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Department of English

Why Literary, Cultural, and Media Studies Now?

Pursuing English as a Major, Minor, or Elective in Your Undergraduate Career and Beyond

English is a Way to Exist Responsibly in the World

  • Through reading, learn to understand the world, not just consume it.
  • Through writing, learn to create the world, not just communicate within it.
  • Through thinking critically, learn to listen and respond, not just react to the world.
  • The English major is the best place to learn how to read, write, speak, and think well.

English is About Mastering the One Thing We All Have in Common: Language

  • Explore the frontiers of language and thought.
  • Gain expertise in the language by studying the experts who came before you.
  • Develop your curiosity, intellect, and imagination through scholarly, critical, and creative writing.
  • Learn how to read both literary texts and the world of signs, which includes Facebook, Shakespeare, the World Bank, and YOU.
  • Enjoy unique Internship possibilities (including work with the major literary journal, Barrow Street); the chance to meet visiting writers and scholars from across the country and across the world in the Read/Write series; courses in "Literature of the Sea" and related public lectures made possible by the Rumowicz Literature of the Sea endowment; end of semester public literary readings of your own work; submission of your critical writing to our yearly awards competitions; participation in the Ocean State Summer Writers conference; film series, and course-related trips.

English Features a Distinguished Faculty

  • Our faculty are dedicated teachers who have won various Teaching Excellence Awards, including URI's Foundation Teaching Excellence Award, Outreach Award, Graduate Mentor, and Research Awards.
  • Our faculty are experts in their fields who enjoy national and international recognition for their distinguished books, articles, editions, and journal issues.
  • Our faculty have garnered recognition from prestigious institutions and programs such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Fulbright Program, PEN/America, The Newberry Library, Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, The Keats-Shelley Association, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Studies, Teachers and Writers Collaborative, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.
  • Our faculty bring an international purview to their teaching, having also taught in Russia, Poland, England, France, Canada, South Africa, Italy, and Israel.

English Provides a Return on Your Investment

  • Our faculty provide one-on-one guidance and mentorship to their students, shepherding them through our program and into some of the finest advanced degree programs in the country while also making them aware of professional, cultural, and creative opportunities outside of the classroom.
  • English makes you creative, innovative, imaginative, reflective, and adventurous, in other words-employable.
  • Double major with the assurance that English is indispensable for successful work in any other discipline.
  • We offer a world class education at state university prices.

English Provides You With a Self-Directed Future

  • English makes you mobile and adaptable in a demanding workplace that values versatility and dynamism during a life that will likely include several careers.
  • Our students discover literary study as a complement to other disciplines in the natural and applied sciences, philosophy, business, and engineering.
  • Our graduates go on to complete MA, MFA, MBA, PhD, JD, and MD degrees in the most competitive programs in the country (including, recently, Indiana University, Brown University, New York University, Miami University, SUNY/Buffalo, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, Rutgers University, Harvard University, Hunter College, and Sarah Lawrence College).
  • URI's English Department helps train New England's future elementary and secondary education teachers.