MA in RCPC: Coursework & Program of Study

Search the Graduate POS Manual

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).  The long-term plan for courses is available here.

Area of CourseworkCoursesCredits Towards POS

This course does not count towards degree requirement credits. Students complete co-requisite their first fall semester upon entry into the program. Previous coursework that meets co-requisite must be documented by submitting the Pre/Co-Requisite Equivalency Petition.
1.0 credit
Engl 506
Engl 563A or C* (was 602A or C)
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 503, 504, Engl 592B*#
Professional communication
Engl 505, 508#, 529, 542, 549*, 586, 587, Engl 592C*#
Engl 547*, 548*, 563A or C* (not used in Core), Engl 592A*#
After designated prerequisites and 6 graduate credits completed, students may take
Engl 603, 611*#, 631
* Cross-listed with Sp Cm
# Repeatable
Elective credits may come from English Department course offerings or from other university departments or programs (such as WGS 501, Sp Cm 540, 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.

Thesis and Creative Component Options

In your last semester as an RCPC student, you will complete a substantial research project—either a traditional thesis or a creative component. We encourage students who are planning to enter the workforce after graduation to consider one of the two creative component options available. The creative component options allow you to apply and display what you’ve learned in your coursework.

RPC Course Selections

Engl 500 Teaching Multimodal CompositionEngl 503 Composition Theory
Engl 504 Teaching Advanced CommunicationEngl 505 User Experience Architecture and Testing for Advanced
Engl 506 Professional Communication TheoryEngl 508 Writing for Academic Publication (summer)
Sp Cm 513 Teaching Fundamentals of Public SpeakingEngl 529 Content Management
Engl 542 Technical Editing and Publication ManagementEngl/Sp Cm 547: The History of Rhetorical Theory from the Classical Era to the Present
Engl/Sp Cm 548: Cultural and Critical Theories of Communication and RhetoricEngl 549 Multimedia and Interaction Design
Engl 563A Research Methods: QualitativeEngl 563C Research Methods: Rhetorical Analysis
Engl 586 Visual Rhetoric in Professional CommunicationEngl 587 Internship in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication
Engl 590 Special Topics (Independent Study)Engl/Sp Cm 592A Core Studies: Rhetoric
Engl/Sp Cm 592C Core Studies: Professional CommunicationEngl 611 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
Engl 631 Administration and Organization of Multimodal Writing Programs

Brief course descriptions of the above courses can be found in the ISU Catalog under the English Department section.

RCPC Learning Outcomes

The RCPC program combines the pedagogy focus of a degree in rhetoric and composition with the technical skill and practicality of a degree in professional communication. Upon graduation, students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the interplay of rhetoric, composition, and professional communication in local and global contexts.
  • Analyze a rhetorical situation and develop communication that responds to it effectively and ethically.
  • Develop communication that helps build a socially just society.
  • Use communication to contribute to an affirming and inclusive classroom/workplace environment.
  • Apply the historical and theoretical understanding necessary to assess the use of specific communication technologies within complex organizations.
  • Combine verbal and visual communication skills to produce effective communication in contemporary organizations.

Measures for evaluating a student’s success in meeting these objectives include these:

  • Achievement on coursework
  • Familiarity with useful and common software programs and technologies
  • Successful completion of a thesis or a creative-component project.