Transfer Students

The English major requirements are all upper-division hours.  The department is happy to give transfer credit for upper division courses taken at other accredited institutions.  Transfer students will have their prior coursework reviewed by the university and secondly by the department.  Often it is possible for the department to give area credit in the program for courses that may not have a close equivalent.  Transfer students should therefore meet with an advisor as soon as possible so that they don’t accidentally take a course they do not need or fail to take a course that they will need.    Transfer advising is generally done by Dr. Ron Kates and by the Liberal Arts Advisors.

Students who are contemplating transferring to MTSU, especially if they are undecided about completing an associate degree before transferring or not, should read the information below and/or contact the Upper Division English office 615-898-2576 or Dr. Ron Kates.

Students expecting to transfer to MTSU to pursue a concentration in teaching English should be particularly conscious of the importance of choosing their courses wisely. We urge community college students in particular to contact us before the beginning of their sophomore year to ensure that they will make the best choices of major and minor courses.  For more information about the licensure requirements, click here.

The Foreign Language Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) -- but not Bachelor of Science (B.S.) -- degree are required to complete six hours (2 classes) at the 2000-level in a foreign language. For some students who did not take foreign language classess in high school and/or who did master the foreign language sufficiently to skip to the 2000 level and/or who choose to take a different language in college than in high school, this requirement often means 12 hours of a foreign language. Since the foreign languages must be taken in different semesters, it is important for B.A. students to start their foreign language requirements as soon as possible. If you know you are going to transfer to MTSU to major in English with a B.A. degree, try to schedule at least two semester of foreign languages before you transfer. If you are a transfer student with junior or higher standing and you haven’t completed six hours of 2000-level foreign language classes, you may choose the B.S. option or schedule language classes so that you don’t get delayed in graduating.

Lower Division versus Upper Division Courses

The university distinguishes between lower-division (1000 and 2000 level) courses and upper-division (3000 and 4000) level courses.  This is a very important distinction.  Students are required to complete a number of courses at each level, and lower-division can never substitute for upper-division. Though course titles may sound similar, the work in a lower-division course at another institution is not considered comparable to the work required in an upper-division course.

Our English major requires 32 to 39 upper-division hours.  Therefore, lower-division courses do not satisfy our major requirements. They are accepted as pre-requisites and electives.

For example, the following courses are not offered at MTSU:

  • ENGL 2110 Survey of American Literature I
  • ENGL 2120 Survey of American Literature II
  • ENGL 2130 Survey of American Literature
  • ENGL 2210 Survey of British Literature I
  • ENGL 2220 Survey of British Literature II
  • ENGL 2230 Survey of British Literature
  • ENGL 2310 Survey of World Literature I
  • ENGL 2320 Survey of World Literature II
  • ENGL 2330 Survey of World Literature
  • ENGL 2410 Survey of Literature of the Western World I
  • ENGL 2420 Survey of Literature of the Western World II
  • ENGL 2430 Survey of Literature of the Western World 

These and similar (2000-level) courses from other institutions all transfer to MTSU as English 2020, “Themes in Literature and Culture,” which satisfies a General Education requirement. If you have more than one of these courses in your transcript, they will count as LD (lower division) elective hours. 

However, because these courses cover material which may partly overlap material with what we offer in more advanced, upper-division courses, we will generally allow substitution for one of our core courses if a student is transferring a corresponding survey course with a grade of B or better.

For example, students who took 2110, 2020 or 2120 may take another upper-division English course instead of English 3030 after meeting with an English advisor who must approve the substitution.  Students who took 2210 might substitute an early British literature course for 3010 and those who took 2220 might substitute a later British literature course for 3020. (Students who took 2230 may substitute either 3010 or 3020 after meeting with their advisors.)  The World Literature lower division courses might also allow the student to substitute a course from outside area 4 for the area 4 requirement (again, with the English advisor’s guidance and approval). In some cases, 2410 or 2420 or 2430 will make it possible for a licensure student to substitute an additional guided elective for the European literature requirement. (This last will be up to the department advisor who may want to see the syllabus for the 2410, 2420 or 2430 course before approving the substitution.) In short, the 2000-level course may not count towards the major, but it may free students to take different classes in the major.

Transferring to a new school can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be stressful.  Our academic advisors are here to help students with the transition. (If you do not know the name of our assigned advisor, call the upper-division office –615-898-2576.) In addition, students enrolled in an upper-division English class at MTSU for the first time may want to talk to their instructors about expectations and/or go to the University Writing Center for help with the first paper.


Instagram Icon   Facebook Icon    LinkedIn

Mailing Address:
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 70
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Main Office: Peck Hall 302

Chair: Dr. Stephen Severn


Telephone: (615) 898-2648