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M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition Degree Requirements​

The Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition degree requires a minimum of 33 semester credit hours (SCHs) that includes 4 required courses (12 SCHs), 5 elective courses (15 SCHs), a final experience (6 SCHs), and a graduate portfolio (0 SCH). Please see the degree plan below for detailed information.

Minimum Grade Point Average

Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Grades of C or lower do not count toward graduation, and two course grades of C or lower are cause for dismissal from the program. Any single grade of D or lower is cause for dismissal from the program.​

​Degree Requirement
​Course Number / Title
​Semester Credit Hours (SCH)
​​4 Required Courses (12 SCHs)​
​ENG 5317 - Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
​ENG 5301 - Contemporary Composition Theory​
​ ENG 5302 - Multicultural Composition Studies​
​ENG 6350 - Research Methods in Technical Communication
​​​​​ ​​
​​​​5 elective courses
(15 SCHs)​
​At least 3 courses
(9 SCHs​) in Rhetoric and Composition​

​​​ENG 5306 - Critic al Theory
​​​ENG 5316 - Advanced Studies in the History of Rhetoric​ 3​
​​​ENG 5327 - MARC Practicum

​​ENG 5390 - Special Topics in Rhetoric and Composition​
​​​ENG 6301 - Composition Pedagogy
​​​​ENG 6316 - Multicultural Rhetorics
​​​​ENG 6317 - Theories and Practice of Second Language Acquisition
​​​​ENG 6320 - Composition Pedagogy for Multi-Lingual Environments
​​ENG 6326 - Theories of Developmental Writing and Reading​
​ENG 6327 - Studies in Lite​racy​
​​ENG 6370 - Theories of Collaborative Learning and Pedagogical Practices​
​​​ENG 6371 - Strategies for Writing Assessment​​ ​3​​
​​Up to 3 courses
(9 SCHs) in Technical Communication

​​TCOM 6310 - Intercultural and World Communication
​​​TCOM 6318 - Stylistics and Editing​
​​ENG 6319 - Language Variation and Adaptation​
​​TCOM 6323 - Communications and Technology​​
Up to 2 courses (6 SCHs) in Literature
​ENG 6306 - Literary Theory and Interpretation
​​ENG 6307 - Advanced Shakespeare​​
​ENG 6313 - British Literature Seminar​ ​3
​​ENG 6314 - American Literature Seminar​
​​ENG 6315 - World Literature Seminar​​ ​3​​
​​​​ ​​​​F​inal
Thesis or Additional
(6 SCH​s)


Thesis (6 SCHs) 
​ENG 6393 - MARC Directed Research​
​ENG 6394 - MARC Thesis Houst​ ​3​​
​​- OR -
Additional Coursework
(6 SCHs)
Elective 1
​​​Elective 2
​​​ENG 6097
​​​​​​ ​​
​​​​​​ ​​Portfolio​ (0 SCHs) ​ENG 6098 - MARC / GCCS Portfolio
​​​​​​ 33 total semester credit hours
​​​​​​​ ​

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Course Descriptions

Select on a course number/title below to see the full course description.

Required Courses

A study of major rhetorical theories and criticism.

A study of contemporary composition theory in first-year college writing.

Studies of a range of scholars across the spectrum of multiculturalism from the theoretical to the practical.

This course is an introduction to the research methods commonly used in the academic field of technical communication, rhetoric, and composition studies. By the end of the course, you should be able to design a thesis-driven qualitative or quantitative research project that is potentially publishable. This course is ideal preparation for graduate students planning on writing a thesis or capstone.

Elective Courses


A study of major schools of critical theory.

An advanced study of rhetoric with an investigation of its development as a discipline.

A study of diverse rhetorics from around the world with a focus on how they expand upon and differ from traditional European assumptions about communication and rhetoric.

A semester long study in a particular topic related to the pedagogy or practice of writing and rhetoric.

Composition Pedagogy

A study of composition theory, technology, and assessment as guides for teaching practices.

A survey of pedagogical methods in multi-lingual writing classrooms.

An examination of current scholarship in the teaching of secondary and college developmental writing and reading in preparation for effective teaching of underprepared students in multicultural classrooms.

Composition Theory

Trains students in the examination and assessment of the rhetorical effects of style and editing and in the application of appropriate choices to documents, audiences, and settings. Covers information processing theory and practice.

This course will examine historical, current, and emerging trends in the field of literacy studies, with the understanding that literacy is defined by the contexts and cultures in which it appears. Students will read and write within traditional text-based literacies as well as multimodal and digital literacies.

An advanced survey of collaborative writing and learning theories, with strategies and applications.

A study of the theory and practice of writing assessment, including the assessment of student writing.

English as a Second Language

Examines issues surrounding communication for and with multiple audiences with diverse linguistic and cultural patterns. Will consider implications of controlled language systems.

An examination of theories of second language acquisition and an application of pedagogical methods.

An examination of language development and its relevance to skills required in an educational environment. The course will focus on sound patterns, word formation patterns, sentence structures, and writing systems and standards.

Technology and Pedagogy

Surveys and applies the theory, research, creation, development, and delivery of courses in corporate and academic environments. Students will design and present curricula for classroom or industry use.

Acquaints students with various computer software programs and their applications. Students will expand their knowledge of rhetorical principles and techniques for reporting statistical analyses and conveying them to specialized audiences.


This course compares the theory and practice of two or three strategies for interpreting literature.

An in-depth study of Shakespeare, with attention to the literary and intellectual contexts, performance/film history, and contemporary critical approaches.

An examination of historical and rhetorical contexts, representative authors, literary texts, and/or major literary movements in British literature, including texts from Ireland, and/or Commonwealth nations. Course will introduce current approaches and critical debates in British literary studies to help prepare students for scholarly and multicultural pedagogical engagement.

Qualifying Courses

A survey of major perspectives on the teaching of college composition with an examination of models of best practices for curricular development for use in multicultural writing courses. This course is a prerequisite to serving the English department as a Teaching Assistant.

As the first half of the thesis sequence, this course will be taken as the student begins work on a long-form piece of scholarship relevant to composition and/or rhetoric. For more details on the thesis sequence, see the director of the degree. In the event that a student does not wish to write a thesis, a non-thesis option consists of two additional electives.

As the second half of the thesis sequence, the course spans the period during which the student is actually composing, revising, and eventually defending the thesis with input from supervising faculty.

Zero-Credit Courses

Students who do not wish to write a thesis must take 2 additional elective courses. Upon making the decision to pursue the non-thesis option, the student must enroll in ENG 6097 – a zero-credit course that indicates this decision on the transcript.

In the semester during which students will complete the M.A. degree, they must each enroll in ENG 6098. Their only responsibility in this zero-credit course is to submit a portfolio to the director of the program by the end of the semester. This portfolio should include three major projects (typically essays written during MARC courses) that represent the student’s best work in each of three areas: composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy. (See the director of the program for more details).

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Last updated 4/7/2022 3:40 AM