Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Current Students


The MA in Digital Rhetoric & Professional Writing (DRPW) is designed to serve two kinds of students. Some pursue the MA in DRPW in order to develop a career in technical/professional writing. Others pursue the degree in order to prepare for PhD-level work in rhetoric, writing, communication studies, media studies, or technical communication. Designed for completion in a minimum of two years, this program provides students with a theoretically grounded yet practical experience in technical/professional writing, with a special focus on designing writing for digital environments. 

MA in DRPW Course Requirements  

Core Requirements for Plan A & Plan B  

1. All of the following core courses (13 cr.):  

WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric  

WRA 420 Content Management for Professional Writers  

WRA 841 Professional Writing Theory and Research  

WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric **  

**With the approval of the director and the major advisor, WRA 805 or another theory course may be substituted.  

WRA886 Master’s Research Colloquium 

2. Two of the following courses (6 cr.):  

WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring  

WRA 852 Portfolio Workshop  

WRA 893B Internship in Professional Writing  

3. A minimum of six (6) additional credits from the following list.  

WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring  

WRA 417 Multimedia Writing   

WRA 446 American Indian Rhetorics   

WRA 453 Grant and Proposal Writing  

WRA 482 Information and Interaction Design  

WRA 848 American Cultural Rhetorics: Theory and Methodology  

WRA 852 Portfolio Workshop  

WRA 853 Development of the Essay  

WRA 854 Nonfiction Writing Workshop  

WRA 860 Visual Rhetoric Theory for Professional Writers  

WRA 872 Methods of Research into Language Learning and Literacy  

WRA 877 Community Literacy  

WRA 878 Composition Studies: Issues, Theory, and Research  

AL 881 Teaching with Technology in Arts and Humanities   

WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric  

WRA 892 Seminar in Rhetoric and Writing  

WRA 893B Internship in Professional Writing  

WRA 898 Master’s Research (1-3) 

WRA 980 Studies in Rhetoric  

WRA 992 Seminar in Language, Literacy, and Pedagogy  

ENG 991A Topics in English Language Studies  

LIN 437 Semantics and Pragmatics or LIN 837 Advanced Studies in Semantics and    Pragmatics   

LIN 471 Sociolinguistics or LIN 871 Advanced Studies in Sociolinguistics   


NOTE: Completion of WRA 410, WRA 852, and WRA 893B may not count towards both requirements #2 and #3.  

Additional Requirements for Plan A = WRA 899 Master’s Thesis Research (6 credits) and pass a final oral certifying exam on the thesis and coursework.  

Additional Requirements for Plan B = complete an additional 6 credits of coursework from the list of electives above and pass a final certifying examination on the coursework.  

Completion of the MA must occur within six (6) years of entering the program. The clock starts ticking the semester of the first class that is counted toward the degree.