DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > Graduate Programs > Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)

Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)

The Master of Arts in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) combines a strong theoretical foundation in rhetoric and discourse with practical training, preparing students to:
  • Write and create content in professional, technical, Web or nonprofit settings;
  • Teach writing and language in post-secondary institutions; and/or
  • Continue academic study in related PhD programs.

Real-World Experience

Students are offered unique internship and community-based experiential learning opportunities, drawing on the city of Chicago as an extension of our classroom. These opportunities give students practical experience in grant writing, workplace writing, writing for the Web, and teaching and tutoring adult literacy and English as Second Language (ESL) in community centers and two-year colleges.

Program Highlights

Strong Curriculum. The rich graduate curriculum engages students in a range of professional, academic and civic genres and experiences. Required courses in rhetoric and discourse provide students with breadth in a range of theoretical and historical disciplinary perspectives, while optional concentrations allow students to focus in an area of particular relevance to their own professional goals.

Faculty Expertise and Experience. The programs faculty are teacher-scholars and active professionals. The faculty shares a commitment to graduate education, and the program incorporates numerous events, which aim to mentor and support our graduate students.

Global Outlook. Through the optional graduate certificate in TESOL, students develop expertise in second-language teaching, especially in working with multilingual writers. This knowledge is key to teaching writing in the U.S. today, and it opens up opportunities abroad.

Program Structure

As a WRD student, youll complete a proseminar course, three courses focused on rhetoric and discourse, and an exit requirement (either a portfolio, final project or thesis). In addition, you can choose a concentration (or you can complete the program without a concentration):

Teaching Writing & Language. Courses in this concentration raise issues pertinent to the teaching of writing and language, college composition, ESL writing and learning, and writing program administration. Courses ask students to write syllabi, lesson plans, classroom materials and academic papers. A competitive teaching apprenticeship program allows advanced students an opportunity to work as classroom teachers in DePaul's first-year writing program.

Professional & Technical Writing. Courses in this concentration prepare students to write effectively in business, non-profit and technical contexts, such as technical writing, Web writing, grant writing and document design. Practical applications focus on the management of complex information on technical subject matter for diverse audiences while also emphasizing the utility of a critical stance toward writing technologies and workplace culture.

Flexible Locations and Times

All courses in the program are taught once per week (for a total of 10 regular class sessions plus finals) in the evenings from 6 to 9:15 p.m. at the Lincoln Park campus.

Program Length

Twelve courses are required to complete the WRD program. Full-time students take two courses per quarter and complete the program in six academic quarters (not including summer term). Many students take longer to complete the program by taking courses part time.

Optional Certificates

The MA in WRD may also be expanded to include select graduate certificate programs. The combined programs require either the completion of additional coursework or careful elective selection to fulfill all requirements. Certificates are available in:

  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges

If you're interested in a certificate combination with WRD, a separate application process is required. Contact the program office for additional information.