Planning Your Major Curriculum

What requirements do I have left?

You can figure this out by performing a self-audit through the “Self-Service” tab on your myNEU account. The audit will list your core requirements followed by your major requirements. There will be a plus sign (+) beside requirements you have fulfilled and a minus sign (-) beside those that remain. Sometimes transfer students or students who have done Study Abroad will find that courses they have taken aren’t in the system. Those issues can be addressed separately. Sign up for courses you know you need.

View a description of the Northeastern University graduation requirements.

Where can I find descriptions of English classes?

Generic course descriptions are available through Banner, but each semester the English Department publishes detailed information on the courses offered. These descriptions indicate how the instructor teaching the course that semester will teach it, for example, what texts you will read and what requirements you’ll be expected to fulfill. You can find these expanded course descriptions for English courses each semester online.

Should I take ENGW 1111 even though I scored a 4 on the AP test?

If you received an AP score of 4 or 5 in English, you are not required to take ENGW 1111 College Writing. However, the English Department strongly recommends, for several reasons, that English majors take this course. The class is not remedial and covers material that most high school English courses (AP included) do not cover and that the AP test does not measure.  The course is capped at 19 students, likely making it the smallest course you will take as a new student and giving you the opportunity to get to know your instructor and fellow English majors. The instructor will comment extensively on your writing, giving sustained attention to your work that you will not necessarily receive in other classes (especially larger ones). Speak with the Faculty Advisor about whether taking College Writing is the right decision for you.

Should I take English courses in any particular order?

All English courses require as a prerequisite ENGW 1111 College Writing, which you should take during your first semester at NU. The English major is otherwise fairly flexible, meaning that most courses don’t have prerequisites that compel you to move rigidly through the curriculum. However, we recommend that you:

  • Take ENGL 1400 Intro to English Studies and ENGL 2100 Backgroundswithin your first year. These courses lay the foundation for later coursework. First-year students entering in the fall are automatically seeded into ENGL 2100 for the following spring.
  • Fulfill the Advanced Writing in the Disciplines requirement before your senior year. This course teaches writing strategies that will help in your most demanding courses, including the Jr./Sr. Seminar. English majors should take ENGW 3310 Advanced Writing in Literature, ENGW 3309 Advanced Writing in the Humanities, ENGW3311 Advanced Writing for Prelaw, or ENGW3313 Advanced Writing in Education.
  • Take EESH 2000 Professional Development for Co-op at least one semester before you plan to go on co-op. The course is required for students going on co-op but is useful for other students, as it gives you valuable instruction in preparing job application materials. When you are ready to take this course, contact co-op coordinator Lisa Doherty ( to find out which section to register for. The course is one credit and can be taken on top of a full load.
  • Take at least one pre-20th century literary period course before your senior year. Students expecting to find early period courses during their senior year may be disappointed if the one course that fulfills the requirement they need is only offered at the same time as other unfulfilled requirements.
  • Clear up any AP or transfer credit issues and fulfill most of your major requirements before your senior year.
  • Leave your two English electives until your junior or senior year, especially if you plan to study abroad. It’s easier to fulfill electives than other requirements, as any English course that you haven’t used to fulfill another requirement can serve as an elective.
  • Determine how Study Abroad courses will transfer back into the major before you decide on a program and certainly before you travel. The English Faculty Advisor (Prof. Beth Britt, can help you determine which courses will fulfill requirements or electives within the major. Keep in mind that the English department at Northeastern focuses on Anglophonic (i.e., English-speaking) literature, linguistics, and rhetoric, so only courses that could conceivably be offered within our department can transfer back into the major. For example, if you go to Spain and take a class on Cervantes, that course will not transfer back into the English major—even if the course is taught in English and you read and write in English—because Cervantes wrote in Spanish rather than in English. Usually, Study Abroad programs in English-speaking countries (England, Australia, Ireland, Scotland, etc.) offer courses that will transfer back into the major. The American University of Paris also offers Anglophonic literature courses. Familiarize yourself with our summer offerings if you want to fulfill particular requirements during the summer.

How do I transfer an English course if I am an English major?

If you are an English major and would like to transfer an English course other than the required writing courses you have already taken, you should speak to Prof. Beth Britt, Faculty Advisor for Undergraduate Majors. Bring a copy of a transcript documenting the grade you received in the course and a course description or syllabus. Prof.Britt is located in 409 Lake Hall and can be reached by phone at 617-373-5170 or by email at

Can I take a course at another school and transfer it back to Northeastern?

Northeastern does not accept transfer courses from other schools taken after a student has matriculated at Northeastern.