History


Welcome to our department. We have played an important role in writing instruction in US universities for a long time. We were founded in 1944 as the department of Written and Spoken English as part of widespread changes in higher education in the post-war period. Such a department was fairly unique at that time, and our faculty were important to how writing instruction developed in higher education.

Today, we continue to lead and are committed to preparing excellent communicators in the culturally, technologically, and economically dynamic environments of the early 21st Century.

We provide MSU’s First-Year Writing program, a major in Professional Writing, and graduate programs Rhetoric and Writing offering both MA and PhD degrees. We touch the lives of around 7,000 students every year.

Our researchers are national leaders in digital writing, cultural rhetoric, literacy studies, composition, and professional writing. Our faculty lead research groups such as the Writing in Digital Environments Research Center, The Center for Applied and Inclusive Teaching and Learning in the Arts and Humanities, and Matrix, the Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online. Our teachers are committed, creative, and above average–every single one of them.

We are committed to excellence in researching and teaching by taking on the most difficult problems and risking innovative solutions that change the world. Join us.