Success Maps

English Success Map


All Pillars | All Years
1st Year (0-30 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Explore SMU’s diverse course offerings, while completing the Basic Arts Requirements.

Aim for a B or higher in ENGL 1205: Introduction to Literature.

Develop fundamental knowledge in analysis and critical judgement to use in other courses.

Get a copy of the English Student Handbook.

Need extra help? Visit a peer mentor of the SMarts Advantage Program in room MM214A.

Explore your options for majors and minors by attending the Programs Day across faculties in February.

Register for classes as soon as registration opens. Classes fill early!

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses.

Gather information on Cooperative Education opportunities.

Get information and advising from Department Chairperson on the four enhanced minors in English: Dramatic Literature; Culture, Race, and Resistance; English Language; and British Studies (jointly with History)

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Learn to apply critical thinking processes. Construct and sustain a critical argument, select organizing evidence that supports or contradicts an argument, and analyze diverse evidence.

Develop collaboration and teamwork skills, combining independent thought and group interaction.

Understand and empathize with international, multi-racial, and historical perspectives that shape society.

Interpret human imagination and experience, in relation to creativity and innovation.

Analyze structures and systems of social life and aspects of nature that strengthen information literacy.

Improve your writing skills at the Writing Centre. Get expert feedback and incorporate it into your work.

Develop research skills by navigating online databases and the stacks at the Patrick Power Library. Take a virtual tour.

Build a résumé at a Résumé Seminar, to prepare for internships, scholarships, and summer jobs.

Start your Co-Curricular Record. Document your acquired skills from on- and off-campus activities and volunteer work.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Attend Welcome Week. Make friends. Meet classmates, faculty, and advisors at academic orientation. Attend a session about a culture of safety and respect at Saint Mary's.

Introduce yourself to your professors after class or during office hours.

Attend readings and writers in residence events organized by the English Department.

Visit the Societies Fair. Explore student societies, including those that are culturally-based, before deciding which to join. English majors can consider the English, Drama, Debating, and Film Societies.

Try Speak Up!, a program where international students practice speaking English.

Stay Active. Explore SMUfit, campus sports, exercise, and recreation opportunities.

Apply for a scholarship. There are more than 260 available!

Need help with time management, organizational, or presentation skills? Book an Academic & Life Skills Coaching session.

Learn to budget your money. Attend a Financial Literacy workshop or get advice from Financial Aid and Awards.

Check in with Career Services to start discussing your career goals, related to your program. Experiment with different classes to see what you like.

When facing a personal crisis, get help from the Counselling Centre.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Consider courses with global themes for your electives.

Need a job? Create a HireSMU account to find available jobs.

Not from Halifax? Explore and discover all our cultural opportunities and have fun.

Keep current with local events. Read Pride in Your Shared Neighbourhood newsletter.

Travel while studying after 1st year. Investigate travel options beyond Canada at International Activities.

Obtain or update your passport in preparation for possible international travel.

Not from Canada? Browse Services for International Students for available support.

Attend International Night—an annual banquet showcasing SMU’s many cultures.

2nd Year (30-60 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses:

  • Six (6) credit hours from 2000-level English courses. Consider ENGL 2205: Practical Criticism (aim for a B or higher)
  • Aim to achieve a B or higher in ENGL 2307: Literary Traditions in English. Develop an interest in particular genres or historical periods
  • Electives—see the academic calendar for the list

Turn your talent for performance into action! ENGL 2341 and 2342 (Introduction to Drama I and II) will build your confidence and leadership abilities.

Thinking of changing majors or minors? Attend Programs Day for help.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you have the right courses and to declare your major in this year.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Develop your skeptical mind, learn to doubt and discredit theories, and to investigate and contrast ideologies with rigour and logic.

Polish your skills for reading visual texts, like film and TV, in courses such as ENGL 2313, 2511, or 3512.

Hone your imaginative and creative skills. If you have an aptitude for imagination and the written word, consider a minor in Creative Writing.

ENGL 2205 gives you the critical and analytical tools to understand how literature comes to be and what to look for in a literary text when you analyze it.

Upgrade your writing with one-on-one tutorials at the Writing Centre or through online resources.

Learn advanced researching techniques at the Library.

Update your Co-Curricular Record to keep track of your accomplishments and set new goals.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life


Apply your classroom learning and improve soft skills by joining some student societies.

Become a Teaching Assistant (TA). Hone your time-management and leadership skills, while working with first-year students.

Expand your cultural and literary horizons with courses like ENGL 2315, which will expose you to masterpieces of Western literature, as well as opera, music, and film.

Make campus and community connections at campus reading events or check out the Halifax Public Libraries for readings.

Participate in intramurals. Demonstrate your team skills and character to future employers and admissions officers.

Browse the Scholarship List and modify yourUndergraduate Aid and Awardscover letter to match the criteria. Apply between February and May.

Need more academic support? Contact Personal Counselling or Academic & Life Skills Coaching.

Take the stress out of managing your cash flow, student debt, or budget. Go to SMU’s Financial Literacy programming.

Seek Career Counselling. Explore the core competencies of your major, and career possibilities related to your strengths, interests, and values.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Discover ways to give back to your community, from local to global. Come to the Volunteer Fair held every September, or speak to a Career and Employment Coach at Career Services.

Get involved with activities outside of your major and minor. Employers like well-rounded candidates.

Join (or start!) an English Society. Meet other students who share your passion for an interest in literature and cultural analysis or who write creatively. Try a “Meet Up” in Halifax with other writers, book lovers, or story-tellers.

Use your skills as a volunteer. Write for The Journal, participate with Junior Achievement, or become a reading buddy at the Language Centre.

Build your organization abilities by putting together a film night with critical appreciation afterwards.

Attend a LinkedIn photo shoot and a LinkedIn Seminar with Career Services. Put your best (and most professional) face forward!

Keep your HireSMU Account updated with accurate contact information and most recent résumés.

Consider applying for the Co-op Program at the beginning of 2nd year (30+ credits). Gain work experience over three terms.

Visit the International Activities office for a study-abroad program or an international field study course in 2nd - 4th years.

Explore options for international internships in your area of study.

3rd Year (60-90 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses, as you focus on the chosen program.

  • Nine (9) credit hours from the following ENGL 3000 level courses in the pre-20th century period: ENGL 3331.1(2); 3344.1(2); 3347.1(2); 3348.1(2); 3404.1(2); 3408.1(2); 3409.1(2); 3452. 3458.1(2); 3412.0; 3414.0; 3416.0; 3419.1(2); 3446.1(2); 3447.1(2); 3481.1(2); 3482.1(2); 3483.1(2); 3484.1(2)
  • Nine (9) credit hours in ENGL at the 3000 level that differ from above
  • Electives

Hone analytical skills by connecting the dots between where history and literature meet with courses in Medieval and Renaissance literature (ENGL 3004, 3412, 3444, 3446, and 3447), 18th-century and Romantic literature, and Victorian and 19th-century literature.

Consider minors in Creative Writing, Irish Studies, or Atlantic Canadian Studies.

Expand your horizons: Rethink the world around you through Postcolonial, South African, Black British, Black Atlantic, Indigenous, and World literatures. Consider taking the study-abroad-course "Shakespeare: Theatre and Text" which the English Department organizes in the UK; get advising from the department.

Visit your Academic Advisor to be sure you’re on the right track to meet graduation requirements.

Meet your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair for help with course selection, career advice, certifications, or selecting a thesis supervisor for the Honours Program.

Thinking about graduate school? Contact Career Services for options and admission procedures, and begin planning for applications with your Faculty Mentor/Department Chair.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Become aware of how your critical thinking grows from year to year.

Be more sensitive to language usage.

Bridge literature and the business world with ENGL 2303: Fictions of Finance, exploring some of the most important texts about money and the market, from the 17th century to modern times.

Build your vocabulary with courses like ENGL 3302 and 3303.

Expand your understanding of language. Take a course in Linguistics or Modern Languages.

Expose yourself to new ideas. Study a special topic course about human identity and culture, such as feminism, queer theory, and cultural studies.

Improve your research skills and grades by visiting the Library and using the Research-by-Appointment service for one-on-one help.

Visit the Writing Centre for workshops on Exam Writing & Preparation.

Update your Co-Curricular Record.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Get to know your professors. They are excellent contacts for reference letters. Chat about your future plans for 4th year and beyond.

Attend the Research Expo. Learn from the research and critical analysis of peers and professors. Also, showcase your own research project.

Join campus societies in your field. These provide opportunities to network with the industry and professionals. 

Interested in VASS (Volunteer Arts Senior Student) opportunities? Email to sign up.

Consider a leadership role in English, Drama, or another ratified society on campus.

Interested in law? Participate in the Osgoode Hall Undergraduate National Mooting Competition with the Saint Mary's University Moot Team.

Become a better public speaker by interacting with potential students at the Open Houses.

Apply for a job with the Writing Centre.

Apply for over 200 scholarship and bursary awards.

Focus on summer or internship jobs within your major or career field of interest to gain specific experience and build credentials.

Visit the Career Development Centre for help with tactical job searches, including using social media, information interview, fine-tuning your résumé and cover letter, and practicing interview skills.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend the Halifax Career Fair in September and March. Discover career opportunities and employer expectations.

Let your networks know your major. Seek out potential employers for information and interviews.

Volunteer with Halifax Public LibrariesPathways to Education, or other organizations.

Explore new internships designed to help international graduates gain experience in Nova Scotia.

4th Year (90-120 Credit Hours)
BUILD Knowledge & Expertise

Complete required courses, while transitioning to work or graduate school.

Is it too late to do an Honours degree? Speak to the Department Chair about your idea.

Complete a CAPP Degree Evaluation in Banner.

Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. Discuss SMU graduate opportunities.

Contact your Academic Advisor and Faculty Mentor/Department Chair to ensure you are on track for graduation requirements and post-graduation plan.

Apply to graduate. Fill out an application for graduation form and submit it to the Service Centre. Get your picture taken for the yearbook.

Consider graduate schools or professional programs. Start early and ask your professors and the Writing Centre to review your personal statement, cover letter, and applications.

Request transcripts, if required.

DEVELOP Essential Skills

Writing, critical thinking, and precise and sophisticated analysis of texts. Acquire further in-depth knowledge and command of technical language used in a broad range of professions.

Achieve mastery and grasp in the historical development of culture and literature, and of theoretical nuances required for the analysis of a variety of texts.

Develop abilities to argue and communicate a point at an advanced level confidently, with a distinct personal style of delivery.

Develop a creative and imaginative way of expressing ideas in your own voice, informed by a broad range of cultural and literary references.

Note your increasing ability to make independent aesthetic judgments.

Continue to be flexible in applying advanced analytical, writing, and communication skills in situations that require you to state a critical point and summarize a large body of examples.

Before you graduate, do a final update of your Co-Curricular Record, and request an official copy.

Visit Career Services to prepare to clearly and persuasively articulate all you have learned at Saint Mary’s (in and out of class) to an employer.

PARTICIPATE in Campus Life

Serve as Department Student Rep. Speak to your Department Chair.

Attend the annual Cyril Byrne Memorial Lecture, by a major writer of international standing—just one event by the Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Culture.

Get out there! Organize a group of your peers to watch and critique a play at the Halifax Fringe Theatre Festival, at the Bus Stop Theatre, the Neptune Theatre, and other local theatres.

Enter your best research paper for the Academic Writing Awards.

Get recognized for your involvement in the classroom and in the Saint Mary’s community. Apply for the Student Leadership Award.

Apply for other awards, including the SMUFU scholarship.

Brush up on your Financial Literacy. Receive guidance for a successful and healthy financial future, including student loan repayment.

Your degree can open the door to many types of careers. Use Career Counselling to discover where you want to go and how best to get there.

Plan to attend Career Services’ 4-week Job Search Seminar Series before or after graduation.

CONNECT Locally & Globally

Attend student regional/international conferences, such as Peaceful Schools International or the Student Empowerment Conference.

Be prepared to apply, interview, and network when school begins, to maximize your chance of receiving some job offers before graduation.

In addition to the Halifax Career Fair, attend some career fairs specific to your program. Bring your résumé. Prepare in advance to speak with recruiters and potential employers.

Apply for the Halifax Connector program. Meet with a Halifax professional in a field of your interest.

If you are a co-op student, arrange for your final work term placement early.

Are you an international student interested in staying in Canada and receiving permanent resident status? Contact the International Centre.

Get in contact with the SMU Young Alumni Association to begin your next phase as a Santamarian.

Remember, you have access to Career Services for three years post-graduation. Use these services to help you continue to get the most out of your degree.