No results found, please try again. Reset selections.
The Master of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) combines a strong theoretical foundation in rhetoric and discourse with practical training in the areas of teaching writing and language, professional and technical writing, and digital content creation. The program’s mix of theory and practice prepares students to write and to create digital content in professional, technical, or nonprofit settings; to teach writing in post-secondary institutions; and to continue academic study in related PhD programs. Our students go on to work as writers and digital content creators in professional and technical workplaces; to teach writing and English as a second language in colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad; and to continue their academic study in PhD programs.
The MA in WRD may also be expanded to include select graduate certificate programs covering particular areas of interest. Students participating in a combined MA/certificate program should consult with their academic advisor to determine what coursework might count toward both programs. A separate application process for the certificate is required. Students who are interested in any of the following combination programs should contact the Graduate Student Services Office for additional information.
- WRD + Digital Humanities Certificate
- WRD + Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Certificate
- WRD + Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges Certificate
- WRD + Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate
|Program Requirements||Quarter Hours|
|Total hours required||48|
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts, theories, and disciplinary conversations in the study of non-literary writing.
- Analyze the ways in which subject positions and social relations inform and shape interpretations and production of written text.
- Demonstrate a conception of rhetorical context and apply this to their own writing in a range of settings.
- Demonstrate sophisticated reflection on one’s writing non-literary context.
- Manage the conventions of academic discourse, including synthesis of divergent positions.
- Work effectively on collaborative projects.
Concentration Specific Outcomes
Professional & Technical Writing Concentration
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate competence in employing situationally-appropriate writing technologies.
- Analyze power relations in workplace cultures.
Teaching Writing & Language Concentration
Students will be able to:
- Apply current theories and principles of writing and/or language pedagogy to the production and analysis of pedagogical materials, such as curricula, syllabi, lesson plans, and assignments.
- Be reflective when making pedagogical choices.
Students complete 12 courses (48 credits) to graduate from the MA in WRD program. Program requirements vary based on whether or not the student declares a concentration.
Required Course (4 credits)
|WRD 500||PROSEMINAR (To be taken within the first 4 courses of the program)||4|
Rhetoric and Discourse Courses (12 credits)
|Select three from the following:||12|
|DISCOURSE AND STYLE|
|GENRE THEORY AND PRACTICE|
|TOPICS IN RHETORICAL HISTORY|
|TOPICS IN COMMUNITY, CULTURE AND IDENTITY|
|TOPICS IN LANGUAGE|
Optional Concentrations (16 credits)
Professional & Digital Writing
|Select four from the following:||16|
|WRITING IN THE PROFESSIONS|
|WRITING FOR THE WEB|
|GRANT AND PROPOSAL WRITING|
|TOPICS IN PROFESSIONAL AND DIGITAL WRITING|
|WRITING ACROSS MEDIA|
|MARKUP AND TEXT ENCODING IN THE HUMANITIES|
|INTERNSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL AND DIGITAL WRITING|
Teaching Writing & Language
|Select four from the following:||16|
|TEACHING ESL WRITING|
|TEACHING ENGLISH AS A SECOND OR FOREIGN LANGUAGE|
|TEACHING WRITING ONLINE|
|AP INSTITUTE IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION|
|TOPICS IN TEACHING WRITING AND LANGUAGE|
|TEACHING APPRENTICESHIP PRACTICUM|
|WRITING CENTER THEORY AND PEDAGOGY|
|INTERNSHIP IN TEACHING WRITING AND LANGUAGE|
Electives (8-32 credits)
- Students who declare a concentration take four elective courses (16 credits); students who do not declare a concentration take eight elective courses (32 credits).
- All 500-level WRD courses count for elective credit.
- Students who have completed six MA in WRD courses may take up to two courses outside of the MA in WRD for elective credit; the WRD Graduate Committee must approve any course a student wishes to take outside of the department.
All students will keep a portfolio of significant work done for courses. This work will be curated and submitted as a portfolio at both the midpoint of the program and at its culminating point.
After completing the sixth course but before taking the ninth course, all students must submit a portfolio to their advisor and meet with this advisor to discuss both the portfolio and their future plans in the program. The Mid-Program Portfolio must be submitted, discussed with a student’s advisor, and approved before the student can register for their ninth course in the program.
In the final quarter of coursework, all students must submit a Professional Portfolio and reflective synopsis. The portfolio will be evaluated by the WRD Graduate Committee as “Pass” or “Fail.” A Professional Portfolio that does not initially earn a score of “Pass” must be revised until it does so.
To maintain good standing, students must complete at least two courses in WRD within twelve months of their admission to the program. Students must also maintain an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their course work. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation and given two quarters to raise their average to the minimum 3.0 level. Students on probation are required to consult with the program director before registering for classes. Failure to meet these requirements constitutes grounds for dismissal.
A student may be dismissed from the program in any of the following cases:
- failure to maintain a GPA above 3.0 for three consecutive quarters;
- failure to meet with the program director before registering for classes while on academic probation; or
- failure to complete at least two courses in WRD within twelve months of their admission to the program.
If a student is dismissed from the program (as outlined in the dismissal policy), he or she may reapply through the formal application process
Students may transfer up to three relevant courses (or twelve credits) of coursework previously taken in another program. The exact number of credits and courses that transfer will be determined by the program director. Transfer grades from other institutions do not calculate into the DePaul grade point average.
Students may take one four-credit undergraduate-level course for credit toward their graduate degree, students must request approval to take an undergraduate course from the WRD Graduate Committee prior to registering for the course.
In order to graduate from the program, students must complete all program requirements with a total of 48 credit hours (12 courses) and a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Graduation with Distinction
To graduate with distinction, students must have a final GPA of 3.9 or higher.
Students must complete the program within six years of their start date. Students who fail to complete the program within this timeframe must re-apply to the program.
Students may take up to two non-WRD courses at DePaul to count toward their degree. Students must complete six courses in WRD before taking courses outside of the program. In exceptional cases (e.g., students completing certificate programs that require non-WRD courses), students may be granted permission to take courses outside of the program earlier in their degree study. All non-WRD courses must be approved by the WRD Graduate Committee prior to enrollment in the course. Students who have transferred in two or more courses from another institution (see Transfer Credit policy) must take all of their remaining courses in the WRD program.
All WRD graduate courses are open to non-degree-seeking students, with the exception of the following:
|WRD 590||INTERNSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL AND DIGITAL WRITING||4|
|WRD 591||INTERNSHIP IN TEACHING WRITING AND LANGUAGE||4|
|WRD 595||INDEPENDENT STUDY||1-8|
|WRD 598||THESIS RESEARCH||4|
Partial Tuition Waivers
Partial Tuition Waivers (PTW) are awarded quarterly to eligible students. Eligibility is based on GPA and financial need. Students whose tuition is being paid by DePaul or another organization or institution are not eligible for PTW awards. PTW awards can only be used toward the reimbursement of courses offered by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse.
WRD 595 is offered to allow students to explore specific interests for which a formal WRD course is not offered. In general, WRD 595 courses will count as electives in a student's degree program; WRD 595 can only fulfill area requirements (Rhetoric & Discourse or a concentration area) when these requirements cannot be filled through a formal course (for example, because such a course is not offered).
A WRD Graduate Faculty member typically serves as the instructor of record for WRD 595; requests otherwise must be approved by the program director.