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Department of English

Graduate Studies

Concentrations and Specializations

Within the M.A. and Ph.D. programs, students may arrange concentrations in American literature, British literature, critical theory, comparative literature, period studies, African American literature, gender studies, film & media, and creative writing. Many courses feature strong theoretical components, and critical theory is a popular concentration for graduate students. The graduate program also offers the following specializations:

student reading

Rhetoric and Composition

Faculty research and interests have made the Rhetoric and Composition Program particularly strong in the areas of contemporary theory, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. Faculty offer courses or act as mentors, conduct research and are professionally active in the field. Students who declare Rhetoric and Composition take 3 required courses--Rhetorical Theory, Composition Research Methods, and a special topics Seminar in Rhetoric, which may be taken more than once for credit. Doctoral students with a declared specialization write a dissertation in the field and are introduced to the profession.

Professional development is strongly encouraged; for example, doctoral students may be required, as part of a course, to submit a proposal to CCCC. To prepare students for all areas of the composition job market, we try to provide a variety of professional experiences: experienced teaching assistants may have the chance to teach a writing course at the 300-level; all students tutor in the campus Writing Center, selected students may be awarded administrative duties in the Writing Center or in the College Writing program.

See course offerings for this specialization at the Writing and Rhetoric website.

M.A. in English and M.L.I.S. Cooperative Program

By proper selection of course work, a student may simultaneously earn the degree of Master of Library and Information Studies and Master of Arts in English.

Admission requirements: All requirements listed for M.L.I.S. and M.A. in English. Applicant must apply to both programs and be accepted by both. The application to each program must indicate English/library and information studies as the field of specialization.

Program requirements: Students must submit individual programs of study for the 42-credit M.L.I.S. program and the 30-credit M.A. in English. The integrated pursuit of the two degrees makes it possible for six credits of appropriately selected course work from one program to serve as electives in the other, and for six credits of course work to be applied in the opposite direction. ENG 510 / ENG 511 and ENG 514 are required. Thus, when planned and taken jointly, the two programs can be completed with a total of 60 credits rather than 72. Students must complete at least 36 credits in librarianship and at least 24 credits in English.

Certificate in Women's Studies

The Women's Studies Program at URI offers an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program informed by advanced feminist scholarship and pedagogical principles, designed to enhance the educational background and career opportunities for matriculated graduate students or nonmatriculated postbaccalaureate students.

The certificate program requires 9 credits of graduate work in any field and 5 credits of WMS courses. (These courses may count towards a graduate degree in a field such as psychology, history, or English. Check with an advisor.)

Matriculated graduate students will take 9 credits of graduate study in their program that focuses on women or gender. The 9 credits may take the form of a course such as Women's History, or a woman writer, or Psychology of Women substantial research focused on women or gender for a course such as Social Psychology, or Special Readings in American History.

Nonmatriculated students may take 9 credits of graduate study in any relevant graduate program or combination of programs (such as communication studies, English, history, human development and family studies, nursing, or psychology), subject to approval by the WMS program director.

Both matriculated and nonmatriculated students will take two WMS graduate level courses to complete the certificate. For further information, contact the director of the Women's Studies Program,, 401.874.5150.