Top Rhetoric Graduate Programs: School List

Jan 09, 2020

Find out which schools have the top graduate programs in rhetoric. Discover school rankings and information about each school's program requirements and expectations.

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  • 0:53 University of…
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  • 2:54 Top Rhetoric Graduate Programs

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School Overviews

Students can find programs that cover rhetoric at both the master's and doctoral levels. Programs may be offered specifically in the field or studies may be included within broader degree programs. The University of California - Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, and Arizona State University are three of the nation's top schools offering graduate programs in rhetoric. The University of California - Berkeley has a dedicated department for rhetoric studies and offers a variety of concentration areas in the field, including classical rhetoric. At the University of Texas - Austin and Arizona State University, rhetoric is a concentration area offered by the English department. Additionally, each of these schools was nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2020.

University of California - Berkeley

The University of California - Berkeley (UC Berkeley) was ranked the second best among top public schools in the country by U.S. News and World Report for 2020. The Department of Rhetoric offers a Ph.D. program with opportunities to conduct focused research in areas including film and media studies, philosophy and critical theory, and classical rhetoric. Recent doctoral candidates have produced dissertations on topics such as the Olympian art of song and the formation of the philosopher in Platonic dialogue. Graduates have found teaching positions at various U.S. universities.

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) was ranked among the top 20 public universities in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report for 2020. The graduate program in English offers a Ph.D. concentration in rhetoric and writing. In addition to the core curriculum in discourse, composition theory, and pedagogical practice, Ph.D. candidates commonly take classes in anthropology, classics, philosophy, and computer science. They can also get experience planning and teaching the university writing programs or directing its writing centers and labs. The program only admits about 15 students every year.

Arizona State University in Tempe

For 2020, Arizona State University was ranked the most innovative school in the country by U.S. World and News Report and offers students the opportunity to study abroad for up to a year in Germany, Austria, China, Italy, or the U.K. The Department of English at Arizona State offers a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in writing, rhetorics, and literacies. Students explore rhetorical theory and examine the rhetorical strategies used in the production and interpretation of various types of texts. They're also encouraged to take on interdisciplinary studies in an area of interest, such as sociology, education, and psychology. The master's degree program provides both thesis and non-thesis options.

Top Rhetoric Graduate Programs

Here are some more schools with great rhetoric programs:

School Name Location Distinction
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA Students have the opportunity to work at places like The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, the Center for the Arts in Society, the Community Literacy Center, or the Center for Innovation in Learning
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN Graduate students can pursue a combination of studies in rhetoric, media studies, and performance and ethnography
Northwestern University Evanston, IL Ranked 9th nationally by U.S. News and World Report for 2020
Ohio University Athens, OH English department hosts writing events featuring renowned authors, as well as students and other local writers
Syracuse University Syracuse, NY The rhetoric and composition program is offered by an independent writing department, making it the first of its kind in the country
The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA Over 97% of rhetoric and composition graduates have received tenured track appointments
University of Oklahoma Norman, OK Ph.D. program requires fluency in foreign languages
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Graduate students can participate in the university's William Pitt Debating Union as coaches

Students who want to study rhetoric at the graduate level can find master's degrees and doctoral programs at well-regarded universities. Many of these top institutions offer an interdisciplinary curriculum along with academic enrichment opportunities in the field.

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