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Writing and Rhetoric Studies Degree Options

Degree Options


BA in Professional Writing

The BA in Professional Writing degree is for those who are drawn to writing and language as means of generating and exchanging ideas and information in various professional settings. 

Course work focuses on rhetorical theory, genre theory, research skills, editing, style, visual rhetoric and document design, and theories in professional writing and allows our students to develop a sophisticated understanding of audience, structure, and style to create, manage, coordinate, and present written information in a constructive and dynamic fashion. 

A strong focus on hands-on experience and research through internships is also part of our curriculum, thereby giving our students a well-rounded resume and making them highly competitive on the job market. 

Professional Writing students typically find careers as technical writers, information developers, communication project managers, grant writers, web content designers, freelance writers, teachers, authors, and other writing professionals who can tune in to different writing conventions and adapt their writing to various rhetorical contexts in today's increasingly complex print and digital environments. 

For further information about this BA in Professional Writing degree, contact or 405-744-9474.

MA in English Option in Professional Writing

The MA in English with an option in Professional Writing prepares students to be practicing professional writers. Students in this degree option take a set of required courses, including Style and Editing, Visual Rhetoric, Genres in Professional Writing, Studies in Discourse Analysis, and others. Students also fulfill the language requirement as well as pass the MA Qualifying Exam in Professional Writing.

Students graduating from this degree option have found professional writing positions locally and nationally, including OG&E, Fire Protection Publications, and others.

For a description of the admission qualifications, application materials, degree requirements and regulations, and other details appears, see the MA with an Option in Professional Writing Graduate Guidelines specific to this degree option. 

General MA in English 

The General MA in English trains students to enter a Ph.D. program or to teach at the college level. Students in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program will develop an individualized curriculum in consultation with their advisory committees, which may include courses from such areas as Composition and Rhetoric, Professional Writing, and Digital Studies.

Students in this degree option have graduated to pursue Ph.D. degrees at institutions such as Arizona State University, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M Commerce, and Oklahoma State University, among others, or to teach at the university level.

For a description of the admission qualifications, application materials, degree requirements and regulations, and other details specific to this degree, see the General MA Guidelines.

PhD in English

The English Department grants one doctoral degree, the PhD in English. Students in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies program work closely with their advisory committees to design a plan of study suitable to students’ research interests and career goals. Rhetoric and Writing Studies students have the opportunity to take courses and develop their research projects in areas that include:

  • Composition and Rhetoric, which explores the historical and contemporary work of composition and rhetoric theorists, raises critical awareness of language practices, and develops innovative pedagogical strategies. 
  • Digital Studies, which develops new pedagogies, methodologies, and theories made possible through computerization; raise critical awareness of computerization; and creates scholarly and teaching materials in multiple modes of meaning making. 
  • Professional Writing, which investigates the strategies of workplace writing, raises critical awareness of workplace genres, and creates scholarly and teaching materials in both print-based and digital genres with particular attention to style, editing, and design. 


Student Work

The breadth of course offerings in RWS means that students immerse themselves in innovative scholarly projects such as

  • V is What Democracy Looks Like: Image Politics in the Age of Post-Scarcity Information, Bryan Jones, PhD., 2017.
  • Texts in the Age of Digital Reproduction: A Rhetoric of Authenticity in the Age of Multimodality, Dustin Morris, PhD., 2017.
  • Complicating and Clarifying Disciplinary Writing Practices: The Toggling Move for Building Rhetorical Flexibility, Lindsay Clark, PhD., 2017.
  • Composing Place. Steven Pederson, PhD., 2015.
  • The Rhetoric of Strength in American Culture, 1890-Present Day,. Benjamin Smith, PhD., 2015.
  • Exploring Multimodal Composing: A Techno-Pedagogical Study, Elkie Burnside, PhD., 2013.
  • Increasing Genre Awareness in Students in the First-Year Composition Classroom at a Two-Year College, Jeff Tate, PhD., 2015.
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