College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse > Graduate > Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)

Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)

Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)
Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (MA)

Become a strategic and flexible writer

DePaul’s writing and rhetoric graduate program is Chicago's only master's-level program with a singular focus on writing, rhetoric, pedagogy and language. Through a solid theoretical foundation in rhetoric and discourse paired with practical training, the master’s in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) both makes you a better writer and teaches you exciting new ways to think about the history, craft and politics of writing. With the option to concentrate in Professional & Digital Writing or Teaching Writing & Language, you’ll develop lifelong skills that are invaluable to a range of careers.

With an MA in WRD, you can pursue professional roles such as

  • Writing for businesses, nonprofits and tech companies
  • Producing and managing digital content
  • Working in an instructional design role at a university or other educational setting
  • Teaching writing in a post-secondary institution
  • Continuing the study of writing in a PhD program
  • Advancing your career as a high school English teacher

Enhance your degree with graduate certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), Teaching English in Two-Year Colleges, and Digital Humanities.

Read about WRD courses, events, and alumni on our blog

Courses are offered on weekday evenings at the Lincoln Park Campus. The program can be completed in two years.

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Get real-world writing and teaching experience

In addition to our robust internship program that connects you to professional writing and teaching internships in Chicago, you’ll have the opportunity to work with Chicago-area organizations through community-involved projects in courses like Grant and Proposal Writing, Urban Literacies, and Writing for the Web. You can also apply to teach your own section of DePaul’s first-year writing course as part of the Teaching Apprentice Program (TAP).

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The deadline to be considered for a graduate assistantship is February 15.

Admission Requirements

Submit an online application, official transcripts, 500-word statement of purpose, current résumé, and 15 to 20 pages of your own written work.

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Required Courses

Students take a core foundation course and three courses in Rhetoric and Discourse, plus eight additional electives or required concentration courses.

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Chicago ranks in the top 10 U.S. metro regions for number of technical writers

The MA in WRD is the only such program in Chicago with an embedded TESOL certificate and Teaching Apprenticeship Program

Learn from experienced and engaged faculty

You’ll benefit from the expertise of faculty members like Associate Professor Lisa Dush, who received the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s Braddock Award for her article “When Writing Becomes Content,” which examines how the craft and teaching of writing have changed in the digital age. Our faculty publish in the fields of writing and rhetoric, attend the conferences of national professional organizations, and stay engaged with those who have a stake in writing and teaching.

“I had multiple job offers in an extremely tough market partially because this degree set me apart from those with literature-focused English degrees. Since community college English departments offer mostly composition and rhetoric, the MA in WRD showed both expertise in and passion for my primary teaching assignment.”

Joseph (MA ’13)
Faculty Member, Triton College


Alumni Network

Alumni of the Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse graduate program have found rewarding work in companies, nonprofit organizations, and colleges and universities in Chicago, nationwide and worldwide. Learn more about some of our alumni.

Scholarships & Aid

Graduate school is an investment in your future. Learn more about the financial aid and scholarship opportunities available to you.

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Contact Information

For more information about applying, contact The Office of Graduate Admission at (773) 325-7315 or

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We'll send you our viewbook with information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let's get started.

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