College of Humanities
Office: 3700 Language and Communication Building
Chair: Jay Jordan Ph.D
Advisor: Lisa Shaw
The undergraduate program offers a major and minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies and also administers first-year composition courses, WRTG 1010 and WRTG 2010. See the Program and Course Offerings section for more information.
Degree. B.A., B.S.
The degree is designed to prepare students who are strong analytical thinkers and proficient writers. Because employers consistently rank strong writing skills as among the most important capabilities in their employees, a degree in writing will prepare students for many careers and a variety of graduate school options. Students who major in Writing and Rhetoric will learn the rhetorical skills and behaviors that make a strong writer, while learning the ways that literacy is a social practice saturated with the values of the culture in which it is developed. Students who major in writing and rhetoric thus become better writers while also learning that texts are rhetorical and powerful cultural products.
The undergraduate program in Writing and Rhetoric is developed to meet the needs of students in the 21st Century. The faculty have a broad and interesting range of research and pedagogical projects-ranging from digital rhetoric, multi-lingual writing, locally responsive writing pedagogy, and writing in the sciences to analysis of the texts and discourses of institutions such as the university and the law. Most of our courses are taught by full-time faculty members, and they are small enough that students and professors develop strong working relationships.
The degree in Writing and Rhetoric is ideal for a double major, working well with courses of study in a range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Writing is a key component in nearly every career, after all.
A major in Writing and Rhetoric can lead to many career opportunities. The rhetorical and writing competencies, work behaviors, and analytical skills students learn with us are applicable in a variety of fields, from publishing and editing to advertising and public relations to politics and public service. The major in Writing and Rhetoric also sets up students for graduate school success in professional degrees such as law and graduate degrees in rhetoric and composition, political science and more.
B.A. B.S. Requirements
Students must complete two foundational courses, WRTG 3860: Introduction to Rhetoric and WRTG 3870: Writing as Social Practice; one academic or professional writing course; five courses in Writing and Rhetoric Studies; a senior seminar, WRTG 5990; and three topical course electives that can be taken within the department or through other departments. The degree is 36 credit hours.
Students must complete two foundational courses, WRTG 3860: Introduction to Rhetoric and WRTG 3870: Writing as Social Practice, one academic or professional writing course and three courses in Writing and Rhetoric Studies.
Students must consult with a departmental advisor when they begin work in the major and minor. They are expected to meet regularly with an advisor to ensure progress toward the degree.
First-year Composition Courses
The Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies offers the required first-year composition courses, WRTG 1010: Introduction to Academic Writing and WRTG 2010: Intermediate Writing: Academic Writing and Research. Together, WRTG 1010 and WRTG 2010 provide students with foundational knowledge about academic composition processes and practices that will allow them to adapt their prose to the academic contexts they will encounter in the university. Students are expected to complete the first-year writing requirement by the end of their third term.
First-Year Writing Placement
Entering freshman are placed into one of the lower-division writing courses, WRTG 1010 and WRTG 2010. Placement is determined by a writing index score, which is based on a calculation of ACT score and high school GPA. Students receiving a score of 1 are placed into WRTG 1010. Students receiving a score of 2 are placed into WRTG 2010. Transfer students who have not completed the lower-division writing requirement at an accredited institution, or whose courses have not been accepted for transfer credit must write a placement essay. They will not be able to enroll in a writing course until the placement essay is completed and given a score. Students who wish to challenge their index-score based placement may also write the placement essay. Information on the administration of the placement essay is available from the Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies and the Testing Center.
Program and Course Offerings
CoursesWriting and Rhetoric Studies