Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Undergraduate Advising

Balancing Your Schedule

We advise our majors to take a balanced schedule of 1-2 major courses, 1-2 general education courses, and 1-2 double major, minor, or elective courses each semester. If the goal is to graduate in four years, we recommend taking 15 hours, or 4-6 courses, each term to stay on track.

Here’s how it works for English majors:

(Note: Creative Writing majors will have a few more electives than this while Teaching of English-Secondary Education minor students may have fewer, but the overall principle is the same: balance your courseload each semester!)

Courses Credit Hours
General Education Courses: 10 courses at 3-4 credit hours each 30-40
English department courses: 12 courses at 3 credit hours each 36
Western Civilization courses: 2 courses at 3 hours each 6
TOTAL 72-82
Credit hours needed for degree 120
Additional hours 38-48 credit hours

The additional hours can be used in various ways: for exploration; for second majors; for minors; for coursework to enhance the major; for professional development; or just for pleasure and interest.

Other Options

Freshmen should seriously consider taking Discovery courses. These are smaller courses available only in the first semester of study and can be a great way to explore, expand, and meet new people.

Any course numbered 199 is an Open Undergraduate Seminar and within this category you'll find some interesting and unusual courses. Be sure to click on this course number in the class schedules available through Course Explorer to find out what's being offered as a 199 in a given semester.