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. Knowledge of literary genres.
  2. Understanding of literature in relation to its historical contexts. 
  3. Familiarity with non-canonical literary and cultural traditions. 
  4. Disciplinary-specific methodological, critical, and theoretical training. 
  5. Critical writing skills in papers of varying length. 
  6. 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:

  • A minimum of 12 courses (36 credit hours) to satisfy the major requirements.
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours outside of major requirements. 
  • A minimum of 8 courses (24 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

Students who are pursuing two majors (i.e., are double majors) and have declared the English major must complete: 

  • A minimum of 10 courses (30 credit hours) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 6 courses (18 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.

Double majors who drop the other major are required to meet the requirements listed for single majors.  

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 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 English (for single majors)36
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in English (for double majors) 130
Total Credit Hours Required for the BA Degree with a Major in English 120

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
English Core
ENGL 200CRITICAL READING AND WRITING3
ENGL 300PRACTICES OF LITERARY STUDY: READING METHODS3
Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 Requirement
Select 3 courses from the Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 Requirement list (see below for course list and additional details regarding the requirement). Courses vary from semester to semester.9
Noncanonical Fields
Select 1 course from the Noncanonical Fields list (see below for course list).3
Capstone Seminar
Select 1 course from the Capstone Seminar list (see below for course list).3
Elective Requirements
Select a total of 5 additional courses from departmental (ENGL) course offerings. 215
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in English (for single majors)36
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in English (for double majors)30
Additional Credit Hours to Complete BA Degree Requirements24-30
University Graduation Requirements *60
Total Credit Hours120

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Please Note: The following lists of approved courses can be used to satisfy the requirements of the major. Specific course offerings will vary from semester to semester. Courses not on the list may be taken upon approval of the department's academic advisor.

Pre-1900 and Pre-1800 Requirement

Students must complete a total of 3 courses (9 credit hours) at the 300-level or above in periods before 1900 (Pre-1800 and/or Pre-1900). Of the 3 courses, 2 courses (6 credit hours) must be from the approved Pre-1800 coursework, but only one may be a Shakespearean course. The third required course may be an additional course from the Pre-1800 coursework or an approved Pre-1900 course.   

Pre-1800
Select 2 (or 3) from the following:6-9
TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL LITERATURE AND/OR CULTURE
MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
MEDIEVAL ROMANCE
MEDIEVAL CULTURES THROUGH FILM
CHAUCER
ARTHURIAN LITERATURE
SHAKESPEARE ON FILM
EARLY SHAKESPEARE
LATE SHAKESPEARE
RENAISSANCE DRAMA
EARLY MODERN LITERATURE
MILTON
ORIGINS OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL
TOPICS IN 18TH CENTURY BRITISH LITERATURE
LITERATURE OF THE BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT
18TH CENTURY BRITISH FICTION
AMERICAN LITERATURE BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR
RENAISSANCE DRAMA
TOPICS IN SHAKESPEARE
18TH CENTURY BRITISH STUDIES
Pre-1900
Select up to 1 from the following:0-3
BRITISH ROMANTICISM
ROMANTICISM IN RUINS
VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
SURVEY OF VICTORIAN FICTION
JANE AUSTEN'S WORLDS
US LITERATURE FROM THE CIVIL WAR TO WWI
VICTORIAN STUDIES
19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN STUDIES

Noncanonical Fields

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

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

Capstone Seminar

Students must complete 1 course (3 credit hours) at the 400-level that is not a creative writing course. Capstone courses cannot simultaneously serve to fulfill another requirement. Students may, however, take additional capstone courses to fulfill the pre-1900, pre-1800, or noncanonical requirements. 

Select 1 from the following:3
SEMINAR FOR MAJORS
RENAISSANCE DRAMA
TOPICS IN SHAKESPEARE
18TH CENTURY BRITISH STUDIES
20TH CENTURY BRITISH STUDIES
EMPIRE AND BRITISH LITERATURE 1700-1950
TOPICS IN RICHARDSON'S CLARISSA
THE GROTESQUE
VICTORIAN STUDIES
TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND ECOLOGY
TOPICS IN ANGLO-AMERICAN/TRANSATLANTIC LITERATURE AND CULTURE
19TH-CENTURY AMERICAN STUDIES
20TH-21ST CENTURY AMERICAN STUDIES
STUDIES IN AMERICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
STUDIES IN AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
STUDIES IN FEMINIST LITERARY THEORY
STUDIES IN LITERARY GENRES
STUDIES IN MODERN LITERATURE
STUDIES IN CRITICAL REGIONALISM
STUDIES IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
QUEER THEORY

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: http://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. 

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

Opportunities for the BA Degree with a Major in English

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 transfer back to Rice and will appear on the Rice transcript as transfer credit. The English department has obtained special transfer credit status for these courses in that the final grades received on the Exeter transcript will be transferred in to Rice and counted in the student’s Rice GPA. The 2 Exeter courses will be articulated as ENGL 325 (2 instances of 3 semester credit hours each) with the remaining hours articulated as general TRAN credit.  With department pre-approval, ENGL 325 may additionally count toward elective and field requirements of the major in the following ways:  

  • The 2 instances of ENGL 325 of 3 semester credit hours each can count as general electives in the English major (as 2 courses at the 300 level), or 
  • The 2 instances of ENGL 325 may be used, depending on their topical focus, to fulfill up to 2 field distribution requirements of the Major (Pre-1800, Pre-1900, or Noncanonical).  

Please refer to the Rice English Department website (http://www.english.rice.edu) for instructions and pre-requisites for applying to the Rice-Exeter program.

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