Master of Arts in English (Writing Rhetoric)


The M.A. in English prepares students for careers in education, writing, editing, journalism, or communications. It also provides the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue further graduate studies. The program has two tracks that prepare students for different paths.  The Literature track prepares students who wish to teach high school or community college literature courses or who wish to pursue additional graduate studies focused on literature.  The Writing and Rhetoric track prepares students for teaching writing, moving into the workforce as writers, or pursuing graduate studies focused on writing, composition, and rhetoric.  Each track requires courses from the other to provide the broad foundation typically associated with a master's degree in English while still allowing students to develop focused plans of study.

We offer a range of face-to-face, online, and hybrid graduate courses to allow our working, commuting, and parenting students the opportunity to balance rigorous academic coursework with their busy lives. Our face-to-face graduate courses are offered one day per week, typically in late afternoon or evening. While our online offerings provide the flexibility to meet a variety of student needs, the program is not intended to be fully online and cannot be completed through online classes only.

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Effectively gather, interpret, and evaluate information from multiple sources.
  2. Systematically interpret, evaluate, and critique language within various socially significant contexts.
  3. Compose clear communication in a variety of rhetorically significant genres and modes.
  4. Create compelling evidence-based arguments with supportive details.


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

The academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total SCH Required

30 or 36 semester credit hours (SCH) beyond the baccalaureate, depending on the option selected.

Thesis: 30 SCH, including 24 SCH of coursework, 6 SCH for thesis, and 2-hour oral exam.

Professional Paper: 36 SCH, including 33 SCH of coursework, 3 SCH for professional paper, and 3-hour written comprehensive examination.

Coursework: 36 SCH and 3-hour written comprehensive examination.

Writing and Rhetoric Track

Required Courses

ENG 5083Bibliography and Research Methods3
ENG 5103Introduction to Graduate Studies in English3
Theory Course (choose one)3
Literary Criticism and Theory
Studies in Critical Theory
Major Rhetorical Theories
Studies in Linguistics (May substitute for one of the above theory courses by approval of the student's advisory committee)
Rhetoric (choose three)9
Rhetoric and Composition: Theory and Practice
Rhetoric and Composition: Multimodal Pedagogy
History of Rhetoric I
History of Rhetoric II
History of Rhetoric III
Studies in Feminist Rhetoric
Studies in Rhetorical Criticism and Discourse Analysis
Major Rhetorical Theories
Studies in Writing and Rhetoric
Writing Focused Course (choose one)3
Writing in the Discipline
Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
Studies in Writing and Rhetoric
Literature (choose one)3
Studies in World Literature
Studies in Ethnic, Multicultural, and Cross Cultural Literature
Studies in American Literature
Studies in British Literature to 1760
Studies in British Literature after 1760
Genre Studies
Studies in Literature by Women
Studies in Folklore
Total SCHs24

Thesis Option

ENG 5993Thesis3
ENG 5983Thesis3
Total SCHs6

Professional Paper Option

ENG 5973Professional Paper3
Electives (approved in consultation with advisor)9
Total SCHs12

Coursework Option

Electives (approved in consultation with advisor)12
Total SCHs12

Special Requirement

For the M.A. in English, competency in one research tool is required.  Students must earn a grade of B or higher in all research tool courses.  Students on either track outlined will meet this requirement, thus no additional coursework is required.  No course may be used to meet more than one departmental requirement.

Research Tools

Includes 6-12 hours depending on the option selected.  Students select one of the following options:

  1. 12 SCH in the same foreign language at the undergraduate level or 6 SCH at the graduate level (or the equivalent on a proficiency examination)
  2. 6 SCH of graduate-level American Sign Language
  3. 6 SCH of graduate-level computer science
  4. 6 SCH of graduate-level library science (only those concerning collections, information retrieval, and other research courses)
  5. 6 SCH of graduate-level English courses selected from this list: ENG 5083ENG 5283ENG 5343ENG 5353ENG 5363ENG 6083ENG 6283ENG 6323, and ENG 6343.

Final Examination

The M.A. in English requires a two-hour oral examination which covers coursework and thesis (thesis option) or a three-hour written comprehensive examination (non-thesis options). The examinations will be taken during the last semester of coursework.

Graduation Requirement

To allow for program-level assessment, MA students must electronically submit one of the following documents, as appropriate for their program, to the Graduate Program Coordinator: the thesis, the professional paper, or for those on the course work only option, a scholarly paper produced in one of their courses (chosen in consultation with the student's advisor). Submission of the document is a requirement for graduation.


6-9 SCH, optional.  The minor must be in a field in which TWU offers a graduate degree.