Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition

The M.A. emphasis in rhetoric and writing studies is designed for students who wish to strengthen their skills as writers while deepening their understanding of theories of writing from the fields of rhetoric, composition and writing studies. Cognate work in linguistics, literature, or literacy studies further enriches the study of writing. Students may choose either a non-thesis or thesis program of study.

This emphasis supports a range of professional pursuits, including technical and professional writing, literacy studies, the teaching of composition and rhetorical studies. Students in the program are active in publishing, participating in conferences and serving as writing interns in businesses, community agencies, or educational institutions. The M.A. rhetoric and writing studies program has placed graduates in community colleges, positions in the public and private sectors, and Ph.D. programs throughout the U.S.

Course requirements

  • Required course: English 730, Introduction to Graduate Study in Rhetoric and Composition, is required and should be taken at the earliest opportunity. It is customarily offered each fall semester.
  • Electives: At least two courses for the thesis plan, or three courses for the non-thesis plan, must be chosen from 600 and 700-level writing courses in English.
  • Other electives: In consultation with the advisory committee, the student will choose at least two courses (thesis plan) or three courses (non-thesis plan), to complement his or her interests. No more than three courses may be taken outside the English Department.
  • Language studies: The student's undergraduate or graduate course work must include an advanced course in English language studies, such as English 411B/611B, 412A/612A, or 414A/614A, as approved by the advisory committee.

Please review the M.A. writing checklist of degree requirements.