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About Us

A Department Dedicated to Excellence in Writing and Rhetoric

The Department of Writing & Rhetoric Studies (formerly the University Writing Program) was created in 1984 to ensure that students understand the forms and processes used by successful college-level writers, and that they continue to mature as writers in undergraduate and post-college settings.

Our faculty administer the required expository writing courses and assist departments and preprofessional programs in developing writing instruction for degree candidates in their specific fields. We offer a range of carefully developed undergraduate writing classes ranging from general courses in academic writing at the first-year college level to seminars in discipline-based and professional writing and rhetoric for upper-division students.

Since 1993, we have offered a Ph.D. in rhetoric, literacy and composition studies through three departments: English, Communication, Education, Culture and Society. Thus far, every graduate has obtained a tenure-track faculty position.

We also offer the minor in Rhetoric and Writing for undergraduates interested in enhancing their degree, whatever their field.


An important statement from the DWRS department

We value the many ways of speaking, writing, and being that students and faculty bring to our classrooms.

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Degree Map for Writing & Rhetoric Studies

Rhetoric is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. If you’re interested in studying communication across different audiences, contexts, and purposes, then a major in Writing & Rhetoric Studies at the U is a great fit for you. Studying rhetoric helps you become a successful writer in personal, professional, and civic contexts across a range of media.

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Last Updated: 2/23/23