To be considered for admission to the doctoral program in Rhetoric & Writing, you will need to provide the materials described below. Please feel free to let us know how your interests fit with the concentrations that we offer (including our “design your own” option).
- A completed Application for Graduate Study, along with a check or money order to cover the application fee. The application form is available at http://grad.msu.edu/apply/. You are strongly encouraged to apply online. (There is a separate application form for international applicants.) NOTE: At the “Academic and Personal Statement” prompt on the application form, please write “see attached” or “statement sent to program” and substitute the personal statement specified below; make sure this specific statement is included in the materials sent directly to the R&W program. (The MSU application code for the PhD program is 5600.)
- One copy of each transcript from each college or university that you have attended. Transcripts should be sent directly from the Office of the Registrar at each institution. Transcripts of work taken at MSU need not be requested.
- A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé.
- A personal statement that addresses your goals in pursuing a doctorate in Rhetoric & Writing at MSU, sent directly to the R &W program. The Graduate Committee wants to know: Why do you want to pursue this degree at MSU? What interests, qualifications, and, most importantly, professional goals will be served by completion of this degree? What kinds of preparation do you have for doctoral level work? How do you see the program at MSU building on your preparation and helping to meet the goals you have set for yourself?
- A statement of teaching philosophy. In no more than one page (single spaced), discuss your experience or potential as a teacher of writing and/or as a teacher educator; talk about your philosophy of writing (what are your goals as a writing teacher? what general approach do you take?); and indicate how you teach (e.g., what sorts of approaches and strategies do you employ, or would you employ, in teaching a writing or literacy pedagogy class?).
- Submit at least two writing samples (e.g., major research paper, summary of master’s thesis, or digital documents). At least one sample should be an academic paper showing your ability to do sustained critical analysis, research, review, or evaluation at an advanced level. At least one piece should be single-authored.
- Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess your ability to pursue advanced graduate study. Letters of recommendation should address your potential to do doctoral-level research and writing–for rhetoric/composition applicants, in the field of rhetoric and writing; for CSLP applicants, in the field of literacy pedagogy. At least one of the letters should address your qualifications as a teacher (or your potential for teaching), and one should directly address your academic performance in a graduate program.Ask your recommenders to use the MSU Graduate School Recommendation Form (PDF) as a cover for their letters –> http://grad.msu.edu/apply/docs/recommendation.pdf
PhD Admission Requirements
To be admitted to the program on regular status, an applicant must:
- have a master’s degree or the equivalent.
- have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in graduate level courses.
Admissions decisions are made by the Rhetoric & Writing Graduate Advisory Committee. Applicants who do not meet the criteria stated above may be admitted provisionally. Conditions for regular admission, including the completion of collateral coursework, must be satisfied during the first year of study.
PhD applicants’ files are due by December 1st.
Please direct all general questions regarding admissions, or inquiries about the PhD program, to Prof. Bill Hart-Davidson, Director of Rhetoric & Writing, 235C Bessey Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1047, 517.355.2400, email@example.com.
International applicants are advised to complete application as early as possible to allow time for processing of visas and other documents. See http://grad.msu.edu/apply/ for additional information.
* The Rhetoric & Writing PhD program does consider applications from students already enrolled in other doctoral programs at MSU as long as said applicants have no more than one year (or the equivalent) of coursework in that other doctoral program. Such cases are evaluated as new applications, not as “transfer” requests.