Building on Ball State’s commitment to emerging media, our rhetoric and composition program encourages students to investigate the growing fields of digital literacy and visual rhetoric alongside traditional studies in rhetorical history, research methodologies, and composition pedagogies. Our doctor of philosophy (PhD) in English, with an emphasis in rhetoric and composition, is one of the oldest established programs in the United States.
Our flexible program encourages students to combine studies in rhetoric and composition with courses in other fields, both within the Department of English and outside of it, producing doctoral students with wide-ranging knowledge and skills. We offer both a doctorate and a master’s in English with a concentration in rhetoric and composition.
Weaving throughout this program are two commitments: the first to the importance of pedagogy and of the teaching moment, the second to the importance of technology in its myriad guises and contexts.
Because of our commitment to technological literacy and digital rhetoric, you also will offered both instruction and practice in the use of technology in the classroom as well as in the creation of discourse (i.e., hypermediated environments). Whether literary, political, or private, discourse has always formed through a medium by means of a technology. So, we take into account the tools that people use to create meaning in their cultures. This course of study increases your awareness of and possibilities for various media and technologies.
The graduate program is deliberately structured to maintain a small circle of highly motivated students. This enables a close collegial relationship between candidates and faculty already established in their areas of professional expertise. It also affords numerous opportunities for graduate students to explore the many and varied aspects of rhetoric and composition, including Writing Program, the Writing Center, and Writing Project participation.
By working intensively with faculty, you will present at national conferences, publish within print and electronic venues, and write internal and external grants. This active participation boosts your growth as a teacher, as a member of an institutional community, and as a professional. Further support for graduate students is offered through scholarships, grants, and assistantships.
PhD in English—concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, 90 credits
At the completion of coursework, students take comprehensive examinations covering the concentration and cognates. Oral examinations follow the written exam.
Candidates for the PhD must complete a dissertation on an original topic under the guidance of a committee of faculty. The dissertation requires 16 hours of credit in DISS 799.
Before writing their comprehensive examinations, candidates must establish competence in one language, other than English, relevant to their research.
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