Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing

Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: R. Tulley

Director: C. Tulley

Professors: Diederich, Essinger, C. Tulley, R. Tulley

Associate Professors: Fedirka, Lanzendorfer, Medjesky

Assistant Professors: Adams, Bates, Ferris, Sherman

Mission and Goals of the Program

The Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing degree prepares students for advanced study in rhetoric, writing, and/or related fields, as well as for careers in areas requiring advanced skills in written rhetoric with an emphasis on writing in digital environments.

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Compose effective texts in a variety of modes including oral, written, video, and hypertext. (ENGL 501, ENGL 502, ENGL 504, ENGL 506, ENGL 507)
  2. Describe the rhetorical tradition and significant disciplinary texts and authors/theorists that shape the field of composition and use this knowledge to make informed decisions about teaching of writing as well as writing practice. (ENGL 504, ENGL 505, ENGL 507)
  3. Analyze the impact of rhetorical history on contemporary rhetorical theory and composition practice, including digital and multimodal environments, and use foundational trends to make informed decisions about teaching of writing as well as writing practice. (ENGL 502, ENGL 504, ENGL 505)
  4. Explain major competing theories, issues, and pedagogical approaches within rhetoric and composition. (ENGL 500, ENGL 501, ENGL 507, ENGL 592)
  5. Demonstrate the influence of linguistics on written communication and within the secondary and postsecondary English classroom and within digital environments. (ENGL 503 or ENGL 508)
  6. Conduct sustained research and convey the results of that research in writing and digital media in such a way as to make an initial contribution to the ongoing conversation among scholars in rhetoric and composition. (ENGL 502, ENGL 506, ENGL 600, ENGL 601)
  7. Apply historical and theoretical knowledge from the intertwined disciplines of rhetoric and writing, and related fields. (ENGL 550, ENGL 551, ENGL 552, ENGL 553)
  8. Assess the impact of specific technologies upon writing and to make informed choices about the most effective rhetorical mode of communication when completing writing projects. (ENGL 504, ENGL 506, ENGL 600, ENGL 601)

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for admission, candidates must:

    1. Have a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or have a minimum cumulative graduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from a previous master's degree. This includes classes from all institutions attended. Students who have a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate or graduate grade point average may be considered for conditional admission, but must attain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in the first nine hours of the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing (MARW) program to be fully admitted to the program.
    2. Supply two letters of recommendation, which will include an assessment of the candidate’s ability to perform master's-level work.
    3. Supply a writing sample. The sample may include a seminar paper written for a junior or senior level class.
    4. Take the GRE General Test and have a Verbal Reasoning test score of 500/153 or above. Non-degree students who wish to change to degree-seeking status must take the GRE General Test within completion of the first 12 hours of the program and submit GRE scores.
    5. Possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, with the possible exception of first-professional doctorate-degree holders, specifically when no baccalaureate degree was offered (e.g., PharmD, etc.).
    6. Submit an application form.
    7. Submit official transcripts, which can be in the form of attested credentials from a University-recognized document verification agency, of all college-level work.

    Students, whose native language is not English and who have not graduated from a University of Findlay approved English speaking university, must meet the previously listed admission conditions plus the following for full admission:

    1. Must have a verified international English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 8 composite score with all bands at 7.5 or above, or an equivalent score as indicated on the University of Findlay's English Exam Admission Standards. Full admission is dependent on satisfying all admission requirements.
    2. Provide an affidavit of financial support (original), if not an American citizen or permanent resident.

    Those applicants who do not meet full admission criteria or cannot supply a verifiable English score from one of the approved tests as listed above can receive conditional admission. Upon arrival, these students are required to test in the Intensive English Language Program, and if necessary, complete coursework in English as indicated by the University of Findlay's placement exam score before starting their graduate work.

    Additionally, if the applicant supplies a non-U.S. school transcript the University's Office of International Admissions and Services may require additional specific documentation. Contact the Office of International Admissions at 800-472-9502 ext. 4558 or

    The MARW program will allow up to 6 credit hours of transfer credit if the equivalent graduate coursework is taken at another accredited institution. ENGL 592, ENGL 600, and ENGL 601 may not be transferred. Transfer credit will be evaluated by the Director of the MARW program.

      Degree Requirements

      The Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing (MARW) degree at The University of Findlay is designed to prepare students to write and teach writing at an advanced level. Students complete eight core courses, six elective hours, and a series of two thesis courses culminating in a successful defense of a written thesis. Students must complete the curriculum within seven years, though the program is designed to be completed within two years.

      The Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing degree requirements include:

      ENGL 500Introduction to the Field of Rhetoric and Writing


      ENGL 501Writing Theory and Pedagogy


      ENGL 502Digital Media and Composition



      ENGL 503Language and Writing



      ENGL 508Writing for Alternative Academic Careers



      ENGL 504Classical Rhetorical Theory


      ENGL 505Contemporary Rhetorical Theory


      ENGL 506Digital Writing Research Methods


      ENGL 507Graduate Study in Writing


      ENGL 600Thesis: Proposal and Literature Review


      ENGL 601Thesis: Writing and Oral Defense


      6 semester hours of electives taken from:

      ENGL 550Topics in Rhetoric and Composition


      ENGL 551Topics in Literature and Writing


      ENGL 552Topics in Technical and Scientific Writing


      ENGL 553Topics in Creative Writing


      Students in the English teaching assistantship program may also use ENGL 592 hours to count as elective hours. All English teaching assistants are required to enroll in ENGL 592 each semester they are teaching.

      Students in the Communication teaching assistantship program may also use ENGL 594 hours to count as elective hours. All Communication teaching assistants are required to enroll in ENGL 594 each semester they are teaching.

      Effective as of 8/1/2018

      Students in the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing program must maintain a 3.0 average and must have no more than one “C” grade during the course of the program. No more than one course with a grade of “C+,” “C” or “C-” can be used to meet graduation requirements. If a candidate earns a second grade less than “B-,” he/she has the option to retake the course, but must raise the grade to a “B” or better. The higher grade will replace the lower one in the GPA calculation. Candidates are only allowed one opportunity to retake the course and are suspended from taking any other courses in the program while they retake the course. Students with teaching assistantships who receive a “U” grade in ENGL 592 will not be permitted to retake ENGL 592, though they may continue in the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing program.