The faculty in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication (RPC) program approach research, teaching, and other professional practices from multiple perspectives. We value collaboration and synthesis. We encourage critical engagements that challenge the borders traditionally drawn between theory and practice, production and reception, and creativity and critique. We promote situated inquiry that negotiates cultural, technological, disciplinary, and textual constraints in order to imagine and realize new possibilities.
We substantially revised our graduate curriculum in 2006 to stay current with changes in the field. We have designed our program to provide a theoretical foundation in key sub-disciplines (Composition, Rhetoric, Critical/Cultural Studies, and Technical/Professional Communication) through required core courses. Students also have the flexibility to pursue their own interests through numerous specialized courses. Faculty continually develop new course offerings based on their own expertise and research interests, as well as the needs of our students.
The PhD program in RPC admitted its first class in 1991. Since that time, we have graduated nearly 50 doctoral students who have held academic positions at institutions such as Virginia Tech, the University of Houston, the University of Central Florida, Texas Tech, Miami University, Ohio, and the University of Delaware. Alumni have completed dissertation research on a wide range of subjects in writing studies. A complete list of dissertation titles is available here.
The Master's program in RPC has been highly successful in preparing students for careers in both industry and academia. Alumni work as technical communicators, editors, publication managers, web developers, and writing instructors. Many have also continued their education in doctoral programs at other institutions.