Department Chair
325 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland

Pam LaRiviere, Administrative Specialist
311A Luther Bonney Hall, Portland

Who is my advisor?

All students have at least two advisors: a Professional Advisor and a Faculty Academic Advisor.  For most English majors, your Professional Advisor will be Pam Edwards or Kristin Ciampa.

If you are an English major with an Education Track (7-12), your advisor will be Christen Eaton or Gail Minichiello.

If you are an Elementary Education major with a concentration in English, your advisor will be Professor Jean Whitney.

Your faculty academic advisor’s name is listed in MaineStreet below the enrollment dates in your Student Center. Click “details” to contact your advisor by email. On the English Department’s website, you will find a complete list of faculty, their office hours, phone numbers, and email addresses. If you are unable to reach your advisor, contact the Department Chair.

All English majors may choose their own faculty academic advisor. Change of Advisor forms are available in the English Department Office in 311 Luther Bonney. Once you have completed this form, our administrative specialist will process all changes of advisor.

Other resources are available on the Professional Advising website.

When should I meet with my faculty academic advisor?

It is strongly recommended that all students meet with their faculty academic advisor at least once a semester to discuss:

  • English major requirements
  • Core requirements
  • Degree progress
  • Choosing a minor
  • Your academic and career plans
  • Any additional questions

At a minimum, you should meet with your advisor during preregistration (first Monday in April for fall classes, first Monday in November for spring classes (the actual date you can register depends on the number of credits you have)) to discuss course selection and develop a schedule. Please note: if you do not register for classes during preregistration, some classes may be cancelled because of low enrollment. There is no charge associated with preregistration.

How should I prepare for preregistration advising?

Before Your Appointment

  • Review the English Department’s Course Guide for next semester’s courses. A hard copy is available in the English Department office or on-line at the English Department’s website at
  • Go to MaineStreet and print out an unofficial transcript and a schedule of the classes you are taking this semester.
  • Review the Core curriculum requirements in your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report. See what remaining requirements you have.
  • Review your English Major Requirements Form to see which remaining requirements you have in the major. You may find it useful to keep a filled out copy for yourself so that you can check off requirements as you matriculate.
  • Using the Wish List in MaineStreet, develop a list of possible classes to take. Check to see if you have met proficiencies and course prerequisites. For example, ENG 100 College Writing, ENG 102 Academic Writing (for students who matriculate Fall 2021 and after) and ENG 140 Reading Literature are prerequisites for all English majors, and you must complete ENG 245 Introduction to Literary Studies before taking the senior seminar/capstone.
  • Bring all of your documents with you to your advising appointment.

At Your Appointment You Can Expect to

  • Confirm your remaining Major and Core requirements.
  • Design a schedule that fits your needs.


~ Additional Advising Tips ~


Core (Matriculated Fall 2011 and forward)

The best way to view your progress toward completing the Core, major, and any minor is to choose ‘Degree Progress Report’ from your MaineStreet account. Click on the green arrow beside each category.

To monitor the progress of your completion of the English major, English minor, Creative Writing minor, or Public and Professional Writing minor, choose ‘Course History by Subject’ in your student center and then scroll down to ‘English.’ Any approved transfer or AP credits should also show up here. If you have questions about your transfer credits, please contact Heidi Noyce, Associate Director of Transfer Affairs.

Please keep in mind that if you have Advanced Placement credit, you may need to have that information sent to USM. Please contact the Office of Prior Learning Assessment for more information.

You may also wish to note the following information about navigating the Core on MaineStreet:

To view courses offered in a particular semester that will satisfy Core requirements using the various Core configurations, see ‘Class Search.’  After selecting the institution (USM) and semester, scroll to the bottom of the ‘Additional Search Criteria’ to ‘General Ed Category.’  Drop down the menu and you will see a list of categories preceded by letters:

A = New Core areas for students admitted with a Requirement Term of Fall 2011 forward.
B-c l = Clusters – All offerings for the thematic clusters offered this semester.
C = LAC Core Areas
D = Pre-Fall 2011 Core Areas for those students with a Requirement Term prior to Fall 2011.

Visit the Core Curriculum website for more details.

General Residency and Senior Residency Requirements

Undergraduate students must take a minimum of 30 credits of their final 45 credits through USM.

GPA Calculator

USM has a great GPA Calculator.

Degree Planning

See degree planners. Scroll down for English.

 Commencement vs. Graduation

A student who has a credit hour threshold of 114 credits by the end of the spring semester, and who is registered to earn 120 credits by the end of the summer, may walk in the Commencement ceremony. Students do not officially graduate until all requirements have been met.  USM has graduation dates in May, August, and December, but only one ceremony, in May. You can apply for graduation via MaineStreet only during the semester you plan to graduate. You do not need to contact your advisor in order to apply for graduation, but it is strongly recommended that you see your advisor to review your progress towards degree completion the semester BEFORE you plan to graduate.



  • For students who matriculated from Fall 2015 through Summer 2021, the English major is 36 credits. For students who matriculate Fall 2021, the English major is 42 credits. See below for the new sequencing.
  • ENG 100 College Writing (or ENG 101Independent Writing) is a prerequisite for all English majors who matriculated before Fall 2021.
  • Beginning Fall 2021, ENG 100 College Writing (or ENG 101 Independent Writing) and ENG 102 Academic Writing are prerequisites for all English majors.
  • For students with the 2014-2015 catalog year or later, ENG 140 Reading Literature is a prerequisite for all English courses at the 200-level or above.
  • For students who matriculated Fall 2015 or later, only four courses (12 credits) at the 200-level, including ENG 245 and ENG 220, may count toward the required 36 or 42-credit major.
  • ENG 201 Creative Writing is a prerequisite for all creative writing courses at the 300-level and higher.
  • For students with the 2015-2016 catalog year or later, only courses at the 300-level or higher will satisfy the Criticism and Theory requirement. (ENG 334 fulfills the Criticism and Theory requirement for K-8 track students.)
  • ENG 245 Introduction to Literary Studies is a prerequisite for the capstone seminar. Students majoring in English should take it immediately after ENG 140 and as early in the major as possible. Non-English majors are encouraged to take ENG 245, but it is not required in order to take upper-level ENG courses.  Consult with the instructor if you have questions about the level or demands of the course.
  • Individual courses may specify other prerequisites.
  • Whenever possible, English majors should observe the following sequence:

    36-Credit major
    (Students who matriculated Fall 15-
    Summer 21)

      42-credit major
    (Students who matriculated Fall 21 and later)
    ENG 100 (or ENG 101), ENG 140 (prerequisites)   ENG 100 (or ENG 101), ENG 102, ENG 140 (prerequisites)  
    ENG 220, 245, and up to two more 200-level ENG electives 6 ENG 220, 245, and up to two more 200-level ENG electives 6
        ENG 305 Rhetoric, Syntax, and Style 3

    300-level courses in Historical Periods (at least one course before 1800) (9 crs.), ​​​​​​​Writing (3 crs.), Theory (3 crs.), and ENG electives (2 ENG elective courses may be at the 200-level) (12 crs.)

    27 300-level courses in  Interdisciplinary and Cultural Studies (3 crs.), Historical Periods (at least one course before 1800) (12 crs.), Writing (3 crs.), Theory (3 crs.), and ENG electives (2 ENG elective courses may be at the 200-level) (9 crs.) 30
    400-level Capstone Seminar 3 400-level Capstone Seminar 3
    Total Credits 36   42

See the degree planners for more detailed plans.