Top Communications Graduate Programs in Rhetoric

Get info on the characteristics of a good graduate program in rhetoric. Read about three top schools with rhetoric programs, and review their national and international rankings. Discover what rhetoric-related graduate degree programs you could pursue at these schools. Schools offering Applied Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Communications Graduate Program in Rhetoric?

If your desired focus is rhetoric, you may wish to explore schools that have separate rhetoric departments or rhetoric concentrations within another department. Look for faculty who come from strong programs in rhetoric, communications or English. Researching the school's placement record while determining your primary focus can also help you select the best school for your needs. Since programs have different emphases, students should consider programs that will best support their specific goals.

What Are Three Top Communications Graduate Programs in Rhetoric?

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (UTA), a public university, was among the top 50 schools in the 2015 Times Higher Education World University rankings. In 2013, U.S. News and World Report ranked UTA 17th among the best graduate English programs in the nation. The UTA Department of Rhetoric and Writing is a separate department within the College of Liberal Arts.

At the graduate level, rhetoric is one of 15 fields of concentration available through the English Department. Since 1984, students have had the option of summer study at Oxford University in England.

Degrees awarded include:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric

Penn State University in University Park, PA

Penn State University, a public university, was also ranked in the Times Higher Education top 200 world universities in 2015. Penn's large English department, tied for 26th in 2013 among top graduate programs in English by U.S. News & World Report, offers rhetoric and composition as one of 13 specialty fields. High-achieving Penn State rhetoric students have won prestigious Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) grants and awards (www.english.la.psu.edu).

Students of rhetoric at Penn State have access to a large English faculty and, since 2002, 25 new Ph.D.s in rhetoric have been placed in tenure-track positions in leading universities. Penn State hosts the annual Penn State Conference on Rhetoric and Composition.

Degrees awarded include:

  • Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Composition
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Composition

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university, established in 1900 by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie Mellon was recognized in the Times Higher Education top 200 survey as the 22nd-ranked world university in 2015.

Carnegie Mellon's doctoral program in rhetoric is one of the oldest in the United States. According to the school website, admission is limited and selective. Faculty and students are high achievers and recipients of awards, such as the 2009 Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) Book Award. CMU offers two graduate programs in rhetoric through the Department of English within the College of Humanities and Social Science. Degrees include:

  • Master of Arts in Rhetoric
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric

Other Schools with Rhetoric Programs

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
Arizona State University4-year, PublicTempe, AZ
Clemson University4-year, PublicClemson, SC
DePaul University4-year, PrivateChicago, IL
George Mason University4-year, PublicFairfax, VA
Georgia State University4-year, PublicAtlanta, GA
Illinois State University4-year, PublicNormal, IL
Duquesne University4-year, PrivatePittsgburgh, PA
Louisiana State University4-year, PublicBaton Rouge, LA
Syracuse University4-year, PrivateSyracuse, NY
Ohio State University4-year, PublicColumbus, OH

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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