M.A. Rhetoric & Professional Communication


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Master of Arts Degree in English: Emphasis in Rhetoric and Professional Communication

The M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Professional Communication program prepares students for further study at the Ph.D. level and for employment in a variety of fields including teaching, technical communication, and professional writing. The emphasis allows students to take courses across the wide range of topics within rhetoric and professional communication and to choose from one of four areas of specialization: Composition, Critical/Cultural Studies, Professional and Technical Communication, or Rhetoric.

Students should complete their application by February 1 for Fall admission or by October 1 for Spring admission. Application information is available here.

Applicants who wish to be competitive and who are applying for a Graduate Assistantship (GA) should complete their application by February 1 for Fall admission.

About the program

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 regularly revise our graduate curriculum 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 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.