Carnegie Mellon University

rhetoric careers

Careers and Placement for Rhetoric PhDs

Since its inception in 1980, the Ph.D. program in Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University has been preparing its graduates for positions at universities around the U.S. Our graduates are faculty members of English, rhetoric, and communications department.

Other Rhetoric Ph.D.s are researchers in government and industry, working for corporations and organizations such as Microsoft, Bell Northern Research (Canada), the Centers for Disease Control, the Bureau of Land Management, the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System, and Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories.

The program's graduates have helped to define the field of rhetoric in the U.S. and have proven themselves marketable in both traditional and nontraditional settings.

Alumni Spotlight

Derek Handley ('18)
Assistant Professor of English,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"The coursework at Carnegie Mellon provided me with a strong foundation in rhetorical theory and research methods. This training served me well when conducting interdisciplinary research projects that address community issues such as housing segregation."

Derek Handley

Recent Placement (2013 - 2023)

  • Senior Instructor, University of Northern British Columbia
  • Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric, University of Colorado - Boulder
  • Assistant Professor of Writing Studies and Director of the Horldt Writing Center, Lawrence Technological University
  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Teaching Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Director of Writing for the Humanities Department, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Trinity College 
  • Assistant Teaching Professor of Technical & Professional Communication, University of Washington
  • Affiliate Professor, Grand Valley State University
  • Assistant Professor of English, Lafayette College
  • Assistant Professor of Professional Practice (Paul M. Hebert Law Center), Louisiana State University
  • Assistant Professor of Professional Writing, Pennsylvania State University
  • Lecturer in Communications (Olin Business School), Washington University in St. Louis
  • Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
  • Lecturer, Princeton Writing Program
  • Assistant Professor, Husson University
  • Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center, West Liberty University
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Tulane University
  • Teaching Consultant at The Eberly Center, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Assistant Professor of English, Ferris State University
  • Assistant Professor of English, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Science & Technical Writing, Millersville University
  • Teaching Assistant Professor and Advising Specialist, West Virginia University
  • Assistant Professor of English, Frostburg State University
  • Analyst/Consultant, 501(c)(3)² (The Dickerson Group)
  • Development Communications Manager, State Voices
  • Assistant Professor, Colorado State University
  • Assistant Professor and Writing Program Administrator, University of Massachusetts
  • Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of California - Davis

Longer-Term Placement (before 2013)

  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University - Qatar
  • Senior Research Development Officer, Northeastern University
  • Assistant Professor, University of Southern California
  • Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation
  • Assistant Professor and Director of Professional & Technical Writing, San Jose State University
  • Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • Associate Director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research, Northeastern University
  • Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business
  • Professor, Legal Writing, University of Pittsburgh
  • Associate Teaching Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Associate Professor, University of Utah
  • Lecturer, University of California - Berkeley
  • Associate Teaching Professor (Tepper School of Business), Carnegie Mellon University
  • Associate Professor, University of Illinois - Chicago
  • Associate Professor, University of North Texas
  • Assistant Professor, Austin Peay State University
  • Assistant Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
  • Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair, University of Memphis
  • Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University
  • Assistant Professor and Writing Center Director, George Mason University
  • Contract Technical Writer, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Teaching Professor & Director of First-Year Writing, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Honors College, Marshall University
  • Associate Teaching Professor (Information Systems), Carnegie Mellon University
  • Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University
  • Associate Professor, Rollins College
  • Director of Air Force, CyberWorx
  • Associate Professor / Chairperson, University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth
  • Associate Professor, Youngstown State University
  • Assistant Professor of English, Del Mar College
  • Associate Professor, San Diego State University
  • Associate Professor, University of Delaware
  • Human Factors Scientist in the Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Improvement Department, University of Pennsylvania Health System
  • Associate Professor, The Univserity of Memphis
  • CEO, Communication Consulting Group
  • Associate Department Head and Director of Writing Programs, New Mexico State University
  • Environmental Collaboration Associate, Organizational Quality Associates, Inc.
  • Associate Professor, The University of Memphis
  • Associate Director of Academic Technology Strategy and Support, Colorado University - Boulder
  • Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Emeritus Teaching Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Professor of English, Kent State University
  • Research Associate Professor + Learning Scientist in Surgical Education (Department of Surgery), University of Pittsburgh
  • Author/Editor, Chartwell Press LLC
  • Scientific Writer (Office of Regulatory Science), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA)
  • Managing Editor, Sciences Advances, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Professor of English, Arizona State University
  • Associate Professor, Arizona State University
  • Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Center, Illinois College
  • Chair, Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies, University of Utah
  • Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Eastern Michigan University
  • Director of Communication Across the Curriculum and Teaching Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Associate Vice Chancellor, Curricular Affairs & Student Academic Achievement, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
  • Associate Professor of Distance Learning, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development (ELPHD), North Carolina State University
  • Class of '58 Professor and Director of Writing and Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Senior Principle Research Fellow, University of Syndey Business School, Disciple of Business Information Systems
  • Director, Syntegral
  • Dean, College of Liberal Arts, California State University - Long Beach
  • Associate Professor of English, University of Notre Dame
  • Associate Provost for Instructional Innovation, Professor of English, University Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Colorado State University - Fort Collins
  • President; Marketing, Design and Communication Strategy Consultancy, CherryHawk Communication, Ltd.
  • Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Professor of English, Emeritus, The University of Minnesota
  • Professor of English, Emeritus, University of Memphis