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 master's program in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse is Chicago's only graduate program to focus solely on writing, rhetoric, pedagogy, and language. Students build a solid theoretical foundation in rhetoric and discourse, and pair it with hands-on practical training; faculty in the program seek to make you a better writer and teach you exciting new approaches to the history, craft, politics, and practical applications of writing and content. With the option to concentrate on Professional and Digital Writing or Teaching Writing and Language, you'll develop valuable skills for approaching writing and content production in a range of industries and careers.

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

  • Writing for businesses, nonprofits, and tech companies
  • Producing and managing digital content in organizations
  • 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
  • Building skills in language and composition instruction 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.

​Students interested in teaching writing at the college level or those who anticipate going on for a Ph.D. will benefit from the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse's Teaching Apprenticeship Program​.

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

“My research and teaching have been heavily impacted by my background as a Chicana who was predominantly educated and taught along the U.S.–Mexico border,” said Monica Reyes. Her classes create opportunities for service learning; recent coursework connected students with La Posada Providencia, a south Texas emergency shelter for immigrants and asylum seekers. Students worked to interview and learn from shelter clients and then produced multimodal stories of their strength and resilience.

“Being an MA student is a process of personal discovery. My classwork is helping me build a toolset that will allow me to enter the educational field as an effective instructor, and as someone posed to be an advocate and activist for educational social justice. This is one of the best investments I have made for myself.”

Dan (MA ’24)

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 information about the degree, admission requirements and upcoming info sessions. Let’s get started.

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