MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication

Join a program committed to studying the rhetorical and technological complexities of contemporary communication practice. We embrace multimodal composition, new media, and digital collaboration. Our breadth of faculty expertise, robust technology infrastructure, multimodal pedagogy, and responsive curriculum make possible a comprehensive approach to graduate education.

MA Program Goals

The M.A. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication meets the needs of its students, the university, and the community in four main ways:

  • providing students with skills in communication and technology that will serve them well in a world that is becoming ever more technologically sophisticated
  • helping students become effective citizens through communication and analytical skills that are valued in workplace and academic communities alike
  • preparing students for successful and rewarding lives in a rapidly changing world–with emphasis on developing critical thinking and team learning abilities
  • expanding the outreach of the university to include all those professionals who depend upon communication skills for the effective practice of their professions

Student Learning Goals

For those students seeking careers in rhetoric, composition, and technical communication, the program focuses on achieving five educational objectives. Specifically, with a masters degree in rhetoric, composition, and technical communication, our students will be able to:

  • understand the field of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication in the United States and internationally
  • understand, analyze, and act upon humane and ethical issues, especially as they entail decisions facing professional communicators in business and in the academy situated in an increasingly complex, technological society
  • apply the historical and theoretical understanding necessary to the discipline to assess the impact of specific technologies upon communication within complex organizations and institutions
  • synthesize their strategies for problem-solving and their skills in rhetorical analysis in designing, composing, and evaluating professional documents, including those for electronic, networked environments
  • integrate oral, written, electronic, and visual skills to produce effective professional communication in the contemporary workplace

Means of measuring whether students have met these objectives include: achievement on course papers and tests; familiarity with technology as shown in networked classrooms and on oral, written and visual assignments; submission of portfolios; performance during internships; and successful completion of a thesis or creative component.