Graduate Emphasis: Rhetoric & Composition


Course Descriptions
People Degrees Admission to Graduate Program
Teaching Assistantships & Funding


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Focusing on those interested in careers in academic research and teaching, program administration (first-year writing, writing across the curriculum, and writing center), as well as community and workplace literacy, the Rhetoric and Composition field of doctoral study is designed to balance theory/practice and teaching/scholarship. In addition to seminars in classical and modern rhetoric, feminist rhetoric, research methodologies, composition pedagogy, rhetorical studies of cultural practices, and various other topics, the curriculum offers internships that place students in community and school settings. We also strongly emphasize students' development as writers, with workshop courses offered in the craft of writing, advanced nonfiction, and creative nonfiction.

The Rhetoric and Composition faculty are committed to collaborative activity with students, engaging with them in local internship opportunities, conference presentations, scholarly research, program development and assessment, and writing projects. In addition, students receive active mentoring in teaching and administration, as well as opportunities to serve in leadership positions in the Core Writing Program and the University Writing Center. PhD students in Rhetoric and Composition also develop expertise in one cognate area, such as American literature, oral history, women's literature, critical theory, environmental literature, narrative theories, secondary school pedagogy, business/technical writing, or linguistics. Qualified PhD candidates have opportunities to teach intermediate and upper division courses in their areas of emphasis.

The PhD program of study in Rhetoric and Composition has had notable success placing its graduates in tenure track positions. Placements have occurred at a wide range of colleges and universities, including Washington State; University of Michigan, Flint; Texas Christian; Pittsburg State; Kansas; Eastern Michigan; Western Oregon; Viterbo, Minnesota; University of Philadelphia; University of California, Davis, to name only a few.

For more information about English Department faculty, please see the Faculty Biography pages.

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