Graduate school is like an apprenticeship in many ways. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the work that faculty members are doing, so that you have an idea about whom you would like to choose for a mentor, someone who can help you tailor a plan of study for your particular needs. Once you’ve have had a chance to take a few classes and have narrowed your interests, you should choose a key advisor and discuss your course selections and options. In addition to helping you choose your courses, your advisor will help you prepare for your thesis or dissertation, your PhD exams, and life after graduation.
The current requirements for both the MA and PhD in English are listed in the Graduate Catalog, listed under the Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition.