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 are able to select courses that best suit 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: Teaching Composition, or Engl. 533: Teaching Professional and Technical Writing, or Engl. 534: 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 513-520, 534-545, 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)

Language Skill Requirement

All MA students in Rhetoric and Writing must demonstrate competency with a grade of B or better through a second semester, second-year level undergraduate course or through a graduate-level reading course in a language other than English. Coursework from previous institutions, coursework at UNM, or tests administered either by UNM or CLEP may be used to fulfill the language skill requirement. Student may use English 547 (Introduction to Old English) and 548 (Advanced Old English) to fulfill competency. With the approval of the major advisor and the ACGS, students in the MA program in Rhetoric and Writing may substitute competency with a research skill such as a computer-programming language or Statistics for their required language skill. Competency in the research skill can be established by the completion of a second-semester, second-year course with a grade of B or better or two graduate courses. Language skill course credits cannot normally be used as part of the 31 credit hours required for the degree. 

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