Department of English

Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition

The Rhetoric and Composition concentration is a track of the MA degree that offers in-depth study of key theoretical and methodological approaches to rhetoric and composition studies, with an emphasis on writing pedagogy and rhetorical analysis. Students who complete the composition and rhetoric concentration will develop teaching, writing, and research skills reflecting the developments in the field of the last few decades.

Our graduates are currently employed as teachers at all levels of education. Graduates with an MA in rhetoric and composition are also qualified for positions as writing instructors and tutors, government lobbyists, advocacy campaign planners, education policymakers, school administrators, curriculum designers, and researchers and analysts for think tanks. Many of our graduates have also pursued doctoral degrees.

To graduate, MA students with concentrations in Rhetoric and Composition will need to complete 30 hours of coursework, meet the foreign language requirement, and compile a portfolio. 

Course Requirements

Table of course requirements
Requirements Courses    
GTA req.
(2 hrs)
7940: GTA Practicum    
Distribution Courses
(9 hrs)
TPC or Linguistics Literature or Creative Writing Special: Technology and Culture, Globalism Sustainability, Diversity
Major Area Courses (9 hrs) 7040: English Comp: Issues & Approaches 7050: Studies in Composition 7300: Rhetoric Theory and Practice
Minor Area Courses (6 hrs) 2 graduate courses in English or another discipline relative to the student’s professional & academic goals; approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee    
Elective Courses (6 hrs) 2 graduate courses in English    
Capstone Portfolio and oral exam    


An introductory memo to your committee. This memo must address three questions: (a) Based on your coursework, what do you see as the major issues in rhetorical and composition studies as a discipline? (b) How does the work you have presented in this portfolio address those issues? (c) How is the work in the portfolio relevant to your career goals? You will need to situate your response using pertinent sources from current disciplinary conversations. Length should be roughly 2-3 single-spaced pages. Following your response to these questions, you will need to provide a brief overview of the documents in the portfolio.

An updated résumé or curriculum vita.

A teaching portfolio. The teaching portfolio needs to contain the following: (a) a title page that includes your name, a suitable title for your portfolio, and the date submitted, (b) a table of contents, (c) a

statement of teaching philosophy of no more than 500 words, (d) materials from the courses you’ve taught. At minimum, for each course you’ll need to provide:

  • a brief introductory statement that describes the course and its key learning goals and your approach for meeting those goals
  • documents that outline key policies and information about the course and the course schedule
  • sample projects or major assignments
  • sample in-class activities and other instructional materials
  • sample student papers with your comments and a grade

One revised sample—print or online—of a writing project from one of the major area courses: ENGL
7050: Studies in Composition or ENGL 7300: Rhetorical Theory and Practice. The project needs to
showcase your best work from the course you select and can be either individually or collaboratively produced.

A minimum of one writing project—print or online—relevant to a specialization in rhetorical and composition studies. This project might be one of the following, or an equivalent project approved by the advisory committee and the graduate coordinator:

a)   a designed document
b)   a website
c)   a grant or project proposal
d)   a conference proposal or presentation
e)   materials relevant to future employment or graduate work

For more information

Sunny Stalter-Pace

Sunny Stalter-Pace

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
9096 Haley Center
(334) 844-9081

Last Updated: July 27, 2016