Rhetoric and Composition @ Purdue

Located near the banks of the Wabash, Purdue University upholds the Land Grant University mission of adding education in mechanics and agriculture to the classics and sciences. This focus makes Purdue particularly appropriate for the serious study of written discourse, as we celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the passage of the Morrill Act

Purdue is a gathering place for faculty and students interested in the serious study of written discourse. We prize writing -- its learning, production, rhetoric, and instruction -- in academic, workplace, and public settings. Our graduate program allows students to pursue an M.A. and/or a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition.

Begun in 1980, the graduate program in Rhetoric and Composition now enrolls 50 students and has 216 graduates (145 Ph.D and 71 M.A.). Our graduates hold positions as writing teachers, program and writing center administrators, graduate program faculty, department heads, editors, usability testers, and professional and technical writers/managers.

The Purdue graduate program is structured to support our students. As a new class enters our students participate in: a weeklong orientation to graduate work and teaching and a party to welcome them to Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue. While in coursework, students are mentored together for their teaching, advised in a way that fits their goals [including a yearly review], and cooperative in their preparation for exams. As our students prepare for their dissertations, they are mentored in the process and advised to start dissertation groups. When our students are ready to seek a job, we support them through a year-long job group.

The Rhetoric and Composition participates in a large and diverse graduate program (67 faculty and almost 240 graduate students). The Department of English at Purdue offers Ph.D. concentrations in:

  • English Language and Linguistics
  • English as a Second Language
  • Literature
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Theory and Cultural Studies

The Department of English also grants an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and it participates in interdisciplinary graduate programs in: Women's Studies; Comparative Literature; Jewish Studies; American Studies: African American Studies; and Philosophy & Literature.

Such diversity allows us to assemble classes with varied interests.

We invite you to explore the information about our program, and for more information, contact:

Professor Patricia Sullivan, Director (sullivanatpurdue@gmail.com)

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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