Graduate Admission + Requirements

Admissions

Admission is competitive and is determined by the Director of Graduate Studies in English and the graduate committee. Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission:
1. a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

2. a “B” average (3.0) in the undergraduate major.

3. acceptable scores (no more than four years old) on the General portion of the GRE.

4. two official transcripts of all previous college or university work.

5. two recommendation forms sent directly from persons who can testify to the applicant’s ability to do graduate work. (Copies of the required forms are available in the Graduate Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the Department of English.)

Applicants should be aware that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the M.A. program in English. Applicants to the M.A. concentrations in literature or rhetoric and composition may be able to help their candidacy by including with their application a writing sample that demonstrates the ability to do library research, literary analysis, and/or graduate-level composition.

See the College Admissions Website for more details.

Registration and Advisement

The Office of the Registrar will notify students by mail of the date and time of their registration. The Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English will act as adviser to all M.A. students until a faculty member is designated or until they have chosen a thesis director. Students are responsible for making appointments with the Director of Graduate Studies for advisement and for being familiar with the requirements for their degree as set forth in this booklet and in the Graduate Bulletin, College of Arts and Sciences.


M.A. Program

Time Limit
All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within seven years.

Coursework
Candidates for the M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition must satisfactorily complete 30 hours of graduate coursework (10 courses), plus 6 hours of thesis research credit, and a substantial (40–60 pages excluding notes and reference material) academic paper or a digital media project approved by a thesis committee consisting of a director and two other faculty members.

The following courses are required:

  1. Twelve hours of required courses: ENGL 8125 Writing and Research Methodology (should be taken in the first semester, if possible, and at the latest, the semester before writing the thesis),ENGL 8170 Classical Rhetoric: Greek, ENGL 8120 Writing for Academic Publication (ProSeminar), and ENGL 8180 Composition Theory;
  2. Twelve additional hours of rhetoric and composition courses and strongly related courses;
  3. Six hours of electives (may be taken in any related fields of study);
  4. Six hours of 8999 (Thesis Research).

Thesis
Thesis research may involve digital and workplace projects as well as textual studies, and the thesis can be a substantial (40–60 pages) academic paper or a digital project with approval of the director. The proposal for thesis research must be submitted and approved by the student’s committee the semester prior to writing the thesis.

Foreign Language / Alternative Research Skill Requirement
Candidates for the M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition are expected to demonstrate fluency in one foreign language or to have received a grade of B or higher in one of the following sequences of courses:  

  1. ENGL 8121, Rhetoric of Digital Media and ENGL 8123, Digital Media Production
  2. ENGL 8900, Archival Research Methods and ENGL 8100, Independent Study, Archival Research Project
  3. ENGL 8900, Visual Rhetorics and ENGL 8900, Computers and Composition
  4. Other two-course sequences as approved by your advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. degree program prepares students to choose careers as teachers on the college and university levels or in secondary schools, to conduct scholarly research, and to write at a professional level. At the end of their Ph.D. courses, students should demonstrate a superior understanding of composition pedagogy and practice, knowledge of the history of rhetoric, knowledge of workplace writing theory and practice, and the technical skills necessary for communicating in electronic environments.

Admission
Applicants should be aware that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to the Ph.D. program. Admission is competitive and is determined by a committee that weighs all of the following requirements:

1. a master’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

2. two official transcripts of all previous college or university work.

3. two recommendation forms sent directly from persons who can testify to the applicant’s ability to do graduate work. (Copies of the required forms are available in the Graduate Office, the College of Arts and Sciences, or the Department of English, or on the College of Arts and Sciences web site .)

4. satisfactory scores (usually those well above the 50th percentile) no more than four years old on the General portion of the Graduate Record Examination.

5. an essay composed by the applicant stating his/her goals and career objectives.

6. a ten-to-fifteen-page writing sample that demonstrates the ability to do library research, literary analysis, and/or graduate-level composition.

Advisement
Because the requirements for the doctoral programs are complex, candidates for the degree are urged to consult regularly with the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English. By the time students have chosen their area of concentration and have completed the majority of their coursework, students should choose a major professor who is qualified to supervise their preparation for comprehensive examinations and to guide their thesis research.

Requirements for the Doctoral Degree Program
Students in this plan must complete at least 30 semester hours of coursework beyond the M.A. level, plus 20 hours of dissertation research. Before you begin taking classes, you should work out a plan of study with one of the faculty.

Dissertation research may involve digital and workplace projects as well as textual studies, and the dissertation can be a substantial academic paper or a digital project with approval of the director. To facilitate professional specialization within the broad fields of rhetoric, composition, professional writing, and technical communication, the following courses are required:

  1. A total of thirty hours of course work beyond the M.A. level (including, if desired, a maximum of six hours of coursework in related fields offered by other departments);
  2. Six hours of language, theory, literature, or in any related fields of study outside of English upon approval from the student’s advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies;
  3. Twelve hours of required rhetoric and composition courses: ENGL 8125 (if not taken at the M.A. level; should be taken in the first semester, if possible), ENGL 8170 Classical Rhetoric: Greek, ENGL 8120 Writing for Academic Publication (Pro Seminar), and ENGL 8180 Composition Theory (the student can enter the Ph.D. program with this requirement fulfilled if these courses or their equivalent were taken at the M.A. level);
  4. Twelve hours of rhetoric and composition courses or strongly related courses;
  5. Electives as needed to complete the 30-hour requirement;
  6. Twenty hours of 8999 (Thesis Research)

Foreign Language / Alternative Research Skill Requirement
If not already completed at the Masters level, candidates for the Ph.D. with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition are expected to demonstrate fluency in one foreign language or to have received a grade of B or higher in one of the following sequences of courses:  

  1. ENGL 8121, Rhetoric of Digital Media and ENGL 8123, Digital Media Production
  2. ENGL 8900, Archival Research Methods and ENGL 8100, Independent Study, Archival Research Project
  3. ENGL 8900, Visual Rhetorics and ENGL 8900, Computers and Composition
  4. Other two-course sequences as approved by your advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies

Graduation

See the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Services Website for details, requirements, and current deadlines.