How to Apply

How to Apply to the MA in Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy or the MA in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing

We have completed our regular admission cycle for entry into the program beginning fall 2021. 

Please note, however, that we will review applications for entry to the MA program without funding or financial support required/requested. Those applications are due by 11:59pm eastern on April 1. Application information and instructions appears below. 

Also appearing below are updates posted regarding our application and admission process for fall 2021.


Application Deadlines: 

January 4, for MA applicants requesting financial support;
April 1, for MA applicants wishing to enroll without financial support

Admission Requirements

Application Instructions

Please make sure to read the admission requirements and application instructions before you prepare your application materials.

The graduate programs in Rhetoric and Writing do not require or use GRE scores for admission purposes.

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.

Admissions decisions are made by the WRAC Rhetoric and Writing Graduate Advisory Committee.



On Friday, November 20, the Rhetoric and Writing Graduate Advisory Committee (RWGAC, which serves as the program admissions committee) met and decided to accept applications for fall 2021. Our PhD application deadline is 11:59pm eastern on Monday, December 7.

However, we do want all applicants to know that we anticipate accepting a very, very small (likely three) cohort of PhD students to begin their work with us in fall 2021.



We are currently unsure whether or not we will accept applications for our MA or PhD programs for fall 2021. We are in unprecedented times; COVID-19 is reshaping our institutions, our capacities, and our budgets. In the face of the global pandemic, many institutions have halted hiring. Other institutions have released, terminated, or fired faculty. 

We are discussing admissions options that include:

  1. Not accepting MA or PhD applications for fall 2021;
  2. Recruiting and accepting very small cohorts of MA and/or PhD students; or
  3. Prioritizing an internal PhD applications process for our current MA students who are nationally competitive.

Our discussions are framed by a core value: We admit students and we commit to their support and success. Supporting our current MA and PhD students, including those who are finishing their degrees this year and on the job market and may need support next year, is our critical priority.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  1. We are currently listening closelyto other programs, to other institutions, to the field, to each other, and to our current graduate students.
  2. Reaching out individually to each of our finishing MA and PhD students about their professional goals, plans, concerns, and needs.
  3. Having small-group and program-wide conversations about the implications of all of the potential decisions listed above.
  4. Engaging in field-wide conversations with other programs and graduate directors, recognizing that we must face our current context together in a way that allows us all to do right by our students, by our colleagues, and by our field. 
  5. Participating in national-level conversations coordinated by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Consortium on Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition.

We posted this initial information in late September, promising that we would make a final decision by November 1, 2020. At this point in time, however, our situation (institutional, budgetary, etc.) has not changed and we are still discussing our options—programmatically, departmentally, and in conversation with our national colleagues. I will continue to provide updates as and when I can. In the meantime—and at any time—please do reach out to me directly if you have any questions.

Dànielle Nicole DeVoss
Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Programs in Rhetoric and Writing
Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures