Skip navigation

School of Humanities

First-Year Writing and Placement

Page Content


Composition Faculty

First-Year Writing and Placement

Professional Writing and Public Discourse

Eagles Write!


First-year composition classes at Southern Miss are your opportunity to learn more about yourself and the world around you through writing. The first-year writing sequence encourages students to orient themselves as readers, writers, researchers, and thinkers.


First-Year Composition Courses and Descriptions

ENG 100E
Introduction to Composition

(ACT 19 and below)

This is a three-hour writing course designed for students who need more time to engage with the expectations of the writing curriculum and to prepare to successfully transition to ENG 101. This course is required for students who score a 19 or below in the English index of the ACT. The course is offered online for students in fully-online degree programs.

Learn more about ENG 101E, a class that combines the strengths of our expanded composition curriculum into a four-hour course dedicated to providing students with their ENG 101 credit and additional academic support

ENG 101
English Composition One

(ACT 20 and above)

English 101 is Composition I, and it is a required course for all Southern Miss students.  This course aims to introduce students to the strategies, tools, and resources they'll need to become successful writers and communicators in a range of academic, professional, and public settings.  

ENG 102
English Composition Two

(prerequisite:  English 101) 

English 102 is a three-credit, required course for all Southern Miss students. Composition II is designed to help students develop their communication skills, research their ideas, and write effectively. Designed to build upon the strategies for successful writing students learned in English 101, English 102 focuses on persuasive and researched writing. ENG 102 is part of the GEC core requirements.



English Course Placement

 Printable PDF

English compositon placement flowchart


first year writing

first year writing



Appeals Information

If students would like to challenge their placement in ENG 100E, they may sign up for our Writing Placement Assessment (formerly the Challenge Exam). Register here.

If you have any questions, please e-mail us at compositionFREEMississippi.

Fall 2024 Timeline
Date #1:
Deadline to register: June 3rd
Access to readings and prompts: June 5th-12th
Essays due: June 12th

Date #2:
Deadline to register: July 1st
Access to readings and prompts: July 3rd-10th
Essays due: July 10th

Date #3:
Deadline to register: August 1st
Access to readings and prompts: August 3rd-10th
Essays due: August 10th

We invite you not only to reflect on your preparation for college-level writing but also to consult with teachers, advisors, and family members to help you make your decision. Students who are well informed tend to be more successful in their courses.

Students who score below a 24 on the TOEFL writing exam or below a 6.5 on the ITELS writing exam are automatically placed into ENG 100E, but they have the option of appealing placement via the Writing Placement Assessment.

Adult admits who do not have ACT or SAT scores are automatically placed in ENG 100E, but they may appeal placement via the Writing Placement Assessment or a professional appeal process. The professional appeal process requires the student to write an email to the director of composition explaining why the student believes they are prepared for USM’s traditional ENG 101 class and must refer to the course descriptions on the department website as part of these explanations. In addition, the student must submit a writing sample as evidence of writing competency (please note that the writing sample does not need to be academic in nature; it can be any document that illustrates comfort with and proficiency in writing).

A score of 3 will place students out of ENG 101, and a score of 4 or 5 will place them out of both ENG 101 and 102.

For information on CLEP, please email compositionFREEMississippi.

All students seeking to CLEP out of ENG 101 are required to take the CLEP College Composition Modular with the essay provided by CLEP and scored by the college.  The Department of English will accept these submissions from Admissions, review them, and provide a timely response regarding whether or not the  student should receive credit for ENG 101.

To contact Admissions, please call 601-266-5000 or email admissionsFREEMississippi.

Contact Us

School of Humanities

305 Liberal Arts Building (LAB)
118 College Dr. #5037
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Hattiesburg

Campus Map