Master's Degree

Master's Options for Fourth Semester

Master's students take 36 credits or 2 years of coursework. The final 9 credits may be taken as thesis credits, project credits, or coursework.

12 cr. 4 Groundwork courses. These might be distributed as either one course in each of four areas or two courses in the student’s area of concentration and one course each in two other areas.
3 cr. 1 Focus course in a selected area of concentration
3 cr. 1 Methodologies/Methods course (or alternative Methodologies/Methods preparation to be worked in consultation with advisor(s)
3 cr. Composition Practicum (if applicable)
9 cr. Final option
Coursework option: 3 courses
Project option: 3-6 cr. HU5990 plus 1 course to equal 9 cr. 
Thesis option: 9 cr. HU5990

Degree Timeline

  Fall Semester Spring Semester
Year 1 Intro to Graduate Studies
3 cr. Composition Practicum
3 cr. course
3 cr. course
(Composition Practicum)
1 cr. Advanced RCR
3 cr. course
3 cr. course
3 cr. course
Year 2 3 cr. course
3 cr. course
3 cr. course
Proposal defense
9 cr. courses [Coursework option]
3-6 cr. HU5991 + 3-6 cr. courses [Project option]
9 cr. HU5990 [Thesis option]

Thesis (proposal defense and public defense)

A proposal defense with the full committee should be held at the end of the 3rd semester or the beginning of the 4th semester. This defense is not public but should include all committee members.

  • Fourth semester: 6-9 credits HU 5990 - Thesis (plus coursework if necessary to equal 9 credits)
  • Work for the Thesis Option requires in-depth analyses of some issue or question in rhetoric, theory, and culture based on extensive research in a student’s area of research. The scope of the research and writing should be appropriate to the time allotted for 6-9 hours of research credit. The Thesis should be 40-60 pages and must include a reference list.

Students must submit the departmental Two Week Notification Form at least 2 weeks prior to the proposal defense, and at least 2 weeks prior to the final defense.

University Degree Requirements

Project (proposal defense and public defense)

A proposal defense with the full committee should be held at the end of the 3rd semester or the beginning of the 4th semester. Projects are generally of a more limited scope and result in some form of applied product. Examples might include and innovative curricular design or a website that makes academic research accessible to public audiences. Student’s work should also include some explicit discussion of a theoretical framework, explaining how it informs the project, as well as a literature review that indicates the project's exigency. The scope of the project should be appropriate to the time allotted for 3-6 hours of research credit. The Project Report should be 25-30 pages and must include a reference list.

  • Fourth semester: 3-6 credits HU 5991 - Special Projects + 3-6 credits of coursework to equal 9 credits
  • After their project research work is completed and has been approved by their Advisory Committee, students then write Project Reports describing and analyzing their conclusions, and, where appropriate, their application of any relevant research methodologies. Prior to beginning Project Reports, students must meet with their Advisory Committee to discuss the format and structure of the report.
  • Students should meet with their Advisory Committees to discuss their final Project Report at least three weeks before the final oral exam.

Students must submit the departmental Two Week Notification Form at least 2 weeks prior to the proposal defense, and at least 2 weeks prior to the final defense.

University Degree Requirements

Coursework

The RTC program also offers an all-coursework Master’s option. Students complete 9 credits of coursework in their final semester. Students taking this option do not require a full committee, but work with an advisor to select courses appropriate to their interests.

University Degree Requirements