Curriculum-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University


Each student in the Rhetoric M.A. is required to take a minimum of 24 credit hours (72 units) of required and elective coursework, 18 credit hours (or 54 units) of which must be in rhetoric courses approved by the Director of Rhetoric. The standard course load is four 3-credit hour (9 unit) courses each semester. Of the 24 credit hours, no more than 6 credit hours (18 units) may be in independent study, directed research, research for the optional M.A. thesis, or any combination of these. Most students complete the program in two semesters and do not choose to write a thesis. Among the Rhetoric courses offered regularly are these:

  • Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice
  • Rhetoric of Science
  • Rhetoric and Public Policy
  • Comparative Rhetoric
  • Language and Culture
  • The History, Theory, and Practice of Writing Instruction  
  • Topics in Language Study
  • History of Rhetoric
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Research Seminar in Rhetoric
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Process of Reading and Writing
  • Argument
  • Narrative & Argument
Students can choose to focus their study in the Rhetoric M.A. in one of two special Concentrations: Discourse Studies or Intercultural Rhetoric. Each of these Concentrations requires that students select three of their courses from a special list.