MA Coursework & Program of Study

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 composition and/or professional communication, writing professional documents, understanding communication technology, analyzing visual design).

30 credit hours of graduate coursework

Area of CourseworkCoursesCredits
TOTAL 30 minimum
CORE COURSEWORK
Engl 501
Engl 506
Engl 547 or 548
Engl 602C
12
ADVANCED STUDY IN RCPC
Choose from any of the courses in the categories listed.
TAs may count 3 credits of either Engl 500 or Sp Cm 513.
Composition
Engl 503, 504, 592B
Professional Communication
Engl 505, 508, 529, 542, 549, 586, 587, 592C
Rhetoric
Engl 547 or 548 (whichever one is not counted as "Core Coursework" above), 586, 592A
After designated prerequisites and 6 graduate credits completed, students may take
Engl 602A, 602B, 603, 611, 631
9
ELECTIVES
Electives may represent a cohesive set of two graduate courses from English Department course offerings or
from other university departments or programs (such as WGS 501, Sp Cm 504, Engl 522, and Engl 527).
6
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH
Engl 699: Thesis Research
or
Engl 599: Creative Component
3

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

RPC course selections

  • 500 Teaching Multimodal Composition
  • 501 Introduction to Research in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication
  • 503 Composition Theory
  • 504 Teaching Advanced Communication
  • 505 User Experience Architecture and Testing for Advanced Communication
  • 506 Professional Communication Theory
  • 508 Writing for Academic Publication (summer)
  • 529 Content Management
  • 542 Document Design and Editing
  • 547 History of Rhetorical Theory I: From Plato to Bacon
  • 548 History of Rhetorical Theory II: From Bacon to the Present
  • 549 Multimedia and Interaction Design
  • 586 Visual Rhetoric in Professional Communication
  • 587 Internship in Business, Technical, and Professional Communication
  • 590 Special Topics (Independent Study)
  • 592A Core Studies: Rhetoric
  • 592B Core Studies: Composition
  • 592C Core Studies: Professional Communication
  • 602A Research Methods: Qualitative
  • 602B Research Methods: Quantitative
  • 602C Research Methods: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 603 Seminar in Composition Theory
  • 611 Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
  • 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 Goals

For those students seeking careers in rhetoric, composition, and technical communication, the program focuses on achieving five educational objectives. Specifically, with a masters 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.