Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Rhetoric, Scientific and Technical Communication M.A.

Writing Studies Department
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Writing Studies, 215 Nolte Center, 315 Pillsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-624-3445; fax: 612-624-3617)
Email: WRIT@umn.edu
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2016
  • Length of program in credits: 33
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The MA in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication prepares students to address complex issues in language, science, and technology. This program prepares students for doctoral-level research through courses and seminars in research methods, rhetoric, writing studies, pedagogy, and technical communication, technology and culture. Those are complemented with other courses so that you develop expertise in a specialty area as well as a related field of courses outside the department. In addition, you will write a research paper on a limited topic and present it at an oral examination. Required courses include classical and modern rhetoric, research methods, and courses in writing studies and pedagogy, technical communication, and technology and culture. Students take at least 6 credits outside the department as a masters minor or supporting field. They also write a plan "B" paper in the context of a directed research course. All MA applicants must meet the admission requirements of the University. MA applicants should have a strong interest in language and rhetorical theory or communication theory. A background in a science, Internet studies, environmental studies, or pedagogy and technology is helpful.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
Undergraduate degree in a related discipline.
Special Application Requirements:
Scores from the General Test of the GRE that are less than five years old are required of students with baccalaureate degrees from U.S. institutions. International students are encouraged to take the General Test of the GRE. Nonnative speakers of English are required to take an appropriate test with satisfactory scores. All applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, two writing samples, and a professional objective statement. All M.A. and Ph.D. applicants begin in the fall semester and should apply by the January 1 application deadline.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan B: Plan B requires 27 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
Research Core
WRIT 8011 - Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
WRIT 8012 - Applied Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
Rhetoric Core
WRIT 5775 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Classical Period (3.0 cr)
WRIT 5776 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era (3.0 cr)
Writing Studies and Pedagogy
WRIT 8540 - Seminar in Technical Communication and Composition Pedagogies (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 8560 - Seminar in Writing Studies (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 5531 - Introduction to Writing Theory and Pedagogy (3.0 cr)
Technical Communication and Composition Pedagogies
WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication (3.0 cr)
or WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication (3.0 cr)
Plan B Project Credits
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· WRIT 8794 - Directed Research (1.0-4.0 cr)
Specialty Area/Concentration
Students are required to take 6 credits for this area, of which 3 credits must be taken in the Department of Writing Studies. The student's area of concentration will be developed chiefly through seminars in writing studies, and through consultation with the advisor.
Outside Coursework
Take at least 6 credits outside the Department of Writing Studies. Students often pursue a formal minor related to their research interests, chosen in conjunction with their advisor.
 
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WRIT 8011 - Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Survey of quantitative/qualitative research methods. Theoretical perspectives that demonstrate/test analytical approaches to scientific/technological rhetoric. prereq: STC/RSTC grad student or instr consent
WRIT 8012 - Applied Research Methods in Writing Studies and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Introduction to one or two quantitative or qualitative research methods in scientific/technical communication or rhetoric (e.g., ethnography, case studies, discourse analysis). prereq: [grad student] or instr consent
WRIT 5775 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Classical Period
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Rhetoric in the Classical world and recurring themes that constitute "the rhetorical tradition." Epistemological/ethical status and sociopolitical importance of ancient rhetorical training and discourse. Works by Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, and others. Prepares students for preliminary examinations/seminars in rhetoric.
WRIT 5776 - The Rhetorical Tradition: Modern Era
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02306 - Comm 5611/Writ 5776
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Core works in modern/contemporary rhetorical theory. Twentieth-century revivals of and challenges to the Aristotelian rhetorical tradition. Units devoted to Enlightenment rhetorics; the New Rhetorics of I. A. Richards, Kenneth Burke, and Chaim Perelman; feminist rhetorical theory, historiography, and critique; deconstruction/post-structuralism. Prepares students for preliminary examinations/seminars in rhetoric.
WRIT 8540 - Seminar in Technical Communication and Composition Pedagogies
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories of pedagogy or research studies that inform the classroom or workplace, social and ethical concerns, landmark studies, current controversies. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8560 - Seminar in Writing Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Topics may include literacy, genre, history of writing, narrative theory and practice, writing as textual practice. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 5531 - Introduction to Writing Theory and Pedagogy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Pedagogical philosophy/methodology in composition, primarily first-year writing. Theories underlying teaching/tutoring with technology. prereq: Grad student
WRIT 8520 - Seminar in Scientific and Technical Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include theories, landmark studies, history, gender, ethics. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8550 - Seminar in Technology, Culture, and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Topics may include computer-mediated communication, democracy/technology, controversies over digital communication, privacy/ethical issues, feminist theory and interactions of gender with science and technology, communication in legal or medical settings. Topics vary. See the Class Schedule.
WRIT 8794 - Directed Research
Credits: 1.0 -4.0 [max 12.0]
Grading Basis: S-N only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Supervised research project. prereq: instr consent