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


The MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing (DRPW) is designed to serve two kinds of students: Some pursue the MA in DRPW to develop or enhance a career in technical/professional writing. Others pursue the degree to prepare for PhD-level work in rhetoric, writing, communication studies, media studies, or technical communication. Designed for completion in 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 and Plan B  

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

WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric (3 credits)

WRA 420 Content Management for Professional Writers (3 credits)

WRA 841 Professional Writing Theory and Research (3 credits) 

WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric ** (3 credits)  

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

WRA886 Master’s Research Colloquium (1 credit)

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

WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring (3 credits)

WRA 852 Portfolio Workshop or WRA 890 Independent Study (3 credits)

WRA 893B Internship in Professional Writing (variable credit) 

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

WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring  

WRA 453 Grant and Proposal Writing  

WRA 482 Information and Interaction Design  

WRA 848 Cultural Rhetorics 

WRA 853 Workshop in Rhetoric and Writing

WRA 860 Multimodal Composing Theory and Practice

WRA 872 Methods of Research in Rhetoric and Writing

WRA 877 Community Literacy  

WRA 878 Composition Studies: Issues, Theory, and Research  

AL 881 Teaching with Technology

WRA 882 Contemporary Theories of Rhetoric  

WRA 992 Seminar in Literacy Studies

WRA 893B Internship in Professional Writing  

WRA 898 Master’s Thesis Research (1-4) 

WRA 980 Studies in Rhetoric  

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 = Thesis prospectus. WRA 899 Master’s Thesis Research (4 credits) and pass a final oral certifying exam on the thesis and coursework.  

Additional Requirements for Plan BComplete an additional 6 credits of coursework from the list of electives above in consultation with the student’s advisory committee. Present a final certifying portfolio or pass a a final certifying examination. 

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.