Do the Obvious

    Taking these simple actions will help you be successful in classes and maximize your GPA:

    • Buy the required books.
    • Attend every class, arrive on time, and participate fully.
    • For each class session do three things:
      • 1) Read and study all assigned reading.
      • 2) Listen, participate, and take notes in class.
      • 3) Review your notes and the readings after class.
    • Complete assignments ahead of deadlines.
    • Ask questions in class.
    • Develop effective strategies for test preparation. Do not wait until the night before to cram.
    • Make use of Blackboard LEARN, where syllabi, grades, and course material are posted for many classes.
    • Visit your professors during office hours or make an appointment when you need help. If you encounter a crisis or problems that keep you from being successful,contact your professor!
    • Utilize University Resources

        Get writing help at the UTSA Writing Center

      • The Center is located in JPL 2.01.12D, provides tutors that assist with all stages of the writing process from developing ideas to drafting, documenting sources, editing, and revising. Walk-ins are welcome, but advance scheduling will ensure your appointment. Visit or call (210) 458-6086.

        Seek tutoring at the Thomas Rivera Center

      • With several locations on the Main Campus, the Center offers free assistance with building study skills and tutoring in course content. Visit or call (210) 458-4694.

        Get to know your UTSA Library

      • Go to, click on databases, then choose Liberal and Fine Arts. You can search extensive databases like Galenet, LION, Literature Resource, MLA, and JSTOR by author, title, or subject.

        Visit the Office of Disabled Student Services

      • Students with disabilities are encouraged to contact DSS, located in MS 2.03.18, as early as possible. Call (210) 458-4157 or see

        Let Counseling Services help

      • Managing relationships, family, work, and school can be challenging. Do not let stress and anxiety jeopardize your success. Confidential services are available to all enrolled students. For information, visit In a crisis, go to

        Know Your Program

        Familiarize yourself with the English

      • You may want to focus your degree with a Professional Writing Concentration, Creative Writing Concentration, or an English Language Arts and Reading Concentration. Learn the requirements for your degree and track them carefully as you complete them. View requirements at

        Meet your advisor

      • The College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFAAdvising Center is located in MS 4.01.50. Call (210) 458-4900 or visit for answers to frequently asked questions and to read about scheduled and walk-in appointments.

        Take technical writing, editing, and advanced composition courses

      • Such classes will help you improve your writing and market yourself in pursuit of long or short-term employment. See the Schedule of Classes for English for course availability.

        Follow your passion to graduate school at UTSA and other schools

      • As you take courses, stay aware of literary periods, genres, subject areas, and authors you enjoy and want to pursue. Talk to your advisor about how twentieth-century literature, poetry, linguistics, and Shakespeare, for example, can become part of your program and lead you to a focus in graduate work.

        Earn a teaching certificate

      • Advisors and informational seminars are available through the COEHD Advising and Certification Center. For requirements and information visit teacher_certification/.

        Preview courses on Bluebook

      • UTSA faculty post syllabi of upcoming courses on Bluebook, and you also can browse syllabi of courses previously taught. To access Bluebook, go to .

        Aim for Honors and Accolades

        Join the English honor society, Sigma Tau Delta (STD)

      • Visit to read about the benefits of joining this International English Honor Society. For information on UTSA’s Beta Omega chapter or to apply, contact faculty sponsor Dr. Karen Dodwell at or (210) 458-5364.

        Pursue English Department Honors

      • Outstanding students may pursue departmental honors through advanced study and faculty mentorship in upper-division English courses. Read about the requirements at html#honorscoordinator or contact Dr. Crystal Colombini, Honors Coordinator, at

        Apply for the Honors College

      • Honors classes are special sections of regular courses with smaller enrollments and interdisciplinary seminars that bring together advanced students from diverse disciplines. Learn more at about/index.html .

        Apply for scholarships

      • The Department of English offers a variety of excellent scholarship opportunities. Eligible students must be actively pursuing a degree and enrolled full-time (12 hours for undergraduates). The application deadline is February 15. Some scholarships require writing samples and/or letters of recommendation, so plan ahead! For information and applications, visit .

        Present and Get Published

        Submit a paper to the COLFA Spring Conference

      • Held in March, this conference is an excellent professionalization opportunity, and winners are awarded cash prizes. Student papers must be sponsored by a professor. Visit http:// conference.

        Publish in Sagebrush Review

      • The literary journal invites submission of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, art, and photography, and sponsors monthly open mic readings. For information and submission guidelines, go to

        Seek other opportunities

      • Ask your professors about other opportunities to attend conferences and publish your work.

        Gain Valuable Experience

        Work at The Paisano

      • Students can earn valuable skills at UTSA’s award-winning student newspaper in positions including editor-in-chief, managing editor, web editor, news editor, arts editor, sports editor, ads manager, business manager, staff writer, and contributing writer. For information, go to

        Work on Sagebrush Review

      • The literary journal is produced by students at UTSA and provides opportunities in editing, desk-top publishing, publication management, and event production. For more information, go to http://www. .

        Complete an internship

      • Exciting hands-on opportunities in editing, technical writing, journalism, desktop publishing, mass media writing and production, professional writing, creative writing, and more are available through the Department of English. Internships can sometimes lead to employment! Visit or contact Maia Adamina, Internship Coordinator, at

        Study Abroad in Urbino, Italy

      • Students travel with UTSA professors to the ancient city of Urbino and study literature, art, music and drama. The program includes day trips to Rome, Florence, Venice, and more. For more information, visit urbino or contact Bridget Drinka at

        Study Abroad in London

      • The Department of English sponsors a threeweek summer course that includes visits to the Globe Theater, Canterbury Cathedral, the British Museum, and more. For more information visit or contact Dr. Mark Bayer at

        Drama Through Performance

      • Students in ENG 4953 and THR1013/1023 study and engage in the production of dramatic works. Auditions are open to students enrolled in the class. For more information, go to and contact

        Make Connections Beyond the Classroom

        Develop relationships with your professors

      • If you plan to apply for graduate programs, teaching jobs, or other work, you will likely be asked for several letters of recommendation from instructors. Make certain that your teachers know who you are by doing good work, participating in class, visiting during office hours, and being memorable in other positive ways.

        Join a student organization

      • Network with others that share your interests by joining an international student organization, a religious organization, a fraternity or sorority, an athletic club, a language learning club, a GLBTQ organization, a service organization, etc. Browse UTSA student organizations at

        Attend the UTSA Creative Writing Reading Series

      • Network with writers and literary people at this series, which brings distinguished poets and fiction writers to campus in the fall and spring semesters. Look for flyers announcing events at the Department of English office and online on the Department website:

        Attend the Actors from the London Stage performance

      • The actors are in residence for a week in the fall semester, visiting classrooms and performing a Shakespearean play on a UTSA stage. For more information and to buy tickets online, go to

        Attend the Brackenridge Lectures

      • Each spring the Department of English brings a distinguished scholar to campus as a visiting lecturer. Look for flyers announcing lectures and events open to students and the public.

        Participate in “Name that Author”

      • Generous cash prizes are awarded for correct answers to questions about literary authors, texts, and history. Look for flyers announcing the event in the fall semester, or contact Dr. Steven Kellman at

        Participate in “It Could Be Verse”

      • English students, faculty, and staff spend an evening reading their favorite poems. Look for the flyers announcing the event in the spring semester. For more information, contact Dr. Wendy Barker at or Dr. Steven Kellman at

        Familiarize yourself with the Women’s Studies Institute

      • Each spring the Institute sponsors Women’s History Month and offers a variety of lectures, films, panel discussions, readings, etc. The Institute provides a variety of programs that will expand your scholarly pursuits and connect you with like-minded scholars. Visit womens-studies/.

        Attend the African American Studies Symposium

      • The College of Education and Human Development annually hosts speakers and panel discussions on African American roles in higher education and business; pedagogy and multiculturalism; Black history; and racial identity. The program is free, but registration is required. See

        Stay tuned!

      • Keep an eye out for announcements of other exciting events hosted by English and other departments such as art history, communications, modern languages and literature, philosophy and classics, psychology, and sociology.

        Prepare for the Next Step!

        Create a portfolio of writing samples

      • Frequently students are asked for samples of their writing when applying for graduate school or positions as writers. Collect your best class papers, including literary analyses, research papers, technical documents, and creative fiction and nonfiction. If your work is published in a journal or newspaper, be certain to keep copies.

        Plan in advance to meet requirements for UTSA’s graduate program in English and other programs

      • If you are considering UTSA’s graduate program in English, note the requirements for undergraduate work. The M.A. in English requires at least 18 semester credit hours of post-freshman English coursework (12 of which must be in upper-division literature courses) and a GPA of 3.3 in all upper-division and graduate-level English coursework. Other programs may have similar specific requirements, so plan ahead.

        Know application requirements and deadlines

      • Also learn in advance about application deadlines and special requirements such as writing samples, Graduate Record Exam (GRE), letters of recommendation, financial aid documentation, etc. If you are applying to more than one place, create a system for managing your application process. Allow a minimum of two weeks for requesting letters of recommendation.

        Prepare for and take the appropriate admissions tests

      • English graduate programs often require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)—either the general test, which features questions on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing, and/or the subject test in literature, which features questions on literary analysis, identification, cultural and historical context, and literary criticism. Law schools require the LSAT and business schools the GMAT. Search online to find out about preparatory programs, testing dates, and other information.

        Apply to the African American Literatures and Cultures Institute

      • The Institute provides mentoring and academic training for undergraduate students interested in becoming professors of African American literature and cultural studies. Stipends are provided for the rigorous summer program. Applicants must be juniors with another year of undergraduate studies ahead of them. For information contact Dr. Joycelyn Moody at (210) 458-6857 or

        Take advantage of Law School preparation opportunities

      • Students interested in attending law school can attend the UTSA Summer Law School Preparation Academy (SLSPA), sponsored by the Institute for Law and Public Affairs. Contact Ana Alvarez, Assistant Director, for more information: (210) 458-2992 or Prelaw advising is also available; contact or call (210) 458-2990.

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