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Advising in the Major
Your first step as an English major is to visit the department to be assigned a faculty advisor who will oversee your progress through the program and help you with any questions or problems that may arise. You may, if you wish, request a particular faculty member to serve as your advisor.
Your advisor is an important person whom you must see at least once a semester to obtain approval for class registration. If you are a transfer student, your advisor determines how courses you have taken elsewhere may be counted toward English major requirements. And, as your advisor is the person who makes the final decision that you have met the requirements in English and may graduate, it is important that you keep in touch and have the same understanding of your progress. You are also invited to see your advisor at other times to discuss your work or any questions or problems you may have.
Our Department Advisor, for general advising questions, is Carol Fitzpatrick.
Advising Information for the Coming Semester:
What's Offered Next Semester:
Academic advising for General Education/University requirements
The Office of Undergraduate Advising offers advising for undergraduate General Education and University requirements.
Although graduation may seem a long way off to you now, you should begin to make plans for your future early in your college years. IThe English Department is in the process of planning a Master's in English Studies at UMBC. If you are interested in pursuing this master's degree, please contact your advisor for information about the five year BA/MA program. If you are interested in other graduate study in English or related fields please contact the department's graduate school advisor, Raphael Falco or or any member of the faculty who will be happy to talk with you about the procedures and requirements for pursuing post-graduate education.
The Career Services Center can give you general in getting ready for life after graduation by thinking about your career pathways and learning to create cover letters, resumés and other professional documents. They will also assist you in starting a dossier, which you will need b oth for graduate and professional school applications and for seeking employment. Particularly important to this dossier are letters of recommendation from faculty who know you and your work. You should obtain these as you go along, when the professors are readily available and their memory of your work is fresh, rather than waiting until graduation approaches. The English Council of Majors and Minors and the English Department regularly sponsor career workshops in conjunction with the Career Services Center.
The English Department offers several awards and prizes for exceptional work in English. All include cash prizes and recognition at a formal ceremony.
The Robert G. Shedd Award will be given annually to a UMBC English major for Excellence in English. The student is selected by the English Department faculty. Selection is based on grade point averages in all courses, but especially in English, and consideration of any substantial scholarly or creative work. Candidates for this award should have a 3.5 GPA or better.
The Journalism Prize recipient is determined by the Retriever faculty advisor. The UMBC student's name, along with the rationale for the nomination, is submitted then ratified by the English Department faculty.
The Outstanding Contributions in English Award recipient is selected by the English Department faculty. The selection process is based on a academic record, service to the department, and work done in areas that are not graded. Candidates for this award should have a 3.5 GPA or better.
The Malcolm C. Braly Creative Writing Award was established to honor the memory of Malcolm C. Braly, who was a member of the UMBC English Department until his death in 1980.
Submission by UMBC students for the Braly Award may be made either through a faculty member, directly to the English Department or through Bartleby, UMBC's creative arts magazine, by March of each year. Each submission should have a cover sheet with the author's name and contact information. Names should not appear on any other page.
Entries must be typed on standard-sized paper and double spaced. Poetry submissions should include 3-4 poems; fiction should be 12-30 pages in length; and drama should be one act or longer.
The entries will be judged by an ad hoc committee of English Department faculty and student members representing Bartleby.
The Barksdale Scholarship was established to pay tribute to Richard K. Barksdale, the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in English literature from Harvard University. Recipients of this award will be UMBC English majors entering their junior year who have at least a 3.2 GPA and who intend to pursue doctoral studies in literature, with some interest in the African-American experience.
The Barksdale Scholarship will consist of $500 per semester in tuition support for the recipient's junior and senior years (unless the candidate is already fully supported) as well as institutional recommendation for graduate study. The Office of Financial Aid will identify qualified candidates; a faculty committee constituted by the Chair of the English Department will make the final selections.
The Ford Scholarship was established in memory of Nick Ford and as a tribute to Ola Ford. Professor Ford received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa and served for many years as Chair of the English Department at Morgan State University.
Recipients of this award will be UMBC English majors entering their junior year who have at least a 3.2 GPA and who intend to pursue doctoral studies in literature, with some interest in the African-American experience.
The Ford Scholarship consists of $500 per semester in tuition support for the recipient's junior and senior years (unless the candidate is already fully supported) as well as institutional recommendation for graduate study. The Office of Financial Aid will identify qualified candidates; a faculty committee constituted by the Chair of the English Department will make the final selections.
Nominations for both scholarships are also invited and should be submitted to the Chair of the English Department by September 30 of each year.
UMBC has many resources available for students seeking help with paper writing and research:
- The Learning Resources Center The Learning Resources Center offers academic support for undergraduate students, including peer tutoring in a range of subjects including writing and math, information on placement testing, and supplemental instruction programs.
- Writing Center The university writing center offers specific help for students writing papers. Tutoring from peers is available on a walk-in basis.
- Library Resources The University Library offers help to students in such areas as citing sources, using library databases, and selecting a research topic.