M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing: Program Mission and Goals

The M.A. in Rhetoric and Writing at St. Cloud State University integrates rhetoric, writing, new media, and pedagogy. Central to our curriculum is an investigation of how texts (including print, digital and visual) are used to organize and maintain social groups, construct meanings and identities, coordinate behavior, mediate power and competing interests, build consensus, persuade, produce change, and create knowledge. Our program emphasizes rhetoric as praxis, as both productive action and theoretical engagement. We aim to develop students' professional identities as writers, teachers, and scholars through development of critical awareness of how texts are composed, constructed, and produced and how they function within and promote the formation of (inter)personal, social, cultural, corporate, and political sites. The core curriculum in Rhetoric and Writing provides students with theoretical and analytical tools required to read, write, and research in the field of rhetoric, and it is complemented by the opportunity for application in a professional setting through internships. Designed to provide students with the flexibility to choose coursework in two areas of emphasis (professional communication and critical literacy) our program prepares students for careers in professional writing as well as continued study and teaching of rhetorical theories and practices.

Professional Communication Emphasis

Through theoretical exploration and experiential learning, master's level courses emphasizing professional communication at St. Cloud State University prepare graduates for leadership roles in professional communication and advanced graduate study in rhetoric, writing, new media studies, or professional communication. Courses in professional communication provide students with opportunities to investigate the historical, cultural, ethical, political and social dimensions of professional communication and workplace communication technologies as well as develop and practice technical and conceptual proficiencies in digital literacy, document design, translation of technical information, usability studies and project management.

Critical Literacy Emphasis

Through theoretical exploration and experiential learning, an emphasis in critical literacy at St. Cloud State University allows students to examine the nexus of discourses among rhetoric, critical theory, new media, and pedagogy and prepares graduates for civic engagement and advanced graduate study and/or teaching in rhetoric, writing, and new media. Courses emphasizing critical literacy provide students with opportunities to investigate the socio-cultural and historical dimensions of literacy, to theorize and practice critical literacy in multiple contexts and modes (including print, digital, and visual), and to examine the ethics and politics of critical literacy and education.

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