MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing

Total units required for the MA: 30

Program Description

The MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing is recommended for students preparing to teach at the high school or community college level or advance as writers in professional, workplace contexts. The MA in Composition, Rhetoric, and Professional Writing offers preparation for careers in fields such as education, journalism, publishing, law, technical writing, advertising, arts administration, or civil service; or to pursue study at the doctoral level. Because many graduate students work during the day, most graduate courses are scheduled for late afternoon and evening hours. The course of study leads to an M.A. thesis project in rhetoric, composition, and professional writing in which the student undertakes original research or creates a professional writing portfolio under the supervision of a two-person faculty committee.

Admission Requirements

  • a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of all university level coursework OR a 3.0 GPA in courses in Communication Studies, Education, English, Philosophy, Political Science or related major on the transcript from your degree-granting institution (effective beginning with Spring 2015 admissions)

  • Statement of purpose and writing sample

  • Students from foreign universities must take the TOEFL test, which is administered in different formats; students need take only one format of the exam. Required scores for each format are as follows:

    • paper based TOEFL: 600, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • computer based TOEFL: 250, with a score of 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

    • internet based TOEFL (IBT): 100, with a minimum of 25 on the writing section

Advancement to Candidacy

Each student must file an application for Advancement to Candidacy, indicating a proposed program of graduate study. This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

  • removed any deficiencies in admission requirements;
  • completed at least 12 units of English 200-level courses in the Master's Degree program with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0; and
  • taken the Writing Placement for Graduate Students (WPG) or taken a Graduate Writing Intensive (GWI) course in their discipline within the first two semesters of coursework at California State University, Sacramento or secured approval for a WPG waiver.

Advancement to Candidacy forms are available on the Office of Graduate Studies website. The student fills out the form after planning a degree program in consultation with an English faculty advisor. The completed form is then returned to the Office of Graduate Studies for approval.

Program Requirements

Required Courses (16 Units)
ENGL 220ATeaching College Composition 14
ENGL 220DTeaching and Composition Research4
ENGL 220PProfessional Writing4
ENGL 220RTopics in Rhetorical Theory and Practice4
Select from one of the following (4 Units)
ENGL 410AWriting Center Theory and Practice: Internships4
or ENGL 410C Internships
or ENGL 410E Internship in Teaching Writing
or ENGL 410W Writing Programs Internship
Electives: 28
Students who enroll in a three-unit elective course must also enroll in ENGL 222: Understanding Multidisciplinary in Writing Studies
Topics in Composition Studies
ESL Writing/Composition 2
Second Language Acquisition 3
Methods and Materials of Literary Research
Contemporary Theory
Select a course from the ENGL 230, ENGL 240, ENGL 250, ENGL 260, ENGL 275, or ENGL 280 series
Culminating Requirement (2 Units)
ENGL 500Culminating Experience 42
Total Units30