2.3 MA in Rhetoric, Composition, & Professional Communication Degree Requirements

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Students admitted to graduate study for the MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (RCPC) do not declare a specialization but may choose electives from a particular area of concentration to strengthen their understanding of that area (e.g., teaching multimodal composition, teaching professional communication, teaching speech communication, developing professional documents, understanding and using communication technology, analyzing visual design).

2.3.1 Degree Requirements  (Effective Spring 2021)

Requires 30 credits of coursework.

Area of CourseworkCoursesCredits
Engl 501
Engl 503
Engl 506
Engl/Sp Cm 547
Engl 602C
Choose from any of the courses in the categories listed.
TAs may count 3 credits of either Engl 500 or Sp Cm 513.
Multimodal composition and speech communication
Engl 504, Engl/Sp Cm 592B
Professional communication
Engl 505, 508, 529, 542, 549, 586, 587, Engl/Sp Cm 592C
Engl/Sp Cm 548, Engl 586, Engl/Sp Cm 592A
After designated prerequisites and 6 graduate credits completed, students may take
Engl 602A, 602B, 603, 611, 631
Elective credits may come from English Department course offerings or from other university departments or programs (such as WGS 501, Sp Cm 504, Engl 522, or Engl 527).
Engl 699: Thesis Research
Engl 599: Creative Component
TOTAL 30 minimum

2.3.2 Curricular Policies and Guidelines

The MA RCPC program does not include a foreign language requirement.

2.3.3 Final Oral Defense of the Thesis or Creative Component (Final Oral Examination)

See the section on Graduation for more details and information on finishing up as well as resources with links to very helpful information.

2.3.4 Student Learning Outcomes

For those students seeking careers in rhetoric, composition, and professional communication, the program focuses on achieving five educational objectives. Specifically, with a master’s degree in rhetoric, composition, and technical communication, our students will be able to:

  • understand the field of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication in the United States and internationally
  • understand, analyze, and act upon humane and ethical issues, especially as they entail decisions facing professional communicators in business and in the academy situated in an increasingly complex, technological society
  • apply the historical and theoretical understanding necessary to the discipline to assess the impact of specific technologies upon communication within complex organizations and institutions
  • synthesize their strategies for problem solving and their skills in rhetorical analysis in designing, composing, and evaluating professional documents, including those for electronic, networked environments
  • integrate oral, written, electronic, and visual skills to produce effective professional communication in the contemporary workplace

Means of measuring whether students have met these objectives include: achievement on course papers and tests; familiarity with technology as shown in networked classrooms and on oral, written, and visual assignments; performance during internships; and successful completion of a thesis or creative component.