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MA in Rhetoric and Writing


We have faculty members with a broad range of interests including language diversity, second language writing, writing program administration, K-12 composition, public rhetorics, community writing, multimodal composition, and technical communication. With a limited amount of core requirements, our students craft a path of study that best suits their research and teaching interests. In addition to gaining valuable face-to-face and online teaching experience at a diverse flagship Hispanic-serving institution in courses ranging from first-year writing to technical writing and professional communication, students have the opportunity to engage in program building efforts via a variety of administrative positions connected with first-year writing, online writing instruction, and technical writing and professional communication. Please contact Program Faculty if you have any questions.

This degree requires 31 hours of coursework. Students may choose an emphasis in Writing or Teaching; all students work under Plan II (no thesis); a portfolio (Engl. 596) is required. For complete requirements, see the Graduate Handbook.

Course Requirements (31 hrs)

Core Courses (9 hrs)

Nine hours of courses including studies in rhetoric and pedagogy.

  • Engl. 542: Major Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 543: Contemporary Texts in Rhetoric (3 hrs)
  • Engl. 530, 532, 532, or 533: Teaching Composition, Teaching Stretch and Studio Composition, Teaching Professional Writing, or Composition Theory (3 hrs)

Distribution and Seminar Requirements (9 hrs)

Students must take at least three courses, including one seminar, chosen from no fewer than two of the following groups. Typically our students complete the majority of their classes in area E.

  1. British literature to 1660
  2. British literature from 1660 to 1900
  3. American literature to 1900
  4. Literatures in English since 1900
  5. Criticism and theory, rhetoric and writing

General Electives (12 hrs)

Four courses from among 530-534, 513-520, 540-543, 587, or other courses in English as approved by their Committee on Studies (COS) and the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies (ACGS); students may offer up to six hours of courses from departments outside of English as electives approved by their COS and the ACGS; students may offer up to six hours of English 597 (Problems) for work related to teacher training or professional writing experience, as approved by their COS and the ACGS.

MA Portfolio

In the semester before graduation, students prepare a portfolio of work under the direction of their COS which is presented for evaluation in the ninth week of the student’s final semester of attendance.

  • English 596: Portfolio (at least 1 hour)

Foreign Language Requirement

All MA students in Rhetoric and Writing must demonstrate competence with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Course work from previous institutions, course work at UNM, and CLEP or UNM-administered tests may be used to fulfill the language requirement. Language course credits cannot be used as part of the 32-hour degree requirement. With the approval of the major advisor and the ACGS, students in the MA program in Rhetoric and Writing may substitute competence with a research skill such as Computer Science or Statistics for their one required foreign language.

Emphasis in Teaching

Within the 32 hours of required coursework, Teaching Emphasis students take 530, 538 or 539 (depending on what they take for the Core Requirement above) plus nine hours in other pedagogy-based courses offered in English, the College of Education, or other departments as approved by their COS and the ACGS; up to six hours may be offered as Teaching Practicum (Engl. 597, Problems).

Emphasis in Professional Writing

Within the 32 hours of required coursework, Professional Writing Emphasis students must take 533, either in the Core Requirement or as an elective, plus nine or twelve hours (depending on where they count 533) from 513-520, 587. Professional Writing Emphasis students may take up to six hours of courses in other departments as approved by their COS and the ACGS; up to six hours may be offered as Professional Writing Internship (Engl. 598, Internship, CR/NC) as approved by their COS and the ACGS.

Department of English Language and Literature
Humanities Building, Second Floor
MSC03 2170
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: (505) 277-6347
Fax: (505) 277-0021