Preparing to Transfer
Transfer students make up over two-thirds of English majors, and English major transfer students have one of the highest graduation rates on campus. If you are considering transferring to Cal State L.A. as an English major, use the information on this page to help you plan. You will also find links to resources available through the College of Arts and Letters advisement center and the university's advisement services.
The New Semester-Based Degree Program
Starting in Fall 2016, Cal State L.A. is converting to semesters, so if you are considering transferring to Cal State L.A. as an English major, you should familiarize yourself with the new semester-based undergraduate degree programs. Briefly, the semester-based undergraduate degree program in English offers two options: the General Option for general studies in language, literature, and culture; and the Single Subject Credential Option for prospective teachers. Both programs consist of an intensive introductory seminar (ENGL 2900), and a core of six junior-level surveys of the primary components of English studies: language, theory, and literature. Both programs culminate in a senior-level seminar and a senior capstone activity. These core courses are common to both options and total 25 semester units (eight three-unit courses and one one-unit capstone activity). In addition to this common core, Single Subject Credential Option students complete four three-unit courses that satisfy state credentialing standards. The remaining units (24 for General Option students and 12 for Single Subject Credential Option students) are available for electives and General Option students are encouraged to shape their studies by concentrating their electives in one of the predefined focus areas.
Planning to Transfer
Students planning to transfer to Cal State L.A. as English majors should complete as much of their lower division general education coursework as possible prior to transferring. Prospective English majors should complete their CSU GE A2 written communication course and should strongly consider taking a composition and critical thinking course to satisfy the CSU GE A3 critical thinking requirement. At community colleges, the CSU's general education critical thinking requirement can often be met by taking a variety of courses. Prospective English majors should take a writing course to satisfy the critical thinking requirement. At most community colleges, such courses will have the terms "composition" and "critical thinking" in their course titles.
Besides taking English courses to satisfy the CSU GE A2 written communication requirement and the CSU GE A3 critical thinking requirement, prospective Cal State L.A. English majors should consider taking at least two courses in literature beyond courses used to meet the writing requirements (CSU GE A2 or A3). As noted above, both the General Option and the Single Subject Credential Option permit electives (eight for General Option students and four for Single Subject Credential Option students). Two of the English electives can be courses at the 2000-level (the sophomore level at Cal State L.A.). Courses in literature taken at the community college can be transferred in as electives, subject to departmental adviser review and approval. Prospective Cal State L.A. English majors can, of course, take more than two introductory courses in literature and are encouraged to do so, but only two can be counted towards satisfying degree requirements in English.
A Note about Core Classes
Both degree options in English at Cal State L.A. consist almost entirely of upper division courses. Besides introductory writing courses, the only lower division course in the program is ENGL 2900, English Tutorial. This unique course is structured as a semester long engagement with a single text (or a handful of related texts) and serves as an introduction to the ways of thinking, reading, and writing that define studies in language, literature, and culture. The course is modeled after the small tutorials found at Oxford and Cambridge, where a small number of students meet regularly with faculty. Though a lower division course, there is no comparable course available at community colleges. ENGL 2900 at Cal State L.A. is a unique and signature experience that defines our students' undergraduate experience. Incoming transfer students should expect to take ENGL 2900 in their first term at Cal State L.A.
Both degree options also require students to complete six Core Readings courses: Readings on the English Language (ENGL 3100); Readings in Theory (ENGL 3200); Readings in Ancient World and Medieval English Literatures (ENGL 3300); Readings in British Literature: Renaissance to Modern (ENGL 3400); Readings in American Literature(s) (ENGL 3600); and Readings in Modern and Contemporary World Literatures (ENGL 3700). Incoming transfer students should expect to take all six Core Readings courses at Cal State L.A. Lower division courses taken at a community college cannot be substituted for this upper division coursework.
Prospective Transfer Student Checklist
- Complete as much lower division GE as possible, especially
- CSU GE A2 Written Communication
- CSU GE A3 Critical Thinking (by completing a composition and critical thinking course)
- Complete at least two literature classes at the community college (these can be transferred in as electives)
- Consider taking additional English courses, but only two beyond those satisfying CSU GE A2 and GE A3 will be eligible for consideration as part of a Cal State L.A. English degree program