All majors require a first-year English composition course. ENGL 15 (Rhetoric and Composition), ESL 15 (Composition for American Academic Communication II), ENGL 30H (Honors Rhetoric and Composition), or ENGL 137H/CAS 137H (Rhetoric and Civic Life I) all satisfy that requirement.
Initial English composition placement is based on past writing experiences by the student. While some students have SAT or ACT scores to assist in the placement process, many will not. The self-guided assessment in the chart below will be the primary tool for placement in most cases. Final placement may be adjusted after a conversation with an academic adviser. Most students will take ENGL 15. Students with strong writing preparation may choose an honors composition course (ENGL 15 or ENGL 137H/CAS 137H). Students whose experiences and previous course work suggest gaps may need some extra support to be successful in ENGL 15.
Guide to Course Selection to help students choose the most appropriate English composition course
|Questions for Students||ENGL 4, ENGL 15E, or Campus-Specific Options||ENGL 15||ENGL 30H|
|Credits and approaches vary by campus. Some carry *credit toward graduation and others do not—Speak with an adviser||(GWS) Rhetoric and Composition (3 credits)||(GWS) Honors Composition (3 credits)|
|1. What English courses did you take in your junior and senior years of high school?||Fewer than two years of AP or college preparatory English||Two years of AP or college preparatory English||Two years of advanced or AP English|
|2. What type of writing did you do in your high school English classes?||Infrequently wrote essays of more than one paragraph with little feedback from the teacher||Frequently wrote essays of more than one paragraph in length with feedback from the teacher||Frequently wrote essays that required substantial amounts of writing with feedback from the teacher|
|3. What were your grades in English in your junior and senior years of high school?||Mostly C or lower||Mostly between C+ and B-||Mostly B or higher|
|4. To what extent are you familiar with basic writing tasks such as planning, editing, composing, and revising?||I am unfamiliar or not confident with these tasks||I can perform these tasks with a fair degree of competence||I possess the skills needed to perform these tasks with competence|
|5. If you had a job that required writing, how successful were your writing efforts?||Need substantial improvements||Moderately successful to successful||Highly successful|
|6. Do you consider yourself a confident and competent writer?||No||Yes||Very much so|
ENGL 15E meets the composition requirement and carries credit toward graduation. Supplementary courses or preparatory courses may not carry credit toward graduation.
|New SAT-READ Score (2016 or later)||SAT-WR Score (2015 or earlier)||ACT Score||Placement Recommendations|
|680-800||620-800*||26 or more||Schedule ENGL 15 or ENGL 30H. Use the guide above and consult with an adviser.|
|520-679||460-619*||18-25||Schedule ENGL 15.|
|420-519||380-459*||14-17||Schedule ENGL 15, ENGL 15E, or ENGL 4 **. Use the guide above and consult with an adviser.|
|200-419||200-379*||13 and fewer||Schedule ENGL 4 ** or schedule ENGL 15E before scheduling ENGL 15.|
|None||None||None||Use the guide above and consult with an adviser.|
ENGL 4 is not available at all campuses. In place of ENGL 4, University Park students should schedule ENGL 15E (with a mandatory ENGL 5 requirement) or may consider scheduling ENGL 15 and ENGL 5. Students at other campuses should consult with advisers regarding writing options at their campus.