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Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in English with a major in Rhetoric and Composition is a 33-hour degree program. All students take 9 hours of core courses in rhetoric and composition, 12-15 hours of prescribed electives in rhetoric and composition, 6 additional hours in rhetoric and composition or a related cognate area (technical communication, for example). To complete the program, students write a thesis (6 hours over two semesters) or produce a portfolio and take a written comprehensive exam (3 hours during one semester).


When enrollment is high, MARC students may be required to reserve their courses prior to registration through a form sent out by the MARC graduate assistant ( In such cases, the MARC graduate assistant will notify students and send a link to a Google form through which students will select the MARC classes they intend to register for the following semester. Program faculty, Dr. Flore Chevaillier, will then open the student for registration based on the course(s) they reserved. MARC courses tend to be popular among students in other departments, so confirming your intention to enroll in a course helps the MARC department ensure that MARC students are able to enroll in the courses they need. Please keep in mind that reserving courses does not officially register you for those courses; it simply allows you to register for them once registration opens.

If a student wishes to enroll in a course that is outside of the MARC, please email Flore Chevaillier ( She will facilitate you with opening up the courses for you to register. Be sure to include the CRNs of each course and, if applicable, the section number of the course. 

The following is a breakdown of required, prescribed, cognate, and thesis or portfolio requirements and hours:
Required Core Courses (9 hours)
________   ENG 5383 Topic: Rhetorical Theory (offered every fall)
________   ENG 5326 Composition Theory (offered every spring)
________   ENG 5327 Research Methods (offered every spring)
Prescribed Elective Courses in Rhetoric and Composition (12-15 hours) 
Thesis students will take 12 prescribed electives; portfolio/written comprehensive exam students will take 15 hours of prescribed electives. 
_______   ENG 5300 Problems in a Multicultural Environment
_______   ENG 5310 Studies in English Language and Linguistics
_______   ENG 5313 Topic: Computers and Writing
_______   ENG 5313 Topic: Visual Rhetoric
_______   ENG 5314 Topic: Teaching Technical Communication
_______   ENG 5316 Foundations in Rhetoric and Composition (topics vary) (repeatable for up to 9 hours of credit)
_______   ENG 5317 Specializations in Rhetoric and Composition (topics vary) (repeatable for up to 9 hours of credit)
_______ ENG 5383 Studies in Rhetoric (topics vary) (excludes ENG 5383 Topic: Rhetorical Theory) (repeatable for up to 9 hours of credit) 
Additional Electives in Rhetoric and Composition or Cognate Area (6 hours)
_______  Course number and title
_______  Course number and title
Thesis (6 hours) OR Portfolio (3 hours) 
_______   ENG 5399 Thesis A (Prerequisite: 18 hours) AND
_______   ENG 5399 Thesis B (Prerequisite: Thesis A)
_______  ENG 5328 Directed Portfolio


Students can monitor their progress towards their degree by viewing their Degree Audit. The Degree Audit displays the graduation requirements for a student's particular program, which of these requirements the student has already completed, and which remain to be completed. For assistance accessing your Degree Audit, click here. 

If you have further questions about the requirements or progress of your degree, feel free to contact the MARC Graduate Assistant at, or 512-245-7684. If you would like to make an advising appointment, the MARC program director, Dr. Rebecca Jackson, handles advising for all MARC students (