Writing, Rhetoric, and Media


Degrees Offered


The interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Media combines work in theory and research with a comprehensive emphasis on written, oral and visual modes of presentation and argument. It prepares graduate students to be professional and technical communicators in industry and government and to be teachers of writing and rhetoric in two-year colleges. In addition, the program provides the background necessary for students who plan to pursue a PhD in rhetoric or technical communication.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

The MAWRM program offers a flexible curriculum that allows you to tailor the degree to meet your individual professional goals. You will take four core courses and five classes in a specialty area. The core courses cover rhetorical theories, visual rhetoric, digital rhetoric, and composition theory.

Electives in a specialty area allow you to customize your degree program to meet your career goals. Specializations you can develop include:

  • Technical writing
  • New media and digital publishing
  • Usability and user-experience design
  • Teaching of writing
  • Corporate communications
  • Health communications

In each of these areas, the program allows you to select courses designed to create a specialization. Also, rather than selecting one of the specializations above, you may choose to create a custom specialization from courses in one or more of the above areas, courses offered by the program in other areas and/or courses offered by other departments.

Examples of recent course offerings include:

  • Advanced technical editing
  • The future of the book
  • Communication culture and social networks
  • Digital video production
  • Usability testing

To earn the MAWRM, you will complete the required course work (30 credit hours), pass a qualifying exam on a list of readings and complete a portfolio-the main component of which is a semester-long, potentially publishable paper or a client project accepted by the student’s portfolio committee. Client projects allow candidates to work in industry for academic credit. Most students complete the degree in two years or less (some students complete the degree while working full-time, thus taking longer to finish).


The Multimedia Authoring, Teaching and Research Facility (MATRF) provides MAPC students with state-of-the-art web publishing, multimedia authoring and traditional print-design tools. You will use the facility to produce professional-level deliverables for class projects and for clients. The facility also supports research projects, provides staff assistance and tutorial workshops, and serves as a gathering space for MAWRM students.

The Class of 1941 Studio for Student Communication is a corporate-like space for learning, teaching and research. It is especially well-suited to collaborative work and multimedia presentations.

The Roy and Marnie Pearce Center for Professional Communication promotes effective communication across the curriculum as an integral part of the learning process through a comprehensive program of interdisciplinary workshops, collaborative ventures and research. The center’s Corporate Advisory Board holds regular meetings that offer networking opportunities for MAWRM students.

The Usability Testing Facility advances the understanding of user-centered design processes and usability testing practices. Graduate students and faculty members work with industry partners to improve the usability of products intended for mass markets.

Our Students

The MAWRM program is comprised of students who hold bachelor’s degrees in diverse areas, such as biology, computer science, English, marketing, political science, communications, and psychology. The program currently has 24 students.


Required Documents


The School offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit.  These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission.  Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 15 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School.

Financial aid is available to qualified full-time students in the form of assistantships. Aid packages include a competitive monthly stipend and a substantial reduction in tuition.

First-year graduate assistants may perform duties such as developing publications in the MATRF, helping faculty manage and enhance writing programs and tutoring in the department’s Writing Center. After earning 18 credit hours toward the degree, graduate assistants may teach sections of composition. Student loans and fellowship awards are also available, and funding may be available on a competitive basis for students to travel to professional conferences.


Program Coordinator(s)