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M.A. in English, Rhetoric and Composition


With one of the largest writing studies faculties in the northwest, Boise State University’s M.A. in English degree with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition provides students with a strong foundation in both rhetorical theory and composition pedagogy, preparing graduates for both careers in the teaching of writing, particularly at a two-year college, and also for further graduate study in the field.

The program offers students a range of possible research opportunities and practical experiences including teaching in the first-year writing program, tutoring in a thriving writing center, writing an optional thesis, and attending conferences such as the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the International Writing Centers Association. Strong university support for learning through technology offers opportunities to experiment with multimedia writing, digital genres, and online teaching.

Many of our students have found full-time teaching positions at regional colleges including the College of Western Idaho and the College of Southern Idaho. Others have gone on to receive PhDs in rhetoric and composition at major universities (the University of New Hampshire, Washington State University, the University of Massachusetts, Purdue University, the University of Nebraska, and the University of Louisville) and now hold tenure-track positions.

This program requires 33 credit hours of coursework, including 3 credits of thesis, project, or portfolio. At least 21 credits must be rhetoric and composition courses. The remaining credits are electives that may be in rhetoric and composition or in other areas of the English Department graduate offerings.


  • ENGL 554 Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition
  • ENGL 561 Theories of Composition
  • ENGL 562 Theories of Rhetoric


Courses to be selected from the following:

  • ENGL 563 The Theory and Teaching of Basic Writing
  • ENGL 564 Issues in Second-Language Writing
  • ENGL 567 Grammar and the Teaching of Writing: Theory and Practice
  • ENGL 568 The Essay Tradition
  • ENGL 583 Selected Topics in Rhetoric and Composition (may be taken three times with different focuses)
  • ENGL 590 Practicum/Internship 1-3 credits
  • ENGL 598 Seminar for Teaching Assistants


To be selected from graduate offerings in Literature, Linguistics, Rhetoric and Composition, Technical Communication, Creative Writing and English Education. The electives may include a maximum of six credits of ENGL 400G courses and a maximum of three credits of independent work in ENGL 595, ENGL 596, and ENGL 696.


  • ENGL 591 Project OR
  • ENGL 592 Portfolio OR
  • ENGL 593 Thesis