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English-Rhetoric and Composition - Ph.D. PDFDownload to print

College of Arts and Sciences
Department of English

113 Satterfield Hall
Tel: 330-672-2676
Fax: 330-672-3152


The Ph.D. in English–Rhetoric and Composition is focused on literacy, rhetoric and social practice. Grounded in rhetoric and language study, students complete coursework and research centered on how advanced literacy is embedded within and constitutive of communities of work and citizenship in contemporary culture. Given the historical and institutional link between composition instruction and the humanities, the program attempts to forge close connections between language and literacy at the university and in the work and lives of students and communities.

Admission Requirements

Official transcript(s), GRE, goal statement, three letters of recommendation and an 8-15 page writing sample relevant to the field of study. All requirements are reviewed and evaluated holistically. Please refer to the University policy for graduate admissions.

Graduation Requirements

Students admitted to the Rhetoric and Composition doctoral major complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of doctoral-level coursework across five areas: introduction to the study of writing and rhetoric, theoretical foundations, language and linguistics, research methods, and literate practices. Students, with guidance from faculty, complete a language requirement and a qualifying examination before writing a dissertation prospectus. The language requirement can be satisfied by either a second language or a representational system, if the latter is relevant to the student’s course of study. Upon the successful completion of the qualifying examination, students form a dissertation committee whose members direct the student through the dissertation and the completion of the degree.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

1. Demonstrate effective teaching skills.

2. Demonstrate the knowledge and professional skills to work as researchers and teachers.

3. Understand, apply, and interpret the theoretical and applied knowledge of the field.

4. Communicate their research and findings in the field.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of and apply the interconnection of Rhetoric and Composition to other disciplines.

6. Demonstrate thinking capabilities that reflect both critical awareness and creative potential.

7. Demonstrate collaboration with others in both research and writing.

8. Apply the methods and practices of research in the field.

Advanced Degree Programs

The English Department offers the M.A. in TESL, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the M.A. in English (Literature and Writing, Concentration for Teachers and Comparative Literature) and the Ph.D. in English.

Course Title Credits
ENG 75011 Introduction to the Field of Writing: Theory Research/Practice 3
  75012 Reading and Interpreting Research on Writing  3
Choose from the following: 9
  75022 Rhetorical Theory: Greek and Roman (3)  
  75027*  Role of Composition (3)  
  75044* Research Design (3)  
  75051   Literacy: Functions, Practices and History (3)  
Choose 15 hours across three of areas A, B, C or D; 6 credit hours must be at the 80000 level 12
Area A  
  75023 Rhetorical Theory: 18, 19, 20th Centuries (3)  
  75027* Role of Composition (3)  
  75057 Semeiotics (3)  
  85024 Domain Rhetorics and the Construction of Knowledge (3)  
  85025  Theories and Systems of Writing and Representation (3)  
Area B  
  73034  Literate Practices and Sociolinguistics (3)  
  75035  Linguistics for Rhetoricians (3)  
  85033    Rhetorical Nature and Function of Extended Discourse (3)  
Area C  
  75044* Research Design (3)  
  85041 Field Research Methods in Writing (3)  
  85042 Discourse Analysis (3)   
  85043   Historical Methods in Writing and Rhetoric (3)  
Area D  
  75052  Writing Activity as Social Practice (3)  
  75053  Writing Technologies (3)  
  85054  Studies in Literacy and Community (3)  
  85055  Nature and Relationship of Non-Academic Literacy (3)  
Elective (from any of the above areas) 3
TOTAL 30**

*courses may be counted only once; as core OR area requirement OR elective

** 30 hours beyond a master's degree

Note: When scheduling permits ENG 75012 should be taken as a prerequisite to 75044; there will be semesters however, when students need to take ENG 75012 and 75044 simultaneously if they want to take the ENG 75044.