Online Graduate Certificate Programs in Rhetoric & Composition

Oct 29, 2019

With the rise of the digital classroom, graduate certificates in rhetoric and composition are becoming more readily available online. Most of these programs are designed for those who wish to be able to teach the subject, whether at the high school, undergraduate, or graduate level.

Online Graduate Certificate in Rhetoric and Composition Coursework

Online graduate certificates in rhetoric and composition are available in programs consisting of 18 credit hours or more from various reputable academic institutions. The curriculum of these programs will focus on the use of rhetoric and writing through various lenses and contexts. Below are five different courses that are typical in these programs.


These courses will discuss literary theory and different paradigms and frameworks to analyze, understand, and ultimately write about literature. Theory courses may delve into the practices of writing or teaching. Current research and relevant literary frameworks will be applied to create overall courses in theory or specifics such as examining teaching rhetoric and composition in today's classrooms or how the art has evolved over the decades and/or centuries.


Sometimes programs will require a teaching component to their programs as often students are taking the certificate program for professional teaching purposes. Some of these courses may be designed for teaching a specific genre or age bracket, such as the college or high school level. Other courses may focus on specific issues in the composition classroom and teaching approaches.


Being a competent writer requires a breadth and scope of literary knowledge. Most graduate certificates in rhetoric and composition will require at least one literacy or literature course. These courses explore relevant literature to give students a better understanding of the mechanisms of writing and composing, as well as overarching principles of writing. Sometimes coursework will focus on a specific era or geographic region such as British literature or American literature.


These courses focus specifically on rhetoric, delving into the theory, practice, and study of it in various contexts. The history of rhetoric is a common topic in these courses. Other common topics include institutions that use rhetoric and how they do it, political practices of rhetoric, and literary rhetoric.


Courses in this subject may focus on writing styles or forms of writing. Some may go over methods for specific types of writing such as persuasive or argumentative writing. Creative writing might be another variation of this course. Mechanics and the flow of writing are often addressed in these courses in an effort to improve students' writing and their ability to teach writing to others.

Admittance Requirements for Online Graduate Certificates in Rhetoric and Composition

To be admitted into an online program in rhetoric and composition, one must possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree, although some institutions like to see a student is in one of their master's or PhD programs, whether it be a separate field of study or similar. Transcripts will usually be required as a part of the application process. Applicants may also be asked to write a personal statement or essay on the subject of the student's academic interests, background, and ambitions in pursuing a graduate certificate in rhetoric and composition.

There are several online programs available for those who wish to pursue a graduate certificate online in Rhetoric and Composition. These programs include coursework on teaching, writing and composition, rhetoric, theory, and literature.

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