The PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition prepares graduates for careers as writing specialists in higher education, business, industry, and government. In higher education, they conduct research into theories of writing development, use, and pedagogy. In business, industry, and government, they apply higher-level research, thinking, and writing skills to enhance communication. The focus of the program is on cultural and digital rhetorics and community engagement.
Students can enter the program with a bachelor’s degree in English or with a master’s degree in Rhetoric and Composition or a related field. They will complete a minimum of 45-51 credit hours beyond the MA, including core courses that cover rhetorical history, composition studies, cultural rhetorics and digital studies; concentration courses in topics such as technical communication, cultural studies, and literacy studies; and an internship course in a community literacy setting. A dissertation involving extended research is required. Students have opportunities to extend their knowledge of Rhetoric and Composition by taking courses in other disciplines such as Literature, Communications, Languages and Linguistics, and Teacher Education.