About Our Program

The Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture concentration integrates histories, theories, and philosophies of writing and rhetoric with the concerns of teaching and writing. This area of focus prepares graduates for various career tracks including:
  • Teaching in community colleges and high schools
  • Continuing to Ph.D. studies in rhetoric and writing
  • Working as writing program administrators
  • Holding a variety of positions that emphasize writing and publishing such as:
    • Editing
    • Technical writing
    • Private and public sector work

We are prepared and happy to support our students in whichever career path they choose to undertake upon the completion of this program. 

Oregon State University is home to a well-regarded and competitive MA program where a nationally renowned group of faculty works closely with a diverse group of graduate students in developing research and teaching expertise. The program also offers opportunities for rigorous scholarly debate beyond the classroom through thesis mentoring, the Critical Questions Lecture Series, funded conference travel, and the annual MA Symposium.

While we hold high expectations for students, we also aim to create a supportive environment where students are able to identify the courses and research projects that interest them most. Our previous students' have have explored diverse topics of research including, disabilities, identity, language, immigration, first-year composition, and so much more.

Due to the diverse interests of our students, during their students time in the program, we highly encourage them to interact with other graduate programs within the School of Writing, Literature, and Film (SWLF), including Literature and Culture, Film and Visual Studies, Master of Fine Arts. We also encourage our students to engage with programs beyond SWLF, including Environmental Arts and Humanities, Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Ethnic Studies, and the Center for Latino/a Studies and Engagement. In addition, we also have strong interdisciplinary ties through the Writing Intensive Curriculum program and the Writing Center.


Students in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture Do Groundbreaking Research

MA students complete a thesis during their second year of study. Many of these projects result in excellent, thoughtful research that becomes integrated into classroom practice, results in published articles, or evolves into dissertation projects. These are just a few recent thesis projects:

  • Chad Iwertz, Classified Bodies: Disability, Identity, and the Technological Classroom.
  • André Habet, Reclaiming Voice: Enacting Social Discourse Communities in Belizean First-Year College Composition
  • Elizabeth Wimberly, More than a Term: A Consideration of Support for Generation 1.5 Students at Colleges and Universities
  • Kristina Lum, Talking Story, Writing Proper: Pidgin-Speaking Hawaii Writers
  • Gail Cole, Principles and Practices in Online Writing Instruction
  • Nick Brown, Extending and Visualizing Authorship in Comics Studies
  • Jillian Clark, Argument and Common Ground: Scholarly Research Meets the Common Core State Standards
  • Wesley Snyder, Public Proof: Science Communication, Weak Theory, and the Nonrational
  • Sarah Mosser, MA Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture, Modalities of Responding to Student Writing: How the Medium Shapes the Message
  • Allen Sprague, Relationship-Based Service Learning in a Business Writing Context
  • Joselyne Tellez-Cardenas, Uncovering the Shadows: The Politics of Migrant Visuality
  • Casey Dawson, Necrorhetorics: Notes Towards the Rhetoricities of the Dead


Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture Alumni Have Exciting Careers

Students in the Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture MA have been accepted to prestigious PhD programs in rhetoric and composition, work in private industry, and teach at numerous schools:

  • Olivia Rowland (MA, 2023) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric at Ohio State University
  • Carlee Baker (MA, 2023) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric at University of Texas Austin
  • Megan Gayken (2022) is AUx Instructor & Advisor in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at American University
  • Andrea Goicochea (2021) is the marketing coordinator at Saalfeld Griggs, PC, a business law firm
  • Alex Werndli (MA, 2021) is a lecturer at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco
  • Marisa Yerace (MA, 2020) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric at Purdue University
  • Ian Ferris (MA, 2019) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric at University of Texas Austin
  • Ruth Sylvester (MA, 2019) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric at University of Nevada at Reno
  • Azadeh Ghanizadeh (MA, 2019) was accepted to the PhD Program in Rhetoric Syracuse University
  • Addison Koneval (MA, 2018) was accepted to Ohio State University’s PhD in Rhetoric program
  • Chessie Alberti (MA, 2018) has been hired as the Director of Writing at Linn Benton Community College
  • André Habet (MA, 2015) was accepted into Syracuse University’s PhD program in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric
  • Nick Brown (MA, 2015) was accepted to Texas Christian University for their PhD in Rhetoric and Composition
  • Jordan Terriere (MA, 2015) teaches English at Alsea High School in Alsea, OR
  • Chad Iwertz (MA, 2014) was accepted to The Ohio State University for his PhD in Rhetoric, Composition, and Literacy
  • Gail Oberst (MA, 2014) founded the Oregon Beer Growler and is now an editor for Oregon Coast Magazine
  • Gail Cole (MA, 2014) currently works as a Project Manager for CTGi and the Federal Aviation Administration
  • Thomas Deiter (MA, 2011) accepted a position as Acting Director for the CUNY Start writing program at LaGuardia Community College in New York
  • Travis Margoni (MA, 2010) is a faculty member at Yakima Valley Community College
  • Michael Faris (MA, 2007) received his PhD in rhetoric and composition at The Pennsylvania State University and is now an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University
  • Dodie Forrest (MA, 2004) is tenured faculty at Yakima Valley Community College, where she directs the writing center
  • Krystal VanKooten (MA, 2004) was recently awarded the Hugh Burns Dissertation Award and is currently an Assistant Professor at Oakland University
  • Eva Payne (MA, 1997) was recently named as the Chair of the Two year College Association (TYCA) and is an Associate Professor at Chemeketa Community College
  • Asao Inoue (MA, 1996) works as the Director of Writing at the University of Washington, Tacoma, where is he is also an Associate Professor

Our program application deadline is in early January. Watch for applications to open each year in mid-September.