Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication


Program Information:

Program Statement:
    The MA in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication (RCPC) prepares students for careers in business, technical, and professional communication in the private and public sectors and for teaching writing and communication at the postsecondary level. It features a wide range of courses on the history, theory, and pedagogy of rhetoric and writing; in communication theory and professional document analysis, design, and production; and on a variety of special topics. An internship in professional communication is also available. The degree requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credits including a final thesis or creative component (3 credits). The English Department offers a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication as well.
Degrees Offered:
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
Program Handbook(s):
Learning Goals:
  • Understand the field of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication in the United States and internationally
  • Understand, analyze, and act upon humane and ethical issues, especially as they entail decisions facing professional communicators in business and in the academy situated in an increasingly complex, technological society
  • Apply the historical and theoretical understanding necessary to the discipline to assess the impact of specific technologies upon communication within complex organizations and institutions
  • Synthesize their strategies for problem-solving and their skills in rhetorical analysis in designing, composing, and evaluating professional documents, including those for electronic, networked environments
  • Integrate oral, written, electronic, and visual skills to produce effective professional communication in the contemporary workplace
How long does it take to earn a degree?
  • Median time to earn the master’s: 1.8 years (Methods)

Program Contact:

Contact: Graduate Program Office
Phone: 515-294-2477
E-mail Address:

Mailing Address:

    English Department
    Graduate Program Office
    Iowa State University
    227 Ross Hall
    Ames, IA 50011-1201

Admission Requirements:

Graduate College Requirements:
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Academic Records/Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA (Program may alter requirement.)
  • Proof of English Proficiency.
Program Specific Requirements: International Requirements:
  • Financial Statement: Application
  • English Proficiency Minimum:
    TOEFL Paper (PBT) 587
    TOEFL Internet (iBT) 95
    IELTS 7
    PTE 68
    Duolingo (approved through spring 2025) 115

Application Information:

Application Deadlines:
    January 5 for fall semester entry with financial support consideration. Early applications are encouraged. April 1 (fall entry) and October 15 (spring entry) with no consideration for assistantships, scholarships, or fellowships.
Application Details:
    This program is open to domestic and international students.