The M.A. in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition offers the following:

  • training for students seeking to teach at the junior college level

  • an attractive degree program for public school English teachers

  • a theoretical and historical foundation for students seeking to enter a PhD program in rhetoric and composition

  • training for students seeking a professional writing career

Course Distribution

The M.A. degree in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition consists of 36 semester hours total (18 hours of rhetoric and composition courses, and 18 hours of elective English courses).

Required Courses (18 hours):

ENGL 7000 Approaches to Graduate Study

ENGL 7010 Approaches to Critical Theory

ENGL 4620/6000 Survey of the History of Rhetoric (if not taken as an undergraduate)

ENGL 7600 or ENGL 8600 or ENGL 8800

Select one from the following:

ENGL 4610/6000 History of the English Language (if not taken as an undergraduate)

ENGL 7600 Studies in Rhetoric and Composition (if not taken above)

ENGL 8300 Revision and Editing for Professionals

ENGL 8600 Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition (if not taken above)

ENGL 8690 Workshop in Rhetoric and Composition

LING 6000 Principles of Language Study

LING 6160 Language in Society

Guided Electives (15 hours):

Studies Courses (7000-level ENGL)

Seminars (8000-level ENGL)

Graduate Option (ENGL 6000 and/or courses from other departments; see note below*)

*Note on Graduate Option: In order to take advantage of our extensive undergraduate offerings and to engage in interdisciplinary study, students will have the opportunity to exercise a graduate option and to enroll in a maximum of 9 hours of coursework drawn from selected 4000-level courses within the English department crosslisted at the 6000-level, with the prefixes ENGL, LING, CRWR, and JOUR (with appropriate adjustments in the course syllabus); only 6 hours of the Graduate Option can be taken as graduate courses outside the English Department.

Culminating Experience (6 hours): Select one of the options below

Option A: Comprehensive Exam

ENGL 8995 Comprehensive Exam Reading Hours (3-6 hours)

Option B: Thesis

ENGL 8999 Thesis (3-6 hours)

Special Requirements for Students Entering the Program Without an Undergraduate Degree in English:

Students entering the rhetoric and composition emphasis without an undergraduate degree in English or English minor or its equivalent must complete three hours of either ENGL 3210 or 3215 as well as three hours of either 3110 or 3120 – all with a grade of B or higher. These prerequisites must be completed before the student may enroll in graduate-level courses.