Rhetoric and Professional Communication


The PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication focuses on the rhetorical theory, history, pedagogy, and practice of written, oral, visual, and electronic communication (WOVE) in professional communities, such as business, industry, science, and government. The degree prepares graduates for academic positions in rhetoric, in multimodal composition, and in business, professional, and technical communication, as well as for work in the private and public sectors as professional communication specialists, editors, designers, and communications managers. Candidates are required to complete 72 hours of graduate credit including a dissertation and to pass a portfolio assessment, a preliminary examination (consisting of a written comprehensive examination and a special field examination), and an oral defense of the dissertation. The English Department offers a Master of Arts in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication as well.

Doctoral Degrees Offered: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Master Degrees Offered: None

Online Degrees: None

Doctoral Degree Outcomes

Career Placement Outcomes

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Contact: Teresa Smiley
Phone: 515-294-2477
E-mail Address:


ISU-wide: Academic Records, GPA, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Recommendation

Application Deadlines: January 5 (once per year for fall semester entry only), with applications accepted and evaluated beginning October 15. Early applications are encouraged.

Program Requires GRE: Yes

Program Requires GMAT : No

Additional International Requirements:

English Proficiency Minimum:

TOEFL Paper (PBT) 640
TOEFL Internet (iBT) 111
PTE 79

Program Will Review Without TOEFL or IELTS: No

Financial Statement: Application

Mailing Address if needed:

English Department
Graduate Studies Program, 203 Ross Hall
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-1201