Academic Advisors Q&A: Transfer Students

The following are a few questions new students to the university might have as transfer students, with answers from the English department’s academic advisors.

Question: What if my course credits from previous institutions do not transfer as the course they were listed?

Answer:  Do not ignore it. Meet with your advisor to talk about your first-semester registration at UIUC and describe all your previous courses. Your advisor can help recognize what courses from your previous institution can be given credit as a similar course at the university. Once you recognize what courses can transfer with the proper listing, start the stages of articulation. See if the university’s Office of Admission is willing to give you the credit hours, campus-wide, not just for this department. Pursue the course as credit that can satisfy a requirement for English/Creative Writing majors or minors. You may be required to submit the course syllabi from previous institutions to the Office of Articulation. 

Question: I’m a STEM major, am I able to pursue a minor in English or Creative Writing?

Answer: It is possible. Be sure to verify whether any previous coursework could satisfy some requirements in either minor. Currently, the Creative Writing minor is 18 hours, and the English minor is 21 hours. If some General Education courses could be used to fulfill some requirements of the minor, take courses of that nature. Be sure the minor would not overload you, as you may be required to take more classes than you anticipated to be able to graduate at the time you have previously chosen, especially as a transfer student. However, a minor in our department may help break up the STEM courses of your major, for a more balanced college experience. Look at your own timeline, and keep an eye on the endpoint. 

Question: Am I required to have a concentration as an English major? 

Answer: No, however, if you do not declare it, it is already a general English concentration, instead of a concentration on a specific topic. There are multiple concentrations, but there is one broad one called the “English” concentration. If you started your English degree at an institution before your time here in fall 2019, you have the option to do the old version of the major which is a general English major, rather than the revised version available now.

Question: What resources are available to majors in the department, especially those who are not sure what they want to do with their degree?

Answer: Resources such as the Humanities Professional Resource Center, and the Career Center are available. Make an appointment at the HPRC, and/or meet with your advisor. On a similar note, students can also receive more information about networking, internships, and other career services from the HPRC and their advisors. The department also welcomes any feedback on these topics from transfer students. 

Question: What if I do not feel prepared or ready to take certain courses, for fear of being at a different level in the class than other non-transfer students? 

Answer: It is normal to feel like the range of difficulty or style between courses at this university and your previous institutions are different or discouraging. However, remember that you have already been a successful college student before, and it is okay to feel like you are starting a bit from scratch.

Question: What if I feel like I’m running out of time as a transfer student? In other words, I feel more restricted regarding how I structure my semester schedules because I did not start at the university as a freshman. 

Answer: You can certainly create a flexible and balanced schedule, by including some 1-credit electives that fulfill credit hour requirements, after you complete the requirements of the degree you are pursuing. It is important to recognize your own timeline because not every student is required to remain on the same path. 

For any further questions, do not hesitate to stop by the English Advising Office!