All applications to our MA programs must start at MSU Admissions ( and be completed through MSU’s Slate Admissions system. Please read all instructions carefully before beginning your application process.

International applicants are advised to complete the application as early as possible to allow time for processing of visas and other documents. See for additional information.

MA Application Steps 

To be considered for admission to the master’s program in Rhetoric and Writing, you will need to provide the following documents: FIRST, a completed application for graduate study, along with payment of the application fee. The application form is available from the MSU Admissions web site ( You must apply online. 

You will be required to submit:

  • One copy of each transcript from each college or university that you have attended. Transcripts should be sent directly to MSU from the Office of the Registrar at each institution you have attended. (Transcripts of coursework taken at MSU need not be requested.)

    If the institution(s) from which you send transcripts uses an electronic transcript service, direct that institution to send transcripts to the Graduate School at MSU—your transcript will be attached to your electronic application when it arrives. If you are sending transcripts from institutions that use paper copies, please have those transcripts sent to: WRAC RW Graduate Program; Michigan State University; 434 Farm Lane; 235 Bessey Hall; East Lansing, MI 48824; Attn: Melissa Arthurton.

  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals in a position to evaluate your potential for graduate study. Ideally, these letters should come from faculty members (or instructors) who can address your qualifications for academic course work at the graduate level and also your skills as a writer, teacher and scholar. (If you have taken rhetoric, composition or professional writing courses, it is most helpful to have letters from your instructors in those courses.)
  • A single PDF compiling the following items in the order listed below. Save this PDF with your last name and upload it to Slate in any materials category.

  1. resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
  2. A 2-3 page, double-spaced Statement of Purpose that addresses your goals in pursuing an MA degree at MSU. The admissions committee wants to know: Why do you want to pursue this degree at MSU? What interests, qualifications, and, most importantly, professional goals of yours will be served by completion of this degree?
  3. Two writing samples demonstrating your ability to engage in graduate-level work.

    At least one sample should be a single-authored academic paper showing your ability to do a sustained critical analysis, research, review, or evaluation (ideally, from an upper-division course).

    The other sample could demonstrate your abilities as a professional/technical writer, as an editor, as a document designer, or as a developer of digital information (e.g., multimedia products, web sites). If you wish to direct us to an online sample, please embed the URL in the PDF compilation.

Again, please note that the Rhetoric and Writing Program has two different admission application deadlines for MA applicants: December 14 for applicants seeking funding support; April 1 for applicants who do not need funding. 


Please direct all general questions to Professor Liza Potts, Associate Chair and Director of the Graduate Programs in WRAC (  

If you have a question regarding receipt and/or status of your application materials, or if you have a problem with Slate, please contact our Graduate Program Academic Operations Coordinator, LouAnne Snider (