The Department of English offers minors and immersions that embrace technology and promote lifelong learning. You will gain skills in writing, textual analysis, language analytics, creative production, and digital culture. Our faculty work to inspire “thinkers” and “tinkerers” who develop into responsible communicators capable of adjusting to the rapidly transforming social environment and global society. The department offers a wide variety of courses, from creative writing workshops in world building and poetry, to analyzing literature by authors from around the world, to advancing language science and natural language processing that is used in top technologies such as voice-enabled smart speakers and phones.
Minors: creative writing, digital literature and comparative media, English, and language science
Immersions: creative writing, digital literature and comparative media, English, human language technology and computational linguistics, and language science
There are several unique classes being offered in the spring across RIT's colleges. While some of the classes are for specific majors or require prerequisite classes, some of the courses are being offered as general education classes.
When Carla Stebbins redesigned the health systems management MS degree, she included a culminating travel course in Sweden for her students to observe a different approach to health care. Stebbins, program director, built the online hybrid program to educate health care leaders to navigate a quickly changing field and widen their perspective. Even though COVID-19 canceled the trip, Stebbins found a solution
A series of creative writing courses offers students a practical, theoretical, and historical understanding of the art and craft of writing nonfiction, fiction prose, and poetry, as well as experimenting in digital storytelling and interactive media. The immersion encourages students to use these skills and insights for interdisciplinary projects and the enrichment of their careers and personal lives.
The creative writing courses offers students a practical, theoretical, and historical understanding of the art and craft of writing nonfiction and fiction prose and poetry, as well as experimenting in digital storytelling and interactive media. The minor encourages students to use those skills and insights for interdisciplinary projects and the enrichment of their careers and personal lives.
We encounter digital texts and codes every time we use a smart phone, launch an app, or interact online. This immersion explores innovative and evolving questions and practices of text and code in literature, creative writing, and interactive media. It invites students to explore the social, cultural, and technological significance of text, code, and their interrelations.
The courses in the digital literatures and comparative media minor challenge students to think about how the digital in new comparative media affects the way we read, study, and understand literature: What happens to literature and the literary in an age of digital technology and new forms of media? Courses examine a varied collection of print genres and electronic literature in order to understand the current state of this new literary field and its relation to traditional concepts of literary study. The minor provides an entry point into investigating particular aspects of the general category of the digital and its comparative relation to the literary.
Study literature and other cultural works, as well as linguistics, and creative writing. The immersion is flexible in order to accommodate student interest in areas such as specific literary historical periods or geographic areas, multimedia and the visual arts, or literary genres and forms such as science fiction, the novel, the short story, poetry. Courses in the immersion emphasize the ability to read literature and other mediums analytically and write critically.
Explore literature and other cultural works, as well as linguistics, and creative writing. The minor familiarizes students with works composed or translated into English and provides them with the opportunity to explore a variety of historical periods and geographical regions. Courses in the minor explore literary genres such as science fiction and fantasy; literary forms such as the novel, the short story, poetry, and graphic storytelling; and literary practices across media and multimedia arts. The minor builds an awareness of methods, theories and technologies for both the creation and analysis of literary texts, and provides an introduction to critical or creative writing.
The human language technology and computational linguistics immersion provides exposure to computational linguistics and relevant language science course work. Students gain knowledge and practical skills in computational natural language processing and technical linguistic analysis, useful for analytics and modeling with language data and for developing, evaluating, and maintaining language technology software.
The language science immersion prepares students in the interdisciplinary scientific study and analysis of human language. Language science is directly applicable to students interested in computing and media, human-computer interaction, brain and cognition, language acquisition, human health, interpreting, relevant branches of engineering, and policy studies. Students can complete the immersion irrespective of their skills in languages other than English. Besides a core course on linguistic principles, students choose electives covering the technology of language, philosophy of language, and language in culture and society. Electives allow students to customize the immersion to their interests and needs, with the support of a faculty adviser.
The language science minor prepares students for the study and analysis of human language. The minor is directly applicable to students interested in computing and media, human-computer interaction, brain and cognition, language acquisition, human health, interpreting, relevant branches of engineering, and policy studies. Students can complete the minor requirements irrespective of their skills in languages other than English. Electives allow students to customize the minor to their interests and needs, with the support of a faculty adviser. The minor is an excellent complement to majors such as computer science, game design, information technology, psychology, sign language interpreting, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, science, or a foreign language.
This award is for a graduating undergraduate student demonstrating excellence in the study of literature.
Open to one currently enrolled, graduating RIT student
Nominations are made by English Department faculty
Nominations made for students meeting these requirements:
Minimum of 3.5 GPA in ENGL courses
Exceptional contribution to RIT that draws on ENGL coursework and/or the study of literature
Application must include:
Three best examples of the student’s accomplishments in the field of English and study of literature (e.g., top three papers, papers and presentations, papers and student group or extracurricular activities related to literature)
Student-compiled portfolio of work in all ENGL courses taken
Letter of recommendation/support from at least two English Department faculty
The Kearse awards recognize students who have written the most outstanding research papers or projects in areas of study in the College of Liberal Arts. There is one faculty-nominated awardee from each COLA department. Henry J. and Mary Geirin Kearse, lifelong advocates of education, endowed the award.
Open to currently enrolled RIT students for papers written in College of Liberal Arts courses
One awardee from each COLA department
Student writing projects are nominated by English Department faculty, who select one to represent the department
Administered by the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office
Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in March
Winners are presented their awards at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April
The McKenzie Prize honors students from First Year Writing courses for comprehensive portfolios of writing, research and critical reflections. Submissions are open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations. The award is administered by the University Writing Program.
Open to currently enrolled RIT students for work completed in an RIT First Year Writing course
Open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations
Administered by faculty of the University Writing Program, based on a full writing portfolio of work including multiple drafts, revisions and a reflection statement
Annual nomination deadline in February
Winners are awarded at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April