Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures

Graduate Study
Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing - Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing serves both as a professional degree for students interested in a technical and professional writing career track and as a preparatory degree for doctoral work in rhetoric, writing, communication studies, media studies, or technical communication. The program provides students with a theoretically grounded yet practical experience in technical and professional writing, with a special focus on writing in digital environments.


To be considered for admission to the Master of Arts degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing an applicant must:

  1. Include in the letter required by the college, a statement that addresses the applicant’s goals in pursuing the degree.
  2. Submit two writing samples showing two different styles or genres.

To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree in humanities, writing, communications or a related field and have completed a minimum of 18 semester credits in humanities, writing, or communications-related fields beyond the 100-level with a minimum grade-point average of 3.25.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and the College of Arts and Letters, students must meet the requirements specified below.

Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing

The program is available under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). A total of 31 credits, of which no more than 12 credits may be at the 400-level, is required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B. The student’s program of study must be approved by the program director. The student must meet the requirements specified below:

Requirements for Plan A and Plan B  
1. All of the following core courses (13 credits):  
  WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric 3
  WRA 420 Content Strategy for Professional Writers 3
  WRA 841 Professional Writing Theory and Research 3
  WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric 3
  WRA 886 Master's Research Colloquium 1
2. Both of the following courses (6 credits):  
  WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring 3
  WRA 893A Internship in Rhetoric and Writing 3
3. Complete a minimum of 6 additional credits selected from the following:  
  AL 881 Special Topics in Teaching with Technology in Arts and Humanities 3
  LIN 437 Semantics and Pragmatics 3
  LIN 471 Sociolinguistics 3
  LIN 837 Advanced Studies in Semantics and Pragmatics 3
  LIN 871 Advanced Studies in Sociolinguistics 3
  WRA 872 Methods of Research in Rhetoric and Writing 3
  WRA 877 Community Literacy 3
  WRA 878 Composition Studies: Issues, Theory, and Research 3
  WRA 890 Independent Study in Rhetoric and Writing 1 to 6
  WRA 891 Special Topics in Rhetoric and Writing 3
  Additional courses are available with approval of the program director.  

Additional Requirements for Plan A

  1. Complete 6 credits of WRA 899 Master’s Thesis Research.
  2.  Pass a final oral certifying examination on the thesis and course work.

Additional Requirements for Plan B

  1. Complete an additional 6 credits of course work from the list of electives above.
  2. Pass a final certifying examination on the course work

Academic Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in all graduate courses.

A student may accumulate no more than 6 credits with a grade below 3.0 in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing courses taken for the purpose of satisfying the degree requirements.