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


Students walking along the GreenwayWelcome to the Department of English, where you will find a major that is both challenging and flexible. We have designed the English major to provide you with a solid foundation in literary history and theory—and to encourage you to pursue your own particular interests in the field.

No two English majors are the same. Within the 36 credits required for an English major, ENG 201 Principles of Literary Study (4 cr.) is the only designated course requirement. You choose the remaining courses from a rich array of offerings, including literature, film, cultural studies, and creative writing.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

The English Department offers majors a wealth of interdisciplinary opportunities. Some examples include:

  • The English Department is actively engaged with several interdisciplinary programs on campus, including Gender and Women’s StudiesAfricana StudiesFilm Media, Comparative Literature, the Honors Program, and the New England Studies Program.
  • English majors with a special interest in rhetoric, other discursive forms of writing, or in the teaching of composition, are encouraged to take courses (or even complete a minor) in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric.  Both the Department of English and the Department of Writing and Rhetoric place a heavy emphasis on writing instruction—the English Department offers creative writing courses and emphasizes writing about literary, cinematic, or other cultural texts, and the Writing and Rhetoric Department emphasizes writing in contexts such as business, science, technology, and electronic environments.
  • Through a generous endowment from Edmund S. and Nathalie Rumowicz, we regularly offer an undergraduate seminar on the Literature of the Sea in collaboration with faculty and students from Marine Affairs and the History Department. The Rumowicz endowment also makes possible a yearly distinguished lecture on Literature of the Sea, and an undergraduate essay contest that draws contestants from disciplines all over the campus.

Double Major in English and Education

The English Department works closely with the URI School of Education to ensure that students who chose a double majors in Secondary Education and English receive the courses they need to become properly certified in English as their content area.

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