CLICK HERE to request a listing of your undergraduate and/or graduate program on the RSA website.
Arizona State University
Auburn offers both a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Composition. The following describes our MA program. The Rhetoric and Composition concentration is a track of the MA degree that offers in-depth study of key theoretical and methodological approaches to rhetoric and composition studies, with an emphasis on writing pedagogy and rhetorical analysis. Students who complete the composition and rhetoric concentration will develop teaching, writing, and research skills reflecting the developments in the field of the last few decades. Our graduates are currently employed as teachers at all levels of education. Graduates with an MA in rhetoric and composition are also qualified for positions as writing instructors and tutors, government lobbyists, advocacy campaign planners, education policymakers, school administrators, curriculum designers, and researchers and analysts for think tanks. Many of our graduates have also pursued doctoral degrees. To graduate, MA students with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition will need to complete 30 hours of coursework, meet the foreign language requirement, and compile an e-portfolio.
Contact: Dr. Chad Wickman, email@example.com
Ball State University
Ball State’s MA and PhD in Rhetoric and Composition allow students to gain a broad understanding of rhetoric and writing studies: histories, pedagogies, research strategies, technologies, and administration. In coursework, students are encouraged to investigate the influences of digital and multimodal writing along with more traditional attention to rhetorical history, research methodologies, and composition pedagogies. Additionally, graduate coursework in Writing Program and Writing Center Administration prepares students for future administrative work. We have deliberately structured our graduate programs to maintain a small circle of highly motivated students. This enables a close collegial relationship between students and faculty already established in their areas of professional expertise. It also affords numerous opportunities for students to explore the many and varied sites of rhetoric and composition, including Ball State’s award-winning Writing Program, its innovative Writing Center, and the Indiana Writing Project. Assistantships include teaching and administrative work in these programs. Ball State graduate students regularly present at national conferences, publish in leading journals like Kairos and Computers and Composition, and receive internal and external grants.
Contact: Jennifer Grouling, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowling Green State University
Rhetoric & Writing PhD Program
Since its founding in 1980, this program has been committed to preparing students for faculty careers in rhetoric and composition. Students and faculty in the Rhetoric & Writing PhD Program utilize the range of approaches--rhetorical, cultural, empirical, and technological--that characterize the field of rhetoric and composition in the twenty-first century. While some courses emphasize writing instruction and writing administration, students have varied scholarly interests and do research on a wide range of dissertation topics. The program has a very strong placement record into tenure-line faculty positions at universities and colleges.
Contact: Sue Carter Wood
Carnegie Mellon University
The Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University focuses on how people produce and understand discourse across a variety of social, cultural, and material contexts, in schools, workplaces, and communities. The program familiarizes students with the history and theory of rhetoric and language study and with a variety of methods, qualitative and quantitative, for systematically exploring their interests in research projects and dissertation work. The program prepares students for academic careers centered on the history and theory of rhetoric, research about the writing process and communication design more generally, or rhetorical approaches to discourse and cultural studies.
Contact: Suguru Ishizaki, email@example.com
City College of New York, CUNY
The MA in Language and Literacy is one of three master's programs offered in the CCNY English Department. Inspired by Mina Shaughnessy's leadership in basic writing teaching, program development and research, and by the need for basic writing and college writing instructors during the era of CUNY's introduction of Open Admissions, English Department faculty established an MA in Teaching College English in 1974. Revised and renamed MA in Language and Literacy in 1986, the program expanded its mission to include preparing teachers of adult literacy education and adult ESL under the leadership of Marilyn Sternglass.
Today, the MA offers a highly interdisciplinary curriculum with foundational courses in literacy, language, second language acquisition, and adult learning, together with electives focusing on composition & rhetoric, sociolinguistics, teaching composition and literature, basic writing theory & practice, writing center theory & practice, discourse analysis, digital literacies, and teaching adult writers in diverse contexts. MA students may also enroll in courses offered by our MA in Literature and our MFA in Creative Writing. Registered MA students are eligible to apply for adjunct instructor positions in our English Department during the second year of graduate studies.
Contact: Barbara Gleason, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design (RCID) PhD program seeks an overall balance of ecologies in rhetorics and communications and, thereby, features a cross-cultural, transdisciplinary curriculum with a conceptual emphasis on Aristotle's triad of knowing, doing, and making, that is, on theoretical, practical-pedagogical, and productive approaches to knowledge. Communications is not simply speaking and writing. The RCID curriculum emphasizes, in addition, the study and multimodal production of language-communication apparatuses such as pictographic and alphabetic rhetorics, or more specifically, gestural, silent, oral, aural, temporal-spatial, visual, written and digital rhetorics.
The first word of the name of the program, "Rhetorics," is in plural form. It may be peculiar in this form for some readers, but it acknowledges that there is more than one rhetoric, for there is more than one culture. Rhetoric(s)—in its singular-plural possibilities—establishes the conditions for How we discover not only the available means but also innovative forms of living, working, and playing together, across a multitude of cultures, with others. Through rhetoric(s) we not only build cultures but also construct multiple linkages among them.
Contact: Cynthia Haynes, email@example.com
Colorado State University
Graduate Students in the Department of Communication Studies undertake a specialized study of human communication from its classical antecedents to contemporary areas. The central focus is the pragmatic communication in which human beings engage when they are making decisions, solving problems, managing conflict, or participating in public discussions. Graduate course work, in combination with the thesis, enables students to develop expertise in one or a combination of three areas of emphasis: (1) media and visual culture, (2) relational and organizational communication, or (3) rhetoric and civic engagement. Graduate students also have the opportunity to apply for the Deliberative Practices specialization and work with our nationally recognized Center for Public Deliberation.
Contact: Karrin Vasby Anderson
Dixie State University
Contact: Joy McMurrin
The Master of Arts in Technical Writing & Digital Rhetoric is a 30-credit program that offers a variety of graduate courses in technical writing, digital rhetoric, and writing technologies and provides opportunities for hands-on experience, advanced scholarship, internships, and professional development.
Contact: Dr. Pat Arneson
The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies integrates the mission of Duquesne University within its curriculum, recruitment, and program development, while simultaneously attending to disciplinary expectations for scholarly excellence. We invite students into a learning environment attentive to narrative ground and the historical moment. We seek to discern and offer answers to questions confronting the human condition from a humanities grounded rhetoric and philosophy of communication perspective. Our department educates the next generation of communication professors whose primary mission is to educate undergraduate students.
Florida State University
Contact: Michael Neal
We have an undergraduate major in Editing, Writing, and Media that has a strong base in rhetoric and an MA and PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition. We offer courses in rhetoric, visual rhetoric, feminisms and rhetoric, race and rhetoric, etc. Rhetoric faculty include Kristie Fleckenstein and Tarez Graban.
George Mason University
Georgia State University
Contact: Natalie T. J. Tindall, Ph.D.
The doctoral program in Rhetoric and Politics in the Department of Communication is specifically designed to provide students with the conceptual and methodological tools to study all forms of public persuasion. Faculty in this area specialize in rhetorical theory and criticism, international social movements and protest, national identity studies, presidential rhetoric, and political communication. The doctorate in Rhetoric and Politics is designed to give students a solid foundation in rhetorical theory and criticism, along with innovative and often interdisciplinary approaches to the study of public address. Our program encourages theoretically rigorous, historically grounded work in rhetorical studies. Our doctoral students are very active in the professional organizations in our field. They have presented conference papers at the annual meetings of the National Communication Association, ALTA, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the Southern States Communication Association. The city of Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A major world media center, Atlanta also offers students in the doctoral program a wealth of opportunities. Georgia State is within walking distance of CNN, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The Master of Arts in Speech Communication and Rhetorical Studies is designed to enhance communication and critical and analytical thinking skills. With a strong basis in the liberal arts, courses explore how the communication process works in interpersonal and group settings, in formal organizations and in public communication situations.
Students concentrate in either rhetorical studies or performance studies. Within these concentrations, they have considerable flexibility in tailoring a course of study to fit their individual needs, and may choose a secondary, related area of concentration outside the School of Communication, such as political science, history or English or comparative literature.
The program was developed both for students who intend to pursue doctoral work and for those for whom the M.A. will be the final degree. The program prepares students for positions in all professional fields requiring effective communication, including business, education, the nonprofit sector and government.
Illinois State University
Graduate Study in Rhetoric, Composition, and Technical Communication (RCTC)
PhD in English Studies, with specializations in Rhetoric, Composition, and Technical Communication MA in English, with specializations in Rhetoric & Composition and Technical Writing & Rhetorics
We understand rhetoric, composition, and technical communication as robust and mutually informing areas of inquiry. By examining symbolic action in relation to cultural, material, and embodied practices, faculty and graduate students specializing in RCTC strive to produce innovative, interdisciplinary research and pedagogies that transform the world. In addition to studying with RCTC faculty, graduate students benefit from the Department’s innovative English Studies model. Here students make connections between their area of specialization and other subfields, such as creative writing, English education, linguistics, literary and cultural studies, and TESOL.
PhD students also examine relationships between their teaching and research through the Department’s Teaching Internship. Working closely with a faculty advisor, PhD students design a curriculum and then teach a selected undergraduate course that directly relates to and informs their dissertation research.
Contact: Julie Jung
Indiana University Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI)
The graduate English program has been designed to prepare students for careers in the analysis and production of texts. The program covers issues and skills in reading and writing, in the richest sense of these words-in order to prepare students to address these issues and to teach these skills. Graduates of the program should be prepared for such careers as teaching writing and literature; teaching English as a second language; and writing for business, government, and other professions. In contrast to traditional M.A. programs, which place heavy emphasis on literary history, the IUPUI program focuses on the application of English studies to contemporary situations and problems. Within the M.A. program, we have a Certificate in Teaching Writing.
Contact: Pat M. King
Iowa State University
Ph.D. program in Rhetoric & Professional Communication
Our Ph.D. program in Rhetoric & Professional Communication focuses on the rhetoric of science and technology, visual communication, and multimodal communication pedagogy across the disciplines. Graduates are qualified for academic positions in rhetoric and professional communication as well as work in the private sector as writing specialists, editors, and communication production managers. Our graduates enjoy 100% placement in academia and industry.
Contact: Director of English Graduate Studies
James Madison University
The School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University prepares students for meeting today’s communication challenges—in both workplace and academic settings—through rigorous coursework and research experiences. The 33 credit hour M.A. degree, designed to be completed by students in two years, begins with required courses that create a solid foundation for a student’s learning experience in the program. Students then choose six courses from among a dozen varied elective topics—digital theory and design, rhetoric and genre, ethics, intercultural communication, and scientifc and medical writing—that provide them with the freedom to pursue areas of emphasis that suit their long-term goals.
Kent State University
"Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice," our doctoral program in R/C embraces theoretical foundations for the study of writing and rhetoric in postsecondary disciplinary and workplace contexts.
The courses offered by the Professional Writing Program at Longwood University are well suited to help you address the communication needs of professional organizations. The students who concentrate or minor in Professional Writing (1) understand the rhetorical foundations of written communication as applied to a wide variety of genres for professional and public uses (ranging from speeches to digital media), and (2) create professional documents for a range of audiences and stakeholders.
Contact: Dr. Elif Guler
Louisiana State University
Since 1981 we at Miami have had the pleasure of collaborating with hundreds of MA and PhD students to promote diverse and equitable scholarly inquiry, professional development, and pedagogical creativity. Please visit our web site for more information.
Contact: Michele Simmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan State University
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
North Dakota State University offers a PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture, and an MA in English. NDSU is a world-class university. We are student-focused and research-intensive. As a land grant institution, we believe in social justice, outreach, and service. The English Department actively collaborates with the campus and the community. Our PhD is an interdisciplinary degree that offers our candidates practical and professional skills alongside an academic curriculum that supports individualization. 100% of our graduates have found full-time positions as writing directors and tenure-track faculty in English and Communications departments. Our MA in English encourages individuality and collaboration as it prepares candidates for academic and non-academic careers. Graduates have gone on to top-tier PhD programs or opted to work for national and local nonprofits. Graduate Teaching Assistantship are available and come with a tuition waiver as well as a stipend.
Contact: Verena Theile, email@example.com
Northern Arizona University
Ohio University’s MA and PhD programs emphasize rhetoric and composition theory, history, and research, and the ways these underlie the teaching of writing. Situated within the English department, the rhetoric and composition concentration maintains conceptual connections with the department's literary, multicultural, and creative writing concentrations. We’re an intentionally small, friendly program where students have both substantial access to mentorship and opportunities to develop as writing program administrators. All of our students are funded as teaching associates and have the option to teach a range of courses beyond first-year writing. The combination of coursework, teaching variety, mentorship, and administrative opportunities has resulted in exceptional graduation and job placement rates.
Contact: Talinn Phillips
Oklahoma State University
The Rhetoric and Writing Studies program at Oklahoma State University offers an MA in English with a Professional Writing Option and a PhD with concentration areas in Rhetoric and Composition, Professional Writing, and Digital Studies. Teaching and writing center assistantships are available, and the program offers training in first-year composition, multimodal composition, online writing instruction, writing centers, and writing program administration. Faculty have areas of expertise in digital rhetorics and new media, writing center theory and pedagogy, cultural rhetorics, FYC administration, game studies, professional writing, visual rhetoric and design, feminist theory, and embodied rhetorics.
For more information, contact Dr. Lynn C. Lewis, Director of Rhetoric and Writing Studies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Old Dominion University
Ph.D. in English
Concentrations in Literary and Cultural Studies; Rhetoric, Writing, and Discourse Studies; Technology and Media Studies; and Student-Designed Emphasis
Program director: Dr. Kevin Depew (email@example.com)
M.F.A. in Creative Writing
Program director: Luisa Igloria (firstname.lastname@example.org)
M.A. in English
Concentrations in literature, professional writing, rhetoric and composition, and the teaching of English
Program director: Dr. Imtiaz Habib (email@example.com)
M.A. in Linguistics
Program director: Dr. Bridget Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For more information about any of our programs, visit our departmental web site at http://al.odu.edu/english/academics/.
Oregon State University
The Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture concentration integrates histories, theories, and philosophies of writing and rhetoric with the concerns of day-to-day teaching and writing. It features courses such as digital literacy and and culture, computers and composition, current composition theory, the teaching of writing, the history of rhetoric, literacy studies, current rhetorical theory, the digital humanities, and professional/technical writing. This area of focus prepares graduates to teach in community colleges, undertake Ph.D. studies in rhetoric and writing, work as writing program administrators, or hold a variety of positions that emphasize writing and publishing (editing, technical writing, private and public sector work, etc.).
Contact: Raymond Malewitz, email@example.com
Penn State University, Dept. of Communication Arts and Sciences
Penn State offers courses in Rhetoric and Public Discourse, Social Movements, Rhetoric of the Media, Rhetorical Criticism, Rhetorical Theory, and the History of Public Address. Graduate students enjoy extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study within the community of rhetoricians in CAS and English and a chance to work with and learn from rhetorically minded colleagues in African-American studies, education, history, linguistics, philosophy, women's studies, and other fields.
Purdue's graduate program in rhetoric and composition dates to 1980 and has 264 graduates (183 ph.d. and 81 ma). Our graduates hold positions as writing teachers, program and writing center administrators, graduate program faculty, department heads, editors, usability testers, and professional and technical writers/managers.
Contact: Patricia Sullivan
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Communication and Rhetoric, focusing on communication in technologically-mediated contexts.
Saint Cloud State University
The graduate program in Rhetoric and Writing at St. Cloud State University builds on our B.A. program by further equipping students with knowledge of how language shapes our perceptions of the world as well as instruction in written and digital communication skills that enable greater facility to write and communicate in a diversity of workplace, organizational, and everyday contexts. The M.A. emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing provides two tracks of courses from which students can choose: professional communication courses and the teaching of writing/literacy courses. Some of our graduates have gone on to become professional writers (freelance writers, editors, grant writers, publishers, etc.). Others have gone on to teach at community and technical colleges. A third group of our graduates have gone on to pursue their doctoral work (recent graduates have pursued doctoral degrees in Technical Communication at Illinois State University; Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue University; Rhetoric and Composition at Ball State University; Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Christian University; and Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green University).
Contact: Matt Barton
San Diego State University
The Rhetoric and Writing Studies department is the only free-standing writing program within the 23-campus California State University system and one of only a handful across the country. Our MA program focuses on advanced study in rhetoric, composition, professional communication, and related fields, as well as preparation for careers in post-secondary teaching and fields requiring strong skills in writing. Students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds have an opportunity to investigate a range of subjects including historical and contemporary rhetorical practices in cultural, political, public, and educational contexts; textual, visual, digital, and multimodal literacies; writing pedagogy and administrative practices; and professional and technical writing. We are tied together by a focus on the persuasive power of communicative practices.
Students in the MA program complete a 30-unit program of study beyond the bachelor's level. In addition to the general major, the program offers two specializations: Teaching of Writing and Professional Writing. All students complete 15 units of core courses and 15 units specific to their professional interests and specialization.
Contact: Jennifer Sheppard, Graduate Adviser at firstname.lastname@example.org
Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Doctoral Program
Contact: Steve Parks
The Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Doctoral Program (CCR) at Syracuse University emphasizes research on the dynamic interaction of rhetoric and writing in a variety of cultural and historical contexts. Located within the Writing Program since 1997, CCR is the first doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition studies in the country to be offered by an independent writing program. With doctoral education as our sole focus, the CCR program offers a unique environment for students to develop their graduate and professional careers through sustained and committed engagement with our nationally and internationally recognized faculty. As a department, we work to develop a diverse graduate student community and to help them connect their work to a broad range of scholarly, disciplinary, and community contexts. For this reason, a survey of our current and past students will show a program as engaged with composition pedagogy as technical writing, digital rhetoric as community engagement, global English as classical rhetoric, and feminist studies as Caribbean rhetoric. We are committed, that is, to actively working within the traditional and emergent research in our field in order to enable students to chart the next wave of scholarly, pedagogical, and community-based practices.
MA program in Communication and Rhetorical Studies
Contact: Bradford Vivian
The MA program in Communication and Rhetorical Studies provides a vibrant and dynamic environment for students hoping to pursue further study in Communication Studies. Our program has a strong academic research focus and is ideal for students planning to go on to pursue doctoral level education. One of the unique advantages of our MA-only program is that our Master's students are our main focus. Graduates of our MA program have gone on to great success at the nation's top Communication Studies doctoral programs including: Pittsburgh University, Texas A&M University, the University of Iowa, Arizona State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Texas.
Texas A&M University
Ph.D. Program in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University
Contact: Dr. Kristan Poirot
The Ph.D. Program in the Department of Communication at Texas A&M University offers concentrations in rhetoric and public affairs, organizational communication, health communication, and media studies. The programs are best for students who plan research-oriented careers in academic, governmental, or non-profit organizations, or the private sector. Scholars in Rhetoric & Public Affairs focus on how public discourse shapes and is shaped by choices confronting the public, ways in which texts and cultural practices of communication constitute identities and sustain democratic forms of citizen participation, and the interwoven fabric of power, politics, and speech-making in American society. Research in the program includes classical, contemporary, and critical rhetorical theory; rhetorical history and the criticism of American public address; feminism and the intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender; the presidency; social movements; contemporary political campaigns; policy and media; visual rhetoric, materialism, and monuments.
Texas Christian University (TCU)
Contact: Brad E. Lucas, email@example.com
*Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition* TCU has a long history as one of the earliest graduate programs in Rhetoric and Composition, providing students with a tradition of excellence in graduate studies that combines intellectual development with practical training and professional mentoring. Our dynamic, productive graduate faculty members in Rhetoric and Composition work collaboratively and think programmatically. Our friendly, small program allows for individual intellectual development and career mentoring, with competitive graduate fellowships and 1-1 teaching load appointments for Graduate Instructors. All PhD students, regardless of specialization, take one course in rhetoric and one in composition theory, as well as seminars in Classical Rhetoric; Writing Program Administration; Modern Rhetoric; Literacy Studies; Rhetoric and Criticism; Research Practices; Women’s Rhetoric; and Image Studies.
Texas State University
The MA program in Rhetoric and Composition (MARC) is a relatively new program at Texas State. The program provides students the opportunity to study written discourse and the teaching of writing within and across social, cultural, institutional, and technological contexts. The program combines core courses in rhetorical theory, composition theory and pedagogy, and research methods, with opportunities for focused study in areas ranging from minority rhetorics and writing center studies to teaching with technology and writing across cultures. Students may also choose to pursue a cognate in one of our successful MA programs in technical communication or literature.
All of our graduates who have chosen to pursue a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition have been accepted into such prestigious universities as Arizona State, Kent State and Syracuse. Other graduates have begun successful careers at the community college level or brought new perspectives to their current jobs as secondary-level teachers of English.
Contact: Cheyenne Riggs, MARC assistant, and Rebecca Jackson, MARC director
Texas Tech University
The Technical Communication and Rhetoric program at Texas Tech houses an undergraduate BA in Technical Communication, a Master of Arts in Technical Communication, a PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric, a graduate certificate in Teaching Technical Communication, and a graduate certificate in Grants and Proposal Writing. Within this program, we specialize in the following five areas in our admissions, scholarship, coursework, and initiatives: Rhetoric, Composition, and Technology; Technical Communication; Rhetorics of Science and Healthcare; Technology, Culture, and Rhetoric; and Visual Rhetoric, New Media, and User-Centered Design. We have both online and onsite programs.
Contact: Greg Wilson
Texas Woman's University
University of Arizona
The RCTE program was officially created in 1988. Its progenitor was a program in English Education founded at UA in the 1960s. It is one of four graduate programs in the Department of English. The others are Literature, Creative Writing, and English Language and Linguistics. RCTE offers the MA and PhD degrees.
At the University of Arizona, we view rhetoric and composition as arts that must be studied and practiced in the context of broad cultural and public interests. These commitments are reflected in the array of research published by our faculty and graduate students and by our efforts to improve the teaching of writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Our work on writing program administration and curriculum development is informed by our commitment to addressing issues of difference in equality and our outreach to the community. Our outreach efforts have taken us to local schools, reservations, community literacy centers, and advocacy groups. Because of these commitments, students and faculty look for opportunities within our institution and the Southwest region to relate the study of rhetoric to the cultural and technological changes that are redefining what it means to teach writing in the twenty-first century.
University of Arkansas
The Department of Communication at the University of Arkansas offers an MA with a specific emphasis in rhetoric and civic engagement. The program offers courses in rhetoric, film, media, and cultural studies, with opportunities to take additional classes from scholars in English, Gender Studies, Sociology, and a variety of other fields. Our faculty publish routinely in top journals – often with graduate students – and win national awards for research, teaching, and mentoring. Most graduate students admitted to the program receive competitive teaching assistantships which cover tuition while offering a living stipend. Students may apply for additional funding in the form of competitive internal fellowships and awards, including the Janice Hocker Rushing Award, the Richard S. and Kay Kelley Arnold graduate Fellowship, and the Lambda Pi Eta Alpha Chapter Award in Civic Engagement. Our graduates go on to study at some of the best doctoral programs in the United States, and many others work for organizations ranging from Fortune 100 companies to non-profit organizations.
Contact: Ryan Neville-Shepard (firstname.lastname@example.org)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
UALR's MA program in Professional and Technical Writing offers degree plans customizable for a wide range of student interests and study plans. We offer formal tracks in technical writing, creative nonfiction, and professional editing (focused on workplace editing as well as editing for books and periodicals). Several of our courses emphasize writing for new media. We also prepare students to go on to Ph.D. programs in rhetoric and composition, supported with extensive study in theory and research methods; many of these students secure assistantships teaching first-year composition or working in the University Writing Center. Students may choose to complete a 36-hour degree that culminates in a thesis or a 42-hour degree that culminates in the defense of a professional portfolio. By 2015, students will be able to complete both the technical writing and creative nonfiction tracks entirely online, and our department will also offer a graduate-level certificate in Online Writing Instruction.
University of California, Irvine
Graduate Study in Rhetoric and Composition: The Department of English invites Ph.D. applicants interested in Rhetoric and Composition, including histories and theories of rhetoric, writing studies, new media, and rhetorics of social difference. A common ground for graduate students in English is the teaching of composition. In preparation, students take a seminar in Rhetoric and the Teaching of Composition then teach first-year students in a range of writing and reading courses. After comprehensive exams, students may propose courses in advanced writing, work in the writing center, or apply for administrative work in the office of the Campus Writing Coordinator (CWC). Our students benefit from connections with UCI’s cross-disciplinary programs such as Visual Studies, the Graduate Feminist Emphasis, and the Critical Theory Emphasis, as well as interdisciplinary departments such as African American, Asian American, and Women’s Studies.
Contact: Daniel M. Gross, email@example.com
University of Central Florida
UCF offers a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition that provides graduate students with a solid foundation in rhetorical, writing, and literacy studies. Our faculty members have diverse research interests including cultural rhetorics, rhetorics of science and medicine, writing and digital media, digital rhetorics, writing program administration, disability studies, professional writing, civic and community based writing, queer and feminist rhetorics, transnational literacy and rhetoric, and literacy development. Students in our program study how rhetorical theory has and can inform the teaching and practice of academic, professional, and civic writing in both historical and contemporary settings. There are opportunities for students to work and conduct research in the University Writing Center and the Writing Across the Curriculum programs, and gain experience teaching first-year composition courses in our award-winning Writing About Writing program. Graduates of the program are prepared for advanced teaching positions, writing-intensive professional positions, and Ph.D. programs in rhetoric and composition or related disciplines.
Contact: Dr. Martha Brenckle
University of Colorado at Boulder
The Communication Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder offers advanced work leading to the MA and Ph.D. in Communication. Students emphasizing rhetoric will study in an environment that brings rhetoric into dialogue with interpretive social sciences. Themes of emphasis include the rhetoric of science, rhetoric and social theory, and vernacular rhetoric.
University of Denver
University of Findlay
The MA program in Rhetoric and Writing at The University of Findlay assumes that today's communication practices are multimodal in nature and all of our core courses, from composition pedagogy to research methods, read and develop both print and multimodal texts. Students gain firsthand experience with writing not only sustained print pieces, typical of graduate programs in rhetoric and writing, such as scholarly articles and white papers, but also develop videos, podcasts, websites, and electronic portfolios as part of their education. Both print and digital theses options are available to accommodate student interests. Our program prepares students for a variety of writing-focused careers, including teaching writing at the college level (including at community colleges and in dual enrollment courses), editing and publishing, law, grant writing, public relations, marketing, and technical communication. Because publication and presentation skills are emphasized throughout the program, graduates are also well poised to pursue PhD work in rhetoric and composition or other English or communication fields. Because UF is one of only two private schools in Ohio that offers this program, we focus on one-on-one course and career advising. Students in the program are offered a variety of classes and times to meet program requirements, and the night class and summer schedule is flexible for working students. Teaching, research and administrative full and part time assistantships are available.
Contact: Christine Tulley
The University of Hawaii at Manoa
The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers an undergraduate concentration, MA, and PhD degrees in Composition and Rhetoric, preparing future scholars and teachers with a comprehensive grounding in the histories, theories, and practices of rhetorical action, scholarship, and composition pedagogy. Given HawaiÊ»i’s ethnic diversity, UHM offers a productive site to study the relationships among language, thought, and public action.
We offer a broad range of graduate seminars, many with a particular focus on the intersections among discursive practices and cultural productions, examining employments of queer theory, cultural studies, feminism, indigenous politics, and critical theories of technology. At the undergraduate level, we offer courses on the rhetorical tradition, histories of the English language, rhetorical grammar, editing, English in Hawai‘i, writing for electronic media, autobiographical writing, advanced argumentation, technical writing, and composition pedagogy. We supplement graduate student educational experiences with an emphasis on professional development, community involvement, and engagement with C/R professional organizations. Through partially or fully funded graduate assistantships, students work closely with professors and are actively invited to become a part of a supportive and lively intellectual community that supports their scholarly and creative development.
Our graduates have found tenure-track positions at major universities across the US, at universities and community colleges in HawaiÊ»i, as well as positions as journalists, editors, administrators, and private school teachers.
Contact: Dr. Daphne Desser, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Houston - Downtown
UHD offers an M.A. degree in Rhetoric and Composition (MARC). Students complete all of their course work in writing and rhetoric on our urban campus in the heart of downtown Houston. The program is especially focused on pedagogical strategies for the multicultural composition classroom.
The MARC degree qualifies students for the teaching of college-level writing. It also serves as an excellent foundation for doctoral study in rhetoric and composition.
Contact: Dr. Adam Ellwanger
University of Illinois at Chicago
UIC offers the opportunity for specialized masters and doctoral work in rhetoric and composition within a broader, multidisciplinary English studies curriculum. Our program is highly selective, and typically admits only one PhD student per year to this concentration.
Five faculty members work in such areas as classical and pre-socratic rhetorics, institutional and urban ethnography, language theory, composition, pedagogy, the democratic imaginary, narratology, economics, and post-humanist studies. Most students devise flexible, transdisciplinary programs to address the questions that compel them. Some use the city of Chicago as a laboratory for rhetorical inquiry. Recent students have become interested in criminal justice to address incarceration in maximum security prisons; or in urban planning to address urban race policies or affordable housing initiatives in Chicago; or in the medical school to address rhetoric and addiction; or in environmental sciences to address agricultural sustainability; or in philosophy and ethics to address the role of critical thinking in the academy and in composition; or in art history and aesthetics to address visual rhetorics; or in economics to address the marginalization of barrios.
Each project needs to speak to the history of rhetoric by offering a contribution to rhetorical theory and/or practice but to also speak to the here and now with some urgency.
Implicit in our understanding is the idea that the “history of rhetoric” is a boundary term and that transdisciplinary inquiry is one route toward an opening.
Contact: Ralph Cintron
University of Kansas
The Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas offers graduate courses in public address, rhetorical criticism, critical theory, publics theory, the rhetorical tradition from classical through contemporary times, new media, and argumentation. Graduate students enjoy extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study within the community of rhetoricians at KU. Beyond the Communication Studies Department—which boasts nine full-time faculty devoted to the study of rhetoric and three faculty members who approach rhetorical artifacts using qualitative methods—students will find a thriving group of rhetorical scholars in the English Department and they will have the chance to learn from rhetorically minded colleagues in African and African-American studies, Sociology, American Studies, Political Science, Women's Studies, and other fields.
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland offers an MA Program with a Minor in Rhetoric and Composition and a flexible PhD Program that may encompass a specialty in Rhetoric and Composition.
The MA Program combines requirements in literature, theory, and rhetoric and composition. Within requirements, the student may choose courses to focus on a particular professional or academic interest: editing and professional writing, for example, or the teaching of writing, or rhetorical analysis of texts, or history of rhetoric and composition. While MA students are not funded, once admitted, students may apply for GA positions on campus, or take ENGL 611, “Approaches to College Composition,” and apply to teach the first-year writing course.
The PhD program also combines requirements in literature, theory, and rhetoric and composition, but with a great deal of flexibility to develop an individualized program of study: feminist history of rhetoric for example, or composition and digital studies. Admission is highly competitive, but all admitted students receive a five-year funded package.
Faculty at the University of Maryland provide students with opportunities to study rhetorical theory, composition theory and pedagogy, digital media, history of rhetoric, literacy studies, cognitive linguistics, discourse analysis, technical and professional writing, and writing program administration. Graduate courses available prepare students for long-term careers in academia or bolster their professional development in the workforce. Many faculty offer students the possibility of independent study in highly specialized areas not covered by the curriculum.
The Language, Writing, and Rhetoric discipline group at UMD includes faculty and students who are interested in the power of language and writing to shape an audience’s view of the world and persuade them to certain beliefs or actions. They host speakers, put on symposia, meet to discuss research topics, and discuss the latest research in a reading group.
Contact: Manju Suri
University of Michigan, Joint PhD Program in English and Education
Designed for students who hold a master's degree (English, rhetoric and composition, or education) and who have teaching experience, this interdisciplinary program draws on top-flight resources to provide a satisfying and rich doctoral experience.
Among our strengths, we offer a supportive and engaging community of scholars that includes both students and faculty, and we provide the flexibility for students to craft a program centered on their individual interests. These interests have included rhetorical theory and history, literacy studies, new media composition, applied linguistics, English language studies, teacher education, composition theory, and writing assessment; our faculty are committed to student professional development and are happy to work with you to craft a program centered on your research and teaching interests.
Affiliated faculty include Chandra L. Alston, Anne Curzan, Barry J. Fishman, Anne Ruggles Gere, David Gold, Scott Richard Lyons, Elizabeth Birr Moje, Alisse Portnoy, Mary J. Schleppegrell, Megan Sweeney, and Melanie R. Yergeau.
Accepted students can expect to receive five years of full funding. We have an excellent record of placing graduates in tenure-track positions in English and education departments in colleges and universities. For more information, visit our website at http://www.soe.umich.edu/academics/doctoral_programs/ee/.
Contact: Anne Gere
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Contact: Stephanie Clinch
Combine the study of rhetoric (commonly defined as the study of persuasion), composition (the study of writing and text creation), and English language studies (including linguistic theory, the history of the English language, and the social functions and contexts of language use). Explore theories of classical and contemporary rhetoric, academic writing pedagogy, the evolution and structure of our language, and other related topics. Can be completed online.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Contact: Jordan Soliz, Director of Graduate Studies
Faculty and students in the Rhetoric and Public Culture area focus on understanding communicative sites of citizenship as they are transformed by globalization, digital mediation, and an accelerating cultural pluralism. Scholars explore the tensions created by these paradigmatic changes through the study of cultural myth and civic identity, networked public spheres and deliberation, and relationships between social identity and public argument. Graduate students will have the opportunity to take a variety of graduate seminars including Classical Rhetorical Theory, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, Rhetorical Criticism, Public Argument and Deliberation, Gender and Communication, Political Communication, and Cultural Criticism.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Reno
The PhD Rhetoric and Composition emphasis is intended for people planning to pursue careers in scholarship, teaching, and program administration at the college or university level. The emphasis offers a core of work in rhetoric and writing theory, coupled with focused study in other fields of English language and literature, with possibilities for interdisciplinary study as well. Students in the program are active in professional activities of various kinds, e.g., publishing, participating in conferences, and serving as interns in community agencies, educational institutions, or businesses.
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Contact: Risa Applegarth, Risa_Applegarth@uncg.edu
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro: PhD Program in Rhetoric and Composition, MA Program in Teaching Composition, MA Program in Careers in the Humanities. UNCG offers a doctorate in English with a specialization in Rhetoric and Composition, and a master’s in English with a specialization in teaching composition or in diverse humanities careers.
Our graduate programs prepare students for teaching, research, and public careers by offering courses that provide a strong grounding in historical and contemporary theories of rhetoric and writing; in writing studies pedagogy; and in a variety of methodological approaches, including rhetorical analysis, qualitative methods, cultural analytics, circulation studies, and more. We encourage our students to combine their coursework in rhetoric and composition with coursework in literature and culture from our colleagues in the English Department who specialize in various areas of cultural studies, and from our colleagues in Education, Communication Studies, Media Studies, African American Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies whose courses support various areas of rhetorical research.
Our nationally recognized faculty’s research interests include rhetorical history and theory; genre theory; writing studies; literacy studies; digital rhetoric; circulation studies; data science; feminist rhetoric; feminist historiography; qualitative methods; visual, spatial, material, and embodied rhetorics; scientific and professional communication; linguistics; and pedagogy. Graduate students have opportunities to serve as instructors of record in a range of writing courses for our College Writing Program and to serve as consultants and assistants in UNCG’s Multiliteracy Centers, which include the Writing Center, the Speaking Center, and the Digital ACT (Action, Consultation and Training) Studio. The Writing Center and College Writing Program offer administrative appointments on a yearly basis, and the publication of our first-year writing textbook also provides editorial and authorial experience.
University of Pittsburgh
The graduate program in Communication at the University of Pittsburgh aims to train rigorous researchers, insightful theorists, and excellent teachers for placement in tenure-stream positions at either major research universities or quality four-year colleges. To this end, the program offers philosophical, theoretical, critical, historical, and cultural approaches to the study of communication. The curriculum includes traditional and innovative course work from four areas of emphasis:
* History, Theory and Criticism of Rhetoric
* Media and Culture
* Public Address and Argument
* Rhetoric of Science
Contact: Gordon Mitchell, email@example.com
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a leading center for the interdisciplinary study of rhetoric in English and Speech Communication. The rapidly growing program offers the Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Composition and Rhetoric and the M.A. degree in Speech Communication. Rooted in humanistic and critical inquiry, its faculty are committed to the serious study of written, oral, and electronic discourse in academic, workplace, and public settings. The curriculum offers rigorous training in the classical and contemporary rhetorical traditions while synthesizing philosophical, historical, and cultural dimensions of rhetoric. The program gives students the flexibility to design their own specialization within the broad field of rhetoric and offers a unique opportunity to draw on the strengths of rhetoricians from multiple disciplines. Graduate students at South Carolina have the chance to work in a program that provides an excellent faculty-student ratio, generous assistantships, and a diversity of teaching opportunities. For more information and application materials please visit our website at http://www.cas.sc.edu/engl/
Contact: Erik Doxtader
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida's PhD and MA graduate program in rhetoric and composition specializes in the rhetoric of science, technology, and medicine; professional and technical communication; research methods; and digital rhetorics. The program's curriculum emphasizes history, theory, and research in rhetoric and composition, and it offers graduate-level certification for students pursuing work in Professional and Technical Communication. For almost 30 years, USF has prepared students to research and teach at universities and colleges.
Contact: Dr. John Lennon
University of Southern Mississippi
Students who choose to focus their study on rhetoric while at the University of Southern Mississippi will get an introduction to a wide variety of rhetorical studies. We have faculty and courses that examine areas such as social change, cultural identity, science and medicine, globalization. Students will learn how to conduct traditional rhetorical criticism, rhetorical field research, archival research, and visual analysis. Our rhetoric faculty have degrees from Illinois, Georgia, Southern California, and Penn State. Come get a great education in a small department.
Contact: Dr. Steven Venette
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
A graduate concentration in Rhetoric is available through the Department of English.
Graduate students in rhetoric complete coursework in the history of rhetoric; rhetorical and discourse theory; composition theory, pedagogy and practice; and discourse analysis.
Their professional development includes practical experience as teachers of writing. Over the course of their careers, graduate students may teach RHE306, the first-year course in argumentation, and design and teach various sections of RHE309, the sophomore-level course in rhetorical topics.
University of Texas at El Paso
Situated in El Paso, a city on the U.S.-Mexico border, our program draws much of its energy from our unique location. We not only study and theorize cross-cultural rhetorics, we live them. We also focus on digital studies, multimodal literacies, the teaching of writing and rhetoric, writing program administration, and second language writing. Our program offers students a solid grounding in the field while at the same time allowing them to explore their own interests. Core courses in Rhetorical History and Theory, Composition Studies, Critical Theory, and Rhetoric and Technology expose students to important scholarship in these areas. Students can select from a range of other courses to round out their program. Coursework is supplemented with workshops on publishing, seeking a job, and other relevant topics.
Contact: Dr. Kate Mangelsdorf
University of Utah
The Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies offers the PhD in Rhetoric and Composition through its affiliated departments. Students take courses with faculty in the department while individualizing their curricula through Communication; English; Linguistics; or Education, Culture, and Society. Students pursue varied projects in writing and rhetoric working with leading researchers in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment.
Contact: Maureen Mathison, Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Utah Department of Communication
A top-ten Communication program in research productivity and excellence (Academic Analytics, 2016) and one of very few integrated communication departments in the country, the Department of Communication at the University of Utah provides rigorous theoretical and methodological graduate training across the spectrum of communication studies.
The Department has an especially long and distinguished history in Rhetoric; its faculty include several of the leading rhetorical scholars in Communication who have earned national and international recognition and distinction. Our faculty view rhetoric as a dynamic process that involves social change or resistance, where material conditions and power relationships influence the ways that we think about the communicative influence of class, gender, and ethnicity in volatile situations.
Our rhetoric area builds from faculty areas of expertise allowing students to focus on a variety of contemporary rhetorical issues such as environmental rhetoric, social movements and activism, mediated and digital rhetoric, visual rhetoric, race and gender, rhetorical field methods, space/place, militarization, science and medicine, and political rhetoric. Fluidity and flexibility across the Department's other areas of graduate study is not only possible but encouraged. Graduate students are supported in creating uniquely tailored programs of study that draw from across areas and faculty. For more information, see: https://communication.utah.edu/graduate/index.php.
Contact: Helene Shugart, email@example.com
University of Washington
M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication. Rhetoric is a thriving area of study in the department, with research emphases on the rhetoric of science, rhetorics of the marketplace, and critical/cultural studies of multiracial media representations. All graduate students in the program are funded, with most getting the opportunity to teach classes like rhetorical criticism, argumentation, and public speaking. Job placement upon graduation has been very good.
Contact: Leah Ceccarelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Waterloo
The English department at Waterloo offers four graduate degrees: a Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Communication Design (RCD); a Master of Arts in Literary Studies (LIT); a Master of Arts in Experimental Digital Media (XDM) and a Doctor of Philosophy in English Language and Literature. In all programs, students gain core expertise in critical theory and research techniques. The MA-Literary Studies draws on the strengths of our department in all major areas of British, American, Canadian and postcolonial literatures in English. The MA-RCD is led by our faculty whose research and expertise lies in rhetoric, multimedia design and critique, discourse and text analysis, and professional writing. Our unique doctoral program allows students to develop research projects that integrate literary studies with fields of study related to professional writing and communication.
Contact: Fiona McAlister, email@example.com
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Communication Arts
Graduate work in Rhetoric focuses on three interrelated areas: public discourse, rhetorical theory, and critical method. Research in public discourse explores significant themes, trajectories, and transformations in American public address, as well as consideration of particular rhetors, cultures, eras, genres, and topics. Special attention is given to political discourse, to the intersection of rhetoric and technology, and to the rhetoric of social movements from the American Revolution to the ongoing campaign for women's rights. Theoretical studies deal with the cultural development, intellectual content, and practical implications of rhetorical perspectives from the classical period to the present--including contemporary rhetorical theory, argumentation theory, and public sphere theory. In addition to studying a wide range of theorists, students are encouraged to engage in the process of theory construction. Study of critical method focuses primarily on approaches to rhetorical criticism, as well as on other methods of inquiry that are productive for explicating the complex dynamics of rhetorical texts and contexts. Students develop a comparative knowledge of critical methods, an ability to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various methods, and the capacity to apply those methods in their own research. All three areas of study are united by a common commitment to understanding the role of public discourse in social coordination and change, in the construction and practice of citizenship, and in the process of civic engagement in general. Students are encouraged to investigate a wide range of contemporary and historical phenomena so as to develop the kind of expertise that will allow for significant research and scholarly achievement.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Department of English offers MA and PhD degrees with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition (Plan B). Our department is consistently ranked in the top third and our program is distinguished by its: focus on training teacher-scholars, close-knit, supportive community, and interdisciplinary scholarship.
Contact: Dennis Lynch
University of Wisconsin, Madison
The Program in Composition and Rhetoric in the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an interdisciplinary Ph.D. with special emphasis in empirical research, the study of literacy, and the theory and practice of rhetoric. Coursework is available in, among other areas, composition theory and practice, rhetoric, discourse analysis, and research methods in all areas of composition and rhetoric.
The PhD program in Rhetoric and Writing at Virginia Tech focuses on rhetoric in society. We study language use and rhetorical activity in public, academic, corporate, and governmental settings, in a collective effort to engage pressing social and cultural issues from the perspective of rhetorical and writing studies.
Contact: Paul Heilker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wake Forest University
The Master’s Degree in Communication at Wake Forest University provides a comprehensive study of the field in qualitative, quantitative, rhetorical, and critical methods. Throughout the program, students at Wake Forest University benefit from a small department, small class sizes, and personal attention that leads to several opportunities for academic, intellectual, and professional development. The rigorous nature of our program provides a solid foundation for doctoral degrees and many of our students continue their graduate work at nationally ranked PhD programs in Communication. We also provide important communication skills for our students to pursue professional careers in public advocacy, Debate programs, advertising, marketing, television and other media, law, education, health policy, and many more.glish department.
Contact: Ron Von Burg, email@example.com
Washington State University
The MA and PhD programs in Rhetoric and Composition Studies at the Washington State University offer training in the history of rhetoric, rhetorical theory, composition theory and pedagogy, technical communication, and writing program administration. With a strong commitment to preparing new faculty in the field, the department supplements theoretical coursework with practical experience in Washington State's award-winning writing center. The department also offers significant classroom training for new instructors, as well as opportunities to work on one of the journals associated with the English department.
Contact: Robert Eddy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wayne State University
Located in the heart of Detroit, the English Department of Wayne State University offers both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees with an emphasis in Rhetoric & Composition. Our faculty research in diverse areas with particular strengths in rhetorical and critical theory, digital humanities, science and technology studies, medical discourse, technical and professional communication, urban studies, and pedagogical theory. Students in our program enjoy a wide variety of practical research experience and faculty mentorship as well as an exceptionally high rate of placement into tenure-track and full-time academic positions.
Contact: Jeff Pruchnic, email@example.com
RSA Student Chapters provide a forum for gathering locally as rhetoricians and can serve a variety of rhetoric-related functions.more information
Rhetoric Society Quarterly
Our collaboration with Taylor & Francis allows members access to full content in all back issues of the journalmore information
Become a Member
Joining RSA puts you into direct contact to RSA conferences and institutes, and other RSA members-only resourcesmore information
Awards & Honors
The Rhetoric Society of America gives a Book Award and a Dissertation Award for the best work in rhetorical study in a given year.more information