Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (MA)

What does the RCPC program offer?

The department of English at Iowa State University offers a unique degree: a master’s in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication. The curriculum lies at the intersection of these fields—what some have called “writing studies”—but flexes to allow students to pursue a focus that suits their individual interests. The program strongly suits students who are interested in careers in industry as web designers, technical editors, grant writers, or social media specialists. But it also suits well those who want to teach writing at a community college. In addition, the RCPC degree provides a strong foundation for a doctoral degree. All students graduate as teacher-scholars who not only understand theory but who can also apply it.

What coursework does the RCPC program require?

Students admitted to graduate study for the MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (RCPC) must complete 30 credits of required and elective coursework according to the program of study (MA RCPC Program of Study Requirements). They 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).

What are RCPC alumni doing now?

RCPC alumni have gone on to a variety of careers in communication, such as these:

  • Online Marketing and Analytics Manager, Emerson Automation Solutions
  • Front End Developer, Garmin International
  • Supervisor of Instructional Design, Allina Health
  • Senior Group Manager, National Instruments
  • Lead Technical Writer, Transamerica
  • Training and Instructional Designer, Viasat Inc.

What professionalization opportunities are available?

Faculty are strongly committed to students’ professionalization, particularly through conference presentations. Faculty and students regularly collaborate on research and subsequent presentations at the conferences of professional organizations such as the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, the Association for Business Communication, the National Communication Association. In addition, faculty and students have collaborated on publications. In addition, many RCPC students choose to enroll in the program’s internship course, gaining credit while getting real-world experience.

What facilities are available?

Students have access to the Studio for New Media, a facility that facilitates high-end multimedia development and collaborative production with digital media. RCPC also have access to a usability lab, complete with eye-tracking equipment.