Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Wisdom sets bounds even to knowledge. —Friedrich Nietzsche

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • Excellent placement rate
  • The newly remodeled Humanities Digital Media Zone (HDMZ) offers state of the art educational technology to faculty, graduate students and undergraduates.
  • The Humanities Department is home to a nationally recognized scholarly journal, Women and Language, and a nationally acclaimed literary magazine, Pank.
  • Michigan Tech’s Humanities Department holds three Programs of Excellence Awards from the National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Our Writing Center has received an $89,000 award through the Kimberly-Clark Foundation to renovate and to celebrate the center as a place of university and community diversity.

Learn more about the Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program.

Graduate Programs in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture

The MS and PhD degrees in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture are based on innovative, broad-based, interdisciplinary programs that draw students into study across a range of fields, focusing on the complex interactions among rhetoric and communication within their social and cultural contexts. Special attention is given to the changing role of technology, communication, and representation in contemporary societies.

The department is one of six in the country chosen by the National Council of Teachers of English and the Council of Graduate Schools to be part of the Preparing Future Faculty Initiative. The initiative works to develop innovative approaches for the preparation of graduate students to meet the demand of ever-changing academic environment.

Rhetoric, Theory and Culture program.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project:

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Course Work Option

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits be earned through course work. Research credits may be used on a case-by-case basis following the approval of the graduate program director. 

A graduate program may require an oral or written examination before conferring the degree and may require more than the minimum credits listed here:

Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)18 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements 
MS–PhD (minimum)30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum)60 credits

 

Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.