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  • Writer's pictureAsha Saha

The 411 on ITR: Your Guide to Picking an English Module

March is coming, Western! Along with the slow emergence of Spring and the chugging along of second semester, that means that it’s almost time for ITR.

But wait: what is ITR? It stands for Intent to Register. Basically, it’s your chance to declare your program of study. If you’re a first year, this especially applies to you: having had the chance to try out classes all year, it’s finally time to decide what you’re going to stick with. But if you’re an upper year student who wants to change programs or add/drop a module, you might want to follow along too.

Below, I’ll go through some options to choose from, and then talk about what the process of actually signing up is.

English Modules

Let’s start with the basics: the Major in English Language and Literature. If you’re loving your English classes and want more, the English Major is for you! In a major, you’ll get to take a wide variety of English classes covering different time periods and genres, completing 6.0 credits (which is the equivalent of 12 half-year courses). This is an especially great option if you have another big interest too–you can double major, combining English with basically any other major at Western!

If you’re looking to focus more intently on English, go for the Honours Specialization in English Language and Literature. This program is 9.0 credits, which means that more of your degree will be English-based. It’s a great option for English lovers, especially those who might have grad school in mind.

Finally, for those who are seeking a lower commitment, there’s the Minor in English Language and Literature. It’s only 4.5 credits, while still giving you a wide breadth of what the department has to offer. You should go with this option if you have another larger interest you want to explore more fully and while still adding English as a smaller part of your degree.

Writing Modules

The Minor in Creative Writing is a pretty popular option at Western. It’s 4.0 credits, so much like the Minor in English, it’s best for those who just want a small taste of a few writing courses to complement another program. For creative writing lovers, this will be a useful edition to your degree that allows you to explore many styles and build your skills!

English & Writing Modules

The Honours Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature is for you if you’re into both English and Creative Writing. In this program, you’ll do 6.0 English credits, 4.0 Writing credits, and 1.0 capstone credit. That’s 11.0 credits total, so this is definitely a high-intensity program. But if you love English, writing, and the intersection of the two, it’s for you.

Something important to know if you’re planning to ITR in this module is that it also has a portfolio requirement for admission. More details about the contents of that portfolio and its due date can be found here. The portfolio won’t be due until May-ish, but it’s something to keep in mind as we get closer to the date.

How The Process Works

Luckily, the process is super easy. You can do it within minutes, not even having to leave your home! When the time comes–you’ll get an email–just go to your Student Centre, and look for the form in the Academics section. When the ITR period ends, your selection will be reviewed, and you’ll see your acceptance status in the same place.

There are just a few important things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to make sure that you have the proper prerequisites for the program you want. For most English programs, you need to have taken a first-year English course. If you’re confused about what your requirements are, check out the sites linked below or speak to an academic counsellor.

It’s also important to remember that even though ITRing is a big step, it’s not permanent. You can change your mind later if it turns out that what you chose isn’t right for you. So, even though you should make a thoughtful decision, don’t stress too much!

Where To Go For More Help

Still have questions? The first thing I’d recommend is checking out the department’s site, where all the modules are listed. You can find the Writing Modules here and the English Modules here. You’ll also find info on these pages about what the requirements are to be accepted into each program, so you can make sure you have the necessary prerequisites.

If you’re still conflicted about which option to choose, I also highly, highly recommend speaking with your academic counsellor. If you’re in the Arts faculty, the Arts academic counselling office has drop-in hours on Monday-Thursday from 9:30-12:00 and 1:00-4:00 and Fridays from 9:30-12:00 in University College 2230. There, you’ll find experienced counsellors who can go over your options and help you figure out what’s the best module for you. They also host information sessions from time to time, so keep an eye out for those.

That’s all the info I’ve got for you! Good luck with ITR, and just remember that there’s no wrong answer. Any of these modules would be a great option, so have fun figuring out what you want to pursue!

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