All students in the Rhetoric & Composition concentration must take courses in rhetorical theory, critical pedagogy, contemporary approaches to writing and rhetoric, and research methods. We encourage our graduate students to take relevant graduate courses in other departments, particularly English, Communication Studies, Education, and Library & Information Sciences. Beyond coursework, students may take part in a variety of opportunities as preparation for professional work in the field of Rhetoric & Composition, including teaching in our advanced undergraduate curriculum, tutoring in the writing center, assisting with our administrative responsibilities, or collaborating on research projects with faculty and undergraduate students.
M.A. students who specialize in Rhetoric & Composition may be most interested in teaching writing at the secondary or college level or may intend to pursue a Ph.D. at another institution. Students complete a portfolio thesis upon graduation (WRT 595), focusing on questions of rhetorical theory, research on writing, writing instruction, and/or other related issues that arise in their
Ph.D. students who specialize in Rhetoric & Composition write dissertations in the field and are introduced to the profession through a variety of course assignments and extra-curricular opportunities. Doctoral students should expect to sit for their comprehensive exams after two years of coursework, and then begin work on their proposal and dissertation research immediately thereafter (see our flowchart). For more information, please refer to the learning outcomes for doctoral students.