Karolina Wojcik ’21 is on track to be the English Department’s first undergraduate to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts through an accelerated, 5-year, bachelor’s-to-master’s degree program.
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URI’s Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program, ABM, for short, enables students to earn both degrees in five years. It is designed for undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate studies and are ready for advanced-level scholarship. Wojcik is enthusiastic and excited at the prospect. “I feel very supported,” she says. “The English Department has done a phenomenal job of making this possible.”
A senior, Wojcik began taking graduate courses alongside her undergraduate courses this fall. Next year, her entire schedule will be devoted to graduate work. Wojcik, who earned her associate’s degree from the Community College of Rhode Island in 2010, worked in law, politics, and government before enrolling in URI. In her work as a research assistant and as a member of former State Police Superintendent Brendan Doherty’s 2012 congressional campaign, Wojcik developed an interest in the influence of literature on legal writing. “I’d read legal documents and find that they had this relationship to Biblical and Talmudic texts, and I was awed that traces of this beautiful writing existed in modern documents,” Wojcik says.
A range of benefits
In addition to saving time and tuition costs, ABM students can also pursue their own specific academic interests. “The ABM allows me to construct my specialization within English,” Wojcik says. “My particular ABM track, the non-thesis track, allows me to work in-depth with three different faculty members in three different areas of specialization.”
Students in the English program may opt to write a traditional thesis if it better suits their purposes.
The English ABM emphasizes critical reading, thinking, and writing skills in a broad range of canonical and non-canonical texts through course offerings in literary, film, cultural studies, and creative writing—a plus to Wojcik, who gravitates toward deep and thorough examinations of technical aspects of her discipline. “I fell in love with the art of writing of a perfect sentence in English 478: Medieval Authors with Professor Travis Williams, and I knew I needed to pursue writing.”
Wojcik plans to become an English professor. Thus far, Wojcik says her experience at URI has been a rewarding one. “All that I have read has a beautiful relationship with English literature and the humanities.
“I really appreciate the chance to break down texts, make connections, and synthesize what I learn to further complete my understanding.”