MA Requirements

Advisement Checklist

MA in Rhetoric and Composition form (PDF)

Independent Study (ENGL 8100) form(PDF)

Coursework Requirements

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

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. Nine Hours of the following courses:
    • ENGL 8170 History & Theory of Rhetoric & Composition I
    • ENGL 8171 History & Theory of Rhetoric & Composition II
    • ENGL 8180 Contemporary Issues in Writing Studies
  1. Three Hours in research methods. Choose one course from the following:
    • ENGL 8122 User Experience Research
    • ENGL 6521, Archival Research Methods
    • ENGL 8175 Topics in Rhetoric and Composition (only when the course is tagged as having a research methods focus)
  1. Twelve additional hours of rhetoric and composition courses and strongly related courses;
  2. Six hours of electives (may be taken in any related fields of study in English or in other departments, with approval of advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies);
  3. Six hours of ENGL 8999 Thesis Research.

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.

Graduate Research Skill Requirement
Candidates for the M.A. with an emphasis in rhetoric, composition, and technical and professional writing are expected to fulfill the graduate research requirement or to have received a grade of B or higher in either of the following course sets:

  • both ENGL 8121(Rhetoric of Digital Media) and ENGL 8123 (Digital Media Production), or
  • both ENGL 8122 (User Experience Research) and ENGL 8124 (Web Programming for Writers).

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.


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