A Guide to Advising for English Majors

Your Advisor

You will be assigned an advisor when you declare English as your major, but you are welcome to change your advisor at any time. There are two ways to change your advisor. If you have a specific professor in mind, ask him or her whether he or she would be willing to work as your advisor. Or, you can ask one of the department secretaries to assign you a new advisor.

Peer Advisors

When you’re assigned your advisor, you will also be given the name and contact information of one of the department’s Student Advisory Committee members. The members of this group are experienced English majors who will be happy to discuss the major with you from their own perspective as students. In general the Student Advisory Committee helps with the recruitment of English majors and serves as a consulting group for the faculty. You are welcome to join this committee; invitations go out each year early in the fall semester. The names and email addresses of all students on the committee are also online.

If your advisor goes on leave

If in a given semester your advisor is on leave from Villanova, the department will assign you a temporary advisor. Or, you can ask a professor you already know to advise you for the semester in question.

Consulting your advisor

Feel free to consult with your advisor whenever questions about the major arise--or even when you desire more casual conversation about literature and life. But it is still your responsibility to map out your classes and stay on course for completing the major. Try to do this work in advance of meeting with your advisor to discuss registration plans.

Double majors

If you have a double major, make sure that you have been assigned a separate advisor for each major. You need to satisfy all of the requirements for one major but only the major requirements for the second major. In other words, the CAPP for one of the majors has to have everything met. For the other major, as long as the major requirements are met, you're fine. To give an example:

  • Say that you have a double major in English and Communication, and that while your Communication CAPP is complete, the Fine Arts slot on that CAPP is filled by an English course that you need for your English major.  In that case, your English CAPP will say that your Fine Arts requirement is Not Met, because your Fine Arts course is otherwise occupied.  But that won’t matter: since your Communication CAPP is complete, you don't need to fill the Fine Arts slot on your English CAPP.

Specialized Advisors

The English department has a number of specialized advisors:

  • The department's advisor for internships is Prof. Jody Ross.
  • The department’s advisor for careers in business is Prof. Charles Cherry, who has extensive experience consulting with businesses.
  • The department’s advisor for graduate school applications is Prof. Kamran Javadizadeh. If you are thinking about going on to graduate school in literature, you should speak to him early. He can help you plan a suitable program of courses to prepare you for graduate study. Later, he can also help you in deciding where, when, and how to apply.
  • Career Services has a particular career counselor who specializes in helping Arts students, Sheila Doherty (x9-4062).

Other useful information


The English department webpage is a good source of information about the major, as is our blog. You’ll probably find answers to most of your questions about the major on the webpage.

Course Planning Chart

Take advantage of the English department’s Course Planning Chart to keep track of the requirements you have fulfilled and still need to fulfill. The chart is available through the department’s webpage, through your advisor, and at the department’s office.


As an English major, you have the opportunity to design a track for yourself. A track allows you to give focus to your major by concentrating on a specific literary area, genre, or topic. See the Tracks webpage for more information.

Teaching Assistantships

As an English major, you can serve as a teaching assistant when you are a senior. You receive three credits for a teaching assistantship, and the course counts as an elective towards fulfilling the major. See the Teaching Assistantships webpage for more information.


As an English major, you can receive credit for a variety of internships. All students interested in internships must apply through the Internship Office (SAC 107; 610-519-4232).

Study Abroad

Questions about studying abroad should be directed to the Office of International Studies. You might want to discuss your choice of courses for your study abroad with your advisor.


  • To be considered full-time, students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester. Taking fewer than 12 may affect financial aid or scholarships. (Taking fewer than 15 credits may affect graduation, since a standard schedule is 5 courses of at least 3 credits. Summer courses, AP credits, and overloads can offset semesters with fewer than 5 courses.).
  • The normal course load each semester for full-time students is five courses of three credits or more excluding labs. In order to take an overload, a student must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, or have achieved senior status and need a sixth course to fulfill graduation requirements. 
  • Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the Arts College will be allowed to take a sixth course (up to 19 credits hours per semester) without any paperwork. But such students will be allowed to register for only 17 credits during the initial pre-registration period. After all students have had the opportunity to register for five courses, credit limits will be raised by the Registrar, and students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be allowed to register for a sixth course through NOVASIS using their semester PIN.