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Improve Your Writing & Teaching With This Online Master’s Degree

Through Northern Arizona University’s online master’s degree program in English-Rhetoric & Teaching Writing, you learn how to teach writing effectively and how to connect language and literacy in today’s society. Gain the skills in written and digital communication to become a better writer yourself as well as to become a better educator of writing, whether it is at the K-12 level, in college courses or in professional training sessions.

Customize Your English Master’s Degree To Fit Your Career

This online master’s degree allows you to select from a wide range of courses to match your career goals. Select courses from literature, composition, teaching English as a second language (ESL), and linguistics. You even have the option of supplementing your master’s degree in English Rhetoric with NAU’s online certificate in Professional Writing.

This master’s degree program advances writing skills that are beneficial to:

  • Adult Literacy Teachers
  • College Instructors
  • Communication Specialists
  • K-12 Teachers
  • Writers

Catalog Information

Learn more about the program options by viewing the catalog information below. Catalog information is displayed for the 2017-2018 academic year.

English - Rhetoric Writing and Digital Media Studies

Campus Locations

globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
MA
36 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
36

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Some online/blended coursework Required
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Purpose Statement

The Rhetoric, Writing and Digital Media Studies program provides a curriculum that prepares students to excel as writers, scholars, and teachers. The program emphasizes the importance of critical reading, reflection, writing, digital media, and spoken language to cultivate knowledgeable citizens who understand and appreciate their civic, professional, and personal responsibilities in local and global communities. We specialize in preparing students for intercultural and interdisciplinary communication practices in digital and traditional work settings to further global engagement, diversity, and social participation. Students gain advanced skills in rhetorical theory and persuasive argumentation, social media literacy, multimedia writing, and design, professional and public discourse conventions, and teaching literacy and writing through theory-based application projects. They acquire the necessary tools to participate in local and global communities, and they establish a foundation of diverse writing practices for academic and workplace settings.

Student Learning Outcomes 

Theory and Knowledge:
Examine and evaluate the major theories in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies by participating in and advancing current knowledge and practices in the field.

  • Evaluate and reflect critically on rhetorical terms and concepts used by rhetoricians from classical to modern times.
  • Evaluate similarities and differences in the uses of language, the connections between organization and structure used in specific time periods, the connections between style and delivery, and the connections between persuasion and argumentation used in specific time periods.
  • Understand how language practices during specific time periods were and are used to communicate about the diversity of human experience.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of rhetoric to workplace studies, literacy studies, narrative studies, digital studies, cultural studies, gender studies, and race studies.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times for academic, professional and public discourse

 
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development.

  • Evaluate and reflect critically on methodological practices and concepts used in research designs in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies.
  • Understand research as a recursive process.
  • Use research data to formulate or evaluate new research questions, using reason and persuasion in a logical argument.
  • Summarize and evaluate a body of research, including primary and secondary sources.
  • Demonstrate competent, ethical, and responsible use of information in academic and workplace writing.

 
Analysis and Critical Thinking:
Critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.

  • Research, evaluate, and apply knowledge of significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices.
  • Write critical analyses exploring key texts and key concepts about historical and current rhetorical terms and concepts.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply historical knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts to show how contemporary language use is influenced by cultural knowledge.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times to ethnically and linguistically diverse populations.
  • Tailor your academic and professional work to a specific audience and focus your writing on a specific purpose.

 
Apply theoretical and practical knowledge to projects that synthesize and evaluate appropriate research, scholarship, and methodologies in rhetoric, writing, and digital studies

  • Design text and digital projects that show the ethical use of language in diverse academic, public, and professional communities.
  • Understand how cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and economic factors influence communication practices in text and digital environments.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles to question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions expressed in text and digital media.
  • Design and present text and media that addresses experiential learning
  • Design and present projects that show a clear understanding of purpose, audience, and cultural, social, historical, and political contexts.

 
Research and Application:
Apply rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and workplace theories and practices by carrying out advanced course-related and client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, researching, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the field of rhetoric and writing studies through appropriate professional activities (conferences, presentations, publications, social action, grants, internships, practicum experiences, extended research projects, fieldwork, and other activities).

  • Articulate a theoretical framework for the project (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
  • Identify and define appropriate methods of data collection and apply appropriate research methods.
  • Use a research design appropriate to the audience and purpose of your project, showing understanding of rhetorical approaches to multimedia design.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and its implications to the field of rhetoric, writing, and digital media.
  • Analyze, interpret and explain your findings and your project in an extensive project write-up.
  • Present your original research to professional and non-professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations of your work.
  • Apply appropriate writing and design standards and literacy skills to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.

 
Actively participate in local, national, and global communities of academic and workplace writers by participating in professional development activities, and by creating and updating online profiles.

  • Identify your career and learning goals and develop a personal career development plan based on your strengths and goals (Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing Studies).
  • Effectively represent your experience, skills and competencies through written (resume, cover letter, social media, application materials) and verbal (interview skills, presentation skills, etc.) communication (Analysis courses, research projects course).
  • Develop your project management skills (especially Workplace Writing and research projects).
  • Establish, maintain, and grow your professional network (start in intro to Rhetoric and WS, continue in Analysis courses, and in research projects course).
  • Increase your experience and marketability, as well as your level of knowledge about career opportunities, through internships or projects (internships and research project course).
  •  Apply appropriate communication and presentation standards to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
  • Establish an online professional presence by designing, adding on a regular basis, and updating a digital portfolio.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay 
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Writing Sample
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Theoretical Context (9 units):
    ENG 560, ENG 561, ENG 562

    Analysis; take the following four courses (12 units):
    ENG 622, ENG 623, ENG 624, ENG 626

    Application; take 3 units from each applications course (6 units):
    ENG 563, ENG 686

    Three elective courses, chosen with your advisor’s approval (9 units)

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Rhetoric, Writing and Digital Media Studies - Certificate

Campus Locations

globe This program is available Online
Degree Information
Online
In-Person
Blended
GCERT
18 units
Maximum Transfer Units
0
18
Additional Admission Requirements - Additional Application

University Requirements

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Additional Admission Requirements Required

Student Learning Outcomes

Theory and Knowledge

  • Examine and evaluate the major theories in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies by participating in and advancing current knowledge and practices in the field.
  • Produce academic writing and projects applicable to educational and public settings to demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development. 
Analysis and Critical Thinking
  • Critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge to projects that synthesize and evaluate appropriate research, scholarship, and methodologies in rhetoric, writing, and digital studies, including research on significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices. 
Research and Application
  • Apply rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and public writing theories and practices by carrying out advanced course-related and client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, researching, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the field of rhetoric and writing studies.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Writing sample
    • Letter of Application
Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following  with a 18 units in each course:

    Introductory Courses (3-6 units)

    Analysis Courses (9-12 units)Elective (3 units)
    • ENG course, or additional Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies course. 
  • Federal financial aid cannot be used for this certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
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Department Information
Learn more about this program and the Department of English.