Course Placement for First-Year Students

Even though Yale College has no formal requirement in English, most first-year students choose to take one or more courses in the English department. Whatever majors they later choose, first-year students need to learn to read analytically and write clearly at the college level. The English department offers a variety of courses that enhance students’ skill and confidence as readers and writers. These courses are taught in seminar-sized groups and are open to students of all interests and backgrounds. All first-year courses except ENGL 123 may be applied toward the Yale College distributional requirement in writing. It should be noted that medical schools encourage, and in many cases require, their applicants to have taken one term or more of English.

Introductory English courses (ENGL 114 through ENGL 130) offer a variety of ways for students to develop their skills as insightful readers and writers. ENGL 114 and ENGL 115 are writing seminars designed for the majority of first-year students to introduce them to college-level critical analysis and modes of academic argumentation. ENGL 120 through ENGL 123 offer writing workshops in a range of creative and nonacademic genres. ENGL 125 through ENGL 130 offer wide-ranging introductions to literature and are designed for first-year students who think they might go on to do advanced work in the humanities at Yale, whether as majors or nonmajors. The foundational courses ENGL 125 through ENGL 128 are especially recommended for students considering a major in English.

For more complete information about introductory English courses and guidelines for placement, see Yale College Programs of Study, English Language and LiteraturePlease note that there is no English placement examination. Details about the registration process are available on the department website. Section descriptions indicating the different topics to be covered in sections of ENGL 114, ENGL 115, and ENGL 121 will be posted on the department website approximately two weeks before the beginning of classes. Students uncertain about which course to take should attend English department advising session or the Academic Fair during First-Year Orientation.
If, after consulting the department website, you have questions about English courses, call 432-2226 or send an email message to Erica Sayers.