Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree with a Major in English

Program Learning Outcomes for the BA Degree with a Major in English

Upon completing the BA degree with a major in English, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Competence in literary analysis.
  2. Understanding of literature in relation to its historical and socio-cultural contexts. 
  3. Disciplinary-specific methodological, critical, and theoretical training. 
  4. Critical writing skills in papers of varying length. 
  5. Disciplinary-specific research knowledge.

Requirements for the BA Degree with a Major in English

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BA degree with a major in English must complete:

Because of the common core requirements, it is possible for students to change their area of specialization at any time, even after initially declaring the major. To do so, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

AP course credit is not permitted to count towards the major. The department recommends that all English majors take courses in British and American history and, if they plan to do graduate work, at least 6 credit hours of upper-level coursework in a foreign language.  

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in English33-36
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in English 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements 1
English Core
ENGL 200GATEWAYS TO LITERARY STUDY3
ENGL 300PRACTICES OF LITERARY STUDY: READING METHODS3
Pre-1900 and Pre-1800
Select 3 courses from Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 courses (see course list below). At least 2 of the 3 selected courses must be in fields designated as Pre-1800. 9
Critical Race, Postcolonial, and Gender Studies Requirement
Select 1 course from Critical Race, Postcolonial, and Gender Studies courses (see course list below).3
Area of Specialization
Select 1 from the following Areas of Specialization (see Areas of Specialization below):9-12
Culture and Social Change
Literature and Literary History
Science, Medicine, and the Environment
Visual and Comparative Media
Senior Seminar and Research Workshop Requirement 2
ENGL 410SENIOR SEMINAR3
ENGL 411RESEARCH WORKSHOP3
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in English33-36
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements24-27
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements 

The following lists of courses can be used to satisfy the requirements of the major when available. Specific course offerings will vary from semester to semester. Courses not on the list may be taken upon approval of the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. Requirements fulfilled by special topics field courses can vary.

Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 Requirement

Students must complete a total of 3 courses (9 credit hours) at the 200-level or above in periods before 1900. Of the 3 courses, 2 courses (6 credit hours) must be from the approved Pre-1800 coursework, but only one may be a Shakespeare course. The third required course may be an additional course from the Pre-1800 coursework or an approved Pre-1900 course.   

Pre-1800
ENGL 210BEGINNINGS: BRITISH LITERATURE TO 18003
ENGL 255THE IDEA OF SHAKESPEARE3
ENGL 311TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE AND/OR CULTURE3
ENGL 312 / MDEM 312OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE3
ENGL 314 / MDEM 319MEDIEVAL ROMANCE3
ENGL 316 / MDEM 316 / SWGS 305CHAUCER3
ENGL 317 / MDEM 317 / SWGS 301ARTHURIAN LITERATURE3
ENGL 320SHAKESPEARE ON FILM3
ENGL 321EARLY SHAKESPEARE3
ENGL 322LATE SHAKESPEARE3
ENGL 323RENAISSANCE DRAMA3
ENGL 326TOPICS IN RENAISSANCE LITERATURE AND CULTURE3
ENGL 328JOHN MILTON: RADICAL THOUGHT THEN AND NOW3
ENGL 330ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL3
ENGL 332LITERATURE OF THE BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT3
ENGL 33318TH CENTURY BRITISH FICTION3
ENGL 360AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR3
ENGL 418STUDIES IN RENAISSANCE DRAMA3
ENGL 419STUDIES IN SHAKESPEARE3
Pre-1900
ENGL 211BRITISH LITERATURE FROM ROMANTICISM TO THE PRESENT3
ENGL 338BRITISH ROMANTICISM3
ENGL 339ROMANTICISM IN RUINS3
ENGL 341VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE3
ENGL 342 / SWGS 372SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION3
ENGL 343 / SWGS 343JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS3
ENGL 361US LITERATURE FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WWI3
ENGL 441VICTORIAN STUDIES3
ENGL 46119TH-CENTURY AMERICAN STUDIES3

Critical Race, Postcolonial, and Gender Studies Requirement

Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) at the 200-level or above that focuses on African American, Chicano/a, Asian American, ethnic, global, postcolonial, diasporic or gender and sexuality studies.

Select 1 course from the following:3
THE WORLD AND SOUTH ASIA
JEWISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE
QUEER LITERARY CULTURES
THE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS OTHERS
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
CHICANO/A LITERATURE
THIRD WORLD LITERATURE
CONTEMPORARY ANGLOPHONE LITERATURES
TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS
FEMINIST THEORY
GLOBAL FICTIONS
BLACK MANHATTAN: 1915-1940
SLAVERY IN 20TH CENTURY FILM AND FICTION
THE BLACK IMAGINARY: 1775-PRESENT
EMPIRE AND BRITISH LITERATURE 1700-1950
STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
FEMINIST STUDIES

Areas of Specialization

Students must complete the requirements as listed for one of the following areas of specialization as offered by the English major. A total of 3 courses (9-12 credit hours, depending on course selection) must be taken in the area of specialization.

Please note: When applicable, students may count one course from Core Requirements (the Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 Requirement or the Critical Race, Postcolonial, and Gender Studies Requirement) toward their chosen area of specialization. Additional coursework would then be required in order to complete a minimum of 11 courses (33-36 credit hours, depending on course selection) to satisfy major requirements. Please see an advisor for more information.

Area of Specialization: Culture and Social Change

To fulfill the remaining English major requirements, students pursuing the Culture and Social Change area of specialization must complete:

  • a minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) from the Culture and Social Change area of specialization
Select 3 from the following:9
THE WORLD AND SOUTH ASIA
JEWISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
INTRODUCTION TO NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE
SCIENCE FICTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT
LITERATURE AND FORENSICS
TOPICS IN LITERARY AND CULTURAL ANALYSIS
VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION
JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS
THE MODERN NOVEL IN BRITAIN
QUEER LITERARY CULTURES
ORIGINS OF THE POSTMODERN
CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM
WRITING ON/WRITING OFF NEW ORLEANS
AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR
US LITERATURE FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WWI
THE US NOVEL POST-WORLD WAR II
MODERN AMERICAN POETRY
AMERICAN POETRY 1960-PRESENT
LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
THE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS OTHERS
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
CHICANO/A LITERATURE
THIRD WORLD LITERATURE
CONTEMPORARY ANGLOPHONE LITERATURES
TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS
FEMINIST THEORY
GLOBAL FICTIONS
TOPICS IN CULTURAL STUDIES
CONTEMPORARY POETRY
BLACK MANHATTAN: 1915-1940
TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
SLAVERY IN 20TH CENTURY FILM AND FICTION
THE BLACK IMAGINARY: 1775-PRESENT
EMPIRE AND BRITISH LITERATURE 1700-1950
STUDIES IN AMERICAN/U.S. LITERATURE AND CULTURE
STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE

Area of Specialization: Literature and Literary History

To fulfill the remaining English major requirements, students pursuing the Literature and Literary History area of specialization must complete:

  • a minimum of 3 courses (9 credit hours) from the Literature and Literary History area of specialization
Select 3 from the following:9
FORMS OF POETRY
BEGINNINGS: BRITISH LITERATURE TO 1800
BRITISH LITERATURE FROM ROMANTICISM TO THE PRESENT
HISTORY OF THE NOVEL
READING POETRY
THE IDEA OF SHAKESPEARE
WHAT IS AMERICAN LITERATURE
INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
ASPECTS OF MODERN LITERATURE
LITERATURE AND RELIGION
TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE AND/OR CULTURE
OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE AND LANGUAGE
MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
CHAUCER
ARTHURIAN LITERATURE
SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
EARLY SHAKESPEARE
LATE SHAKESPEARE
RENAISSANCE DRAMA
STUDY ABROAD: RICE ENGL MAJORS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
TOPICS IN RENAISSANCE LITERATURE AND CULTURE
JOHN MILTON: RADICAL THOUGHT THEN AND NOW
ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL
LITERATURE OF THE BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT
18TH CENTURY BRITISH FICTION
IRISH LITERATURE
BRITISH ROMANTICISM
ROMANTICISM IN RUINS
VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION
JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS
THE MODERN NOVEL IN BRITAIN
MODERN DRAMA
MODERN SHORT STORY: TOWARDS AN ETHICS OF FICTION
MODERNISMS
ORIGINS OF THE POSTMODERN
WRITING ON/WRITING OFF NEW ORLEANS
AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR
US LITERATURE FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WWI
MODERN AMERICAN FICTION
THE US NOVEL POST-WORLD WAR II
MODERN AMERICAN POETRY
AMERICAN POETRY 1960-PRESENT
AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
FILM AND LITERATURE
CONTEMPORARY POETRY
TOPICS IN WOMEN WRITERS
FILM STUDIES
BLACK MANHATTAN: 1915-1940
TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
STUDIES IN RENAISSANCE DRAMA
STUDIES IN SHAKESPEARE
EMPIRE AND BRITISH LITERATURE 1700-1950
THE GROTESQUE
VICTORIAN STUDIES
19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN STUDIES
STUDIES IN AMERICAN/U.S. LITERATURE AND CULTURE
STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
STUDIES IN LITERARY GENRES
STUDIES IN MODERN LITERATURE

Area of Specialization: Science, Medicine, and the Environment

To fulfill the remaining English major requirements, students pursuing the Science, Medicine, and the Environment area of specialization must complete:

  • a minimum of 3 courses (9-10 credit hours, depending on course selection) from the Science, Medicine, and the Environment area of specialization
Select 3 from the following:9-10
LITERATURE AND MEDICINE
MEDICINE AND MEDIA
NONFICTION NATURE WRITING
FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION
CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM
WRITING ON/WRITING OFF NEW ORLEANS
LITERATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
THE AMERICAN WEST AND ITS OTHERS
MEDICAL MEDIA ARTS LAB
STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND ECOLOGY

Area of Specialization: Visual and Comparative Media

To fulfill the remaining English major requirements, students pursuing the Visual and Comparative Media area of specialization must complete:

  • a minimum of 3 courses (9-12 credit hours, depending on course selection) from the Visual and Comparative Media area of specialization
Select 3 from the following:9-12
LITERATURE AND MEDICINE
MEDICINE AND MEDIA
MEDICINE IN THE AGE OF NETWORKED INTELLIGENCE
CLASSICAL AND CONTEMPORARY FILM AND THEORY
SCREENWRITING
PLAYWRITING
INTRODUCTION TO PODCASTING
SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
GRAPHIC NOVEL
MODERN DRAMA
CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM
SURVEY OF AMERICAN FILM AND CULTURE
CINEMA STUDIES
FILM AND LITERATURE
ART AND LITERATURE
AMERICAN INDEPENDENT CINEMA
FILM STUDIES
MEDICAL MEDIA ARTS LAB
MEDIA STUDIES
INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE
SLAVERY IN 20TH CENTURY FILM AND FICTION
STUDIES IN RENAISSANCE DRAMA
THE GROTESQUE

Policies for the BA Degree with a Major in English

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the major in English should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis. 
  • The English department does not award Rice equivalent transfer credit for coursework taken at community colleges, online universities, "for-profit" universities, or two-year colleges. 

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution eligibility is done as part of the new course creation process. As part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution eligibility is reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from English (ENGL) aim to develop students' critical and aesthetic understanding of texts and the arts, lead students to examine ideas and values, and introduce students to the craft of writing as it poses conceptual and intellectual problems. They engage students with works of culture that have intellectual importance by virtue of the ideas that they express, their historical influence, mode of expression, and critical engagement with established cultural assumptions and traditions.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the English website: https://english.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in English

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Study Abroad Program for English Majors at the University of Exeter 

English majors may opt to spend the spring semester of their junior year at the University of Exeter in the U.K. Students planning to do so should complete ENGL 200 and ENGL 300 by the fall semester of their junior year (the semester preceding study abroad). At Exeter, students will take 2 courses or modules (each worth 30 Exeter credits) from Rice’s approved list of Exeter Courses.  

The approved courses taken abroad will be articulated on the Rice transcript as ENGL 325 (two instances of 3 credit hours each) with the remaining credit hours articulated as general TRAN credit. Final Exeter grades will also appear on the Rice transcript and be counted in the student's overall Rice GPA. With pre-approval from the Department, ENGL 325 may additionally count toward major field requirements (Pre-1800, Pre-1900, or Critical Race, Postcolonial, and Gender Studies). 

For more information, please consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in English and the Rice Study Abroad office.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the English website: https://english.rice.edu/.

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this major.