department of english

114 Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

Main Office: 401.874.5931 - Graduate Office: 401.874.4663

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B.A. in English


The undergraduate English major, designed to be both challenging and flexible, provides students with a solid foundation in literary history and theory and the opportunity to pursue individual interests.

  • Within the 120 credits required for the Bachelor of Arts degree, English majors take from 36 to 52 credits in English, depending on their choices, and whether they want to double major or include a minor and/or internships in their program of study.
  • At least 20 credits of the English major must be completed at the 300-level or above. A good option for most English majors is to take more than five courses in English at the 300- and 400-levels.

Curriculum Worksheets | Current Courses | Learning Outcomes

English B.A. Curriculum

ENG 201 Principles of Literary Study
Students majoring in English are required to take the core methodology course ENG 201 Principles of Literary Study in the first or second year. ENG 201 is an introduction to the study of literature through reading and discussion of major methodologies, analytical approaches, and perspectives in literary study. It is available only to declared English majors.

Historical Periods
The English major is designed so that students will explore the the major periods of literature in English. You will take at least one course in each of the five historical periods as listed below. The following courses fulfill these historical period requirements:

  • Pre-1500: ENG 251 British Literature I; ENG 367 The Epic; ENG 368 The Bible; ENG 381 Topics in Medieval Literature; ENG 478 Medieval Authors.
  • 1500-1660: ENG 251 British Literature I; ENG 280 Introduction to Shakespeare; ENG 345 Topics in American Colonial Literatures; ENG 382 Topics in Renaissance Literature; ENG 472 Shakespeare; ENG 479 Renaissance Authors.
  • 1660-1800: ENG 241 U.S. Literature I; ENG 251 British Literature I; ENG 345 Topics in American Colonial Literatures; ENG 374 British Literature: 1660-1800; ENG 377 Topics in Romanticism; ENG 480 British restoration and Enlightenment Authors; ENG 482 American Enlightenment Authors.
  • 1800-1900: ENG 241 U.S. Literature I; ENG 242 U.S. Literature II; ENG 252 British Literature II; ENG 347 Antebellum U.S. Literature and Culture; ENG 348 U.S. Literature and Culture from 1865 to 1914; ENG 376 Topics in Victorian Literature and Culture; ENG 377 Topics in Romanticism; ENG 448 Traditions of the Novel in the Americas; ENG 486 British Authors: 19th Century.
  • 1900-present: ENG 242 U.S. Literature II; ENG 248 African-American Literature from 1900 to the Present; ENG 252 British Literature II; ENG 317 Contemporary Women Novelists of the Americas; ENG 348 U.S. Literature and Culture from 1865 to 1914; ENG 362 African-American Literary Genres (Other than Short Story and Novel); ENG 363 African-American Fiction; ENG 364 Contemporary African Literature; ENG 378 Aspects of Postmodernism; ENG 379 Contemporary Literature; ENG 383 Modernist Literature, 1900-1945; ENG 387 Foundational Texts in Modern Gay and Lesbian Culture; ENG 485 U.S. Authors After 1900.

Other courses may be available for historical period coverage. Consult current course descriptions and see your advisor for a curriculum modification.

Choose 12 additional credits of electives (200-level and above) from among the department’s offerings.

  • Please note: English majors cannot take ENG courses toward the satisfaction of the General Education requirements in the Literature or Letters categories. You may take approved General Education courses cross-listed with English (such as ENG/AAF 248 or ENG/CLS 160) or appropriate courses in other departments. This restriction does not pertain to most double majors (please check with an advisor to be sure of your status).


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