Master of Arts in English: Rhetoric and Professional Writing

Graduate Studies in Rhetoric and Professional Writing


The Department of English offers an area of study concentrating on various aspects of professional, technical writing. The area of study is intended for students and practicing professionals who wish to develop their writing skills in order to seek or advance a career in professional writing and who wish to explore the rhetorical, linguistic, and technological context of professional writing. The area of study is also intended for students who wish to pursue the masters degree in professional writing as a stepping stone to further graduate study.


Track I: at least 30 hours and foreign language requirement

Track II: at least 36 hours

Required Courses (9 hrs.)

  • English 610   Rhetoric of Prose Composition
  • English 625   Methods of Research in Technical Writing
  • English 699   Master's Thesis

Coursework from the following (9 semester hours)

  • English 609   Creative Writing
  • English 624   Professional Writing Institute (1-6)
  • English 626   Technical Writing
  • English 627   Technical Editing
  • English 628   Internship in Technical Writing, Research, or Editing
  • English 632   Writing for Electronic Media
  • English 692   Non-fiction Writing

Two of the following (6)

  • English 603   Traditions in Written Rhetoric
  • English 629   Topics in Rhetoric
  • English 630   Theory and Research of Rhetoric and Professional Writing
  • English 631   Topics in Professional Writing
  • English 703   Seminar: Rhetorical Studies

Two of the following (6)

  • English 606   Morphology
  • English 614   Introduction to Linguistics
  • English 615   Descriptive English Linguistics
  • English 618   Morphology and Syntax
  • English 620   Semantics
  • English 633   Discourse Analysis
  • English 634   Linguistics and Literature

Electives (0-6)

Students may elect Department of English courses in rhetoric, literature, and linguistics or, with the faculty advisor's approval, courses in such areas as communication, education, journalism, art, business, technology, and instructional technology from other departments.

For further information, contact:

Department of English
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, Illinois 60115
(815) 753-1608