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 make you a better writer and teach you exciting new ways to think about the history, craft, and politics of writing. With the option to concentrate on 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, Strategic Writing and Advancement for Nonprofits (SWAN), 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.


of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse graduates were employed, continuing their education or pursuing other goals within six months of graduation.

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

Coursework with Lisa Dush will present you with opportunities to create real-world deliverables for nonprofit partner organizations. Students in her classes have produced digital storytelling content for the Egan Center and the Women’s Center as well as Chicago nonprofits COFI and Enlace. She is also the faculty director of HumanitiesX, a new collaborative fellowship that joins faculty and students from DePaul with community partners in Chicago-area arts, cultural and civic organizations.

“This program was interesting to me because of its optional concentration in teaching writing. I knew I wanted to go to grad school with the long-term goal of teaching college writing. This concentration, along with the option to pursue a TESOL certificate, strongly aligned with my career goals. I have been able to use a lot of what I learned in my Urban Literacies, TESOL, and Teaching Writing courses in my job as a reading teacher at a K–8 school. I’ve been able to use what I’ve studied about transfer and learning outcomes to better understand student writing and help students become more effective and confident writers.”

Walter (MA ’21)

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

Take the next step

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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