MA in RCPC: Coursework & Program of Study

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Students in the MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (RCPC) program 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).

30 credit hours of graduate 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

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

RPC Course Selections

  • Engl 500 Teaching Multimodal Composition
  • Engl 501 Introduction to Research in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication
  • Engl 503 Composition Theory
  • Engl 504 Teaching Advanced Communication
  • Engl 505 User Experience Architecture and Testing for Advanced Communication
  • Engl 506 Professional Communication Theory
  • Engl 508 Writing for Academic Publication (summer)
  • Sp Cm 513 Teaching Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • Engl 529 Content Management
  • Engl 542 Document Design and Editing
  • Engl/Sp Cm 547: The History of Rhetorical Theory I: From Plato to Bacon
  • Engl/Sp Cm 548: Cultural and Critical Theories of Communication and Rhetoric
  • Engl 549 Multimedia and Interaction Design
  • Engl 586 Visual Rhetoric in Professional Communication
  • Engl 587 Internship in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication
  • Engl 590 Special Topics (Independent Study)
  • Engl/Sp Cm 592A Core Studies: Rhetoric
  • Engl/Sp Cm 592B Core Studies: Composition
  • Engl/Sp Cm 592C Core Studies: Professional Communication
  • Engl 602A Research Methods: Qualitative
  • Engl 602B Research Methods: Quantitative
  • Engl 602C Research Methods: Rhetorical Analysis
  • Engl 603 Seminar in Composition Theory
  • Engl 631 Administration and Organization of Multimodal Writing Programs

MA Program Goals

The M.A. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication meets the needs of its students, the university, and the community in four main ways:

  • providing students with skills in communication and technology that will serve them well in a world that is becoming ever more technologically sophisticated
  • helping students become effective citizens through communication and analytical skills that are valued in workplace and academic communities alike
  • preparing students for successful and rewarding lives in a rapidly changing world–with emphasis on developing critical thinking and team learning abilities
  • expanding the outreach of the university to include all those professionals who depend upon communication skills for the effective practice of their professions

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 professional communication, our students will be able to:

  • understand the field of rhetoric, composition, and professional 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.