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Questions Transfer Students Frequently Ask Concerning English (ENGL) Writing Placement at NDSU

1.     I have not yet completed my first year English for my general education requirements.  Under what circumstances should I go directly into ENGL 120?

  • You scored above an 18 on your ACT English subscore, between 77 and 100 on the COMPASS text, or a 430 or above on your SAT writing score (if no ACT score is available).
  • You received college transfer credit for an ENGL 110-equivalent.
  • You scored 50 or higher on the CLEP Freshman College Composition exam.
  • You scored 3 (or higher) on the AP English Language and Composition Exam or a 4 (or higher) on the English Literature and Composition Exam. (For more information see www.ndsu.edu/registrar (click on "Credit by Exam").

In each of the above cases, we recommend you register for ENGL 120.  In the first case, which is based upon your ACT or SAT score, you will receive credit for ENGL 110 upon completion of ENGL 120 with a grade of C or higher.  In the last three cases, you will have already received credit for ENGL 110 once your scores have been sent to the Office of Registration and Records.

2.     I completed a 36-credit (or higher) general education core from another regionally-accredited institution.  Do I still need to take a 300-level writing class?

Yes. In most majors, a 300-level writing class is a requirement for graduation.  But in addition, it is an upper-level general education requirement and is not covered by the articulation agreement through which your lower-level general education courses were accepted in transfer.

In the event you have already earned a previous baccalaureate degree, you will still need to take a 300-level writing class if it is a requirement for your program of study and you have not already earned credit from NDSU or elsewhere for the required course (or its equivalent).

3.     I transferred in a 300-level writing class that received general education credit, but it is not the right one for my major. Is there anything I can do?

Maybe.  This is a question for your advisor and your department.  Your department may assist you through their process for substituting a course.  Not all departments have such a process.

4.     At my previous university, I was placed directly into a course like ENGL 120. I completed that course with a grade of a C or better, but NDSU policy does not allow me to receive credit for ENGL 110, so I am 3 credits short for my general education writing.  What are my options?

The reason you have not received automatic credit for ENGL 110 is that this would violate NDSU's policy concerning institutional credit.  However, you may receive credit for ENGL 110 upon completion, with a grade of C or better, of an upper-division (300-level) writing course that is approved for General Education.  If you do not receive a minimum grade of C in your upper-division writing course, you will not receive automatic credit for ENGL 110. Your options in this case would include the following:

  • Enroll in and satisfactorily complete ENGL 110.
  • Retake your upper-division writing course, or take a different upper-division writing course, and earn a grade of C or better. 
  • Take the CLEP Freshman College Composition exam and score 50 or higher.

Note:  Some programs require a grade of C or better in order to satisfy graduation requirements.

5.     I'm transferring in as a sophomore and have completed ENGL 110 and 120. Why can't I register for my English 300-level writing class now?

The 300-level writing classes require junior standing (at least 60 cumulative credits).  This is so you will be prepared to undertake writing and research in your major.

6.     As a returning NDSU student, I do not have a recent ACT or SAT score available, but I have not taken ENGL 110 or 120.  How should I be placed?

      You will be placed into ENGL 110 unless:

  • You go to the NDSU Testing Center, located in the NDSU Counseling and Disability Services, pay the fee ($10), take the COMPASS test and score 77 or higher. 
  • You go to the NDSU Testing Center, located in the NDSU Counseling and Disability Services, pay the fee (currently $80), and score 50 or higher on the CLEP test.
  • You contact the English Department for information about a placement process (PDF) that analyzes a sample of your writing (contact at bottom of this page).  Placement into ENGL 120 may be granted to non-traditional students with extensive workplace or other writing experience or transfer students with extensive academic writing experience, but will only be granted based on actual writing samples. Once placed in ENGL 120, you will still need to complete the course with a grade of C or higher to receive credit for ENGL 110.

If you are uncertain about your writing, about your ability to undertake academic research, or simply would like more help developing academic skills as you return to the university, you may self-place into ENGL 110. 

Note: Students who return to NDSU after a leave of one or more years are subject to the new curricular requirements in place for the semester of readmission, including general education requirements.

7.    I am a transfer student who received 110 credit for a course I took elsewhere. Do I have to take 120?

Yes. You will need to take 120 as a prerequisite for your 300-level course. There is one other option for students who transfer as juniors or seniors: you could appeal to take two 300-level writing courses instead of 120 and a 300-level course to allow you to focus more deeply on writing in your discipline.

 8. I'm an international student who has not taken the ACT or SAT exam.  Under what circumstances should I be placed in ENGL 120 or ENG 122 (for non-native English speaking students)?

  • You go to the NDSU Testing Center, located in the NDSU Counseling and Disability Services, pay the fee ($10), take the COMPASS test and score 77 or higher. 
  • You received credit for the transfer equivalent of ENGL 110 or 112. 
  • You earned a total score of at least 90 with a writing score of at least 25 on the Internet Based TOEFL Test (IBT).
  • You scored 50 or higher on the CLEP test.

If you are a non-native speaker of English, we strongly encourage you to take ENGL112/122, the sequence especially designed for your writing needs.  International students for whom English is their first language will probably prefer the ENGL 110/120 course sequence designed for native speakers.

8.     I'm an international student whose situation doesn't fall under the above circumstances. I don't feel ENGL 110 (112) is right for me because I have especially strong writing skills.  Are there other options?

Yes, you have two options:

  • You may contact the English Department for information about a placement process (PDF)that analyzes a sample of your writing (contact at bottom of this page).  Placement into ENGL 120 may be granted to native speaking international students with extensive workplace or academic writing experience, but will only be granted based on actual writing samples. Once placed in ENGL 120, you will still need to complete the course with a grade of C or higher to receive credit for ENGL 110.
  • You may go to the NDSU Testing Center, located in the NDSU Counseling and Disability Services, pay the fee (currently $80), and score 50 or higher on the CLEP test.

If you have already taken the transfer equivalent of both ENGL 110 and 120, your upper-division writing course may be taken once you achieve junior status.

If you do not qualify for ENGL 120 placement through an above means, are uncertain about your writing or about your ability to undertake academic research, or simply would like more help developing academic skills as you return to the university, you may enroll in ENGL 110. 

 

Do you have more questions? Here are the people to contact:

For questions about first-year writing, contact Dr. Emily Wicktor

For questions about upper-division writing, contact Dr. Andrew Mara

6/7/12


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Published by the NDSU Dept. of English

Last Updated: Friday, March 08, 2013 12:25:35 PM