Graduate Programs


Here are three reasons you should consider applying to the master’s or doctoral program:

  1. Contemporary coursework.
    The digital information age is the energy driving education, commerce, and government. It’s the latest in a long history of communication-rich eras, going back to the golden age of Greece. In the MA program of study, you’ll explore rhetoric’s historical origins; sample the latest theories; develop skills for teaching, web designing, document production, and visual communication; learn to write proposals; produce manuals and in-house publications; and edit technical and scientific documents, whether print or online.
  2. Engaged faculty.
    Our faculty have won numerous awards in both teaching and research. Award-winning teachers such as LAS Outstanding Teacher Ben Crosby teach classes regularly and interact closely with graduate students in the classroom and on thesis committees. Faculty members such as David Russell and Charlie Kostelnick have won national awards for outstanding research. RPC faculty even founded and continue to edit one of the major academic journals in the field: The Journal of Business and Technical Communication.
  3. Opportunities.
    You can shape your interest in communication into a career that’s right for you. Want to be a technical writer for the computer industry? Want to teach business and technical communication at the community college level? Want to be an editor for a corporate newsletter? Want to go beyond the MA (half of our MA graduates have gone on to study for their doctorates)? Want to participate in a workplace internship to help you decide which direction to take as well as prepare your portfolio for a successful job search?

What Makes Our Program Distinctive?

The Breadth of our Faculty

Our faculty is among the most multifaceted anywhere. Our breadth gives students the opportunity to master a diverse range of perspectives on rhetorical issues, and professional communication, including multi-modal communication pedagogy, visual rhetoric, workplace communication, technology, the history of rhetoric, and public address.

Impact on the Profession

The many publications that ISU faculty members have produced and edited are heavily cited in other publications and have earned faculty members over a dozen national awards. The Journal of Business and Technical Communication is published from the ISU department, as are the Technical Communication Library (physically located here and directed here), and the Journal for Business Communication (also edited at Iowa State).

Explore the adventure of the PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication or the MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication.